Marianne Williamson lays off national campaign staff

"Not having a huge war chest," shouldn't determine a campaign's fate, she said.

January 2, 2020, 10:12 PM

Democratic presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson says she is not suspending her candidacy following the announcement that she laid off all of her campaign staff.

“A campaign not having a huge war chest should not be what determines its fate. The point of my candidacy has been to tell the heart’s truth and that does not cost money. Forging a new path for campaigns is going to be necessary, if we’re ever to forge a new path for our country,” Williamson said in a statement released on her official website.

Patricia Ewing, Williamson’s former communications director, led a call Thursday afternoon announcing the mass layoff of campaign staff. Employees had been officially removed from the payroll Dec. 31.

The former campaign aide told ABC News that "from a fundraising perspective the campaign is no longer viable."

"A campaign is a business. The business needs income to run, and if that income is not there, you have to make choices in order to make it a proper operation," Ewing said. "So if she wants to move forward, and how she wants to do that, you'll find that out from her directly."

The spiritual author-turned-presidential candidate says she will continue to push her message without a traditional campaign staff as long as she has the resources to do so - - now leaning heavily on volunteers.

“There is an inherent value in talking about those things as a presidential candidate. In my mind, the fact that they couldn’t make it into the machine of modern politics is not a reason to stop talking; if anything, it's a reason to keep talking. And that is what I’ll do, as long as we have the resources to do it. In the meantime, it’s amazing what you can do with volunteers,” Williamson said.

PHOTO: Marianne Williamson talks to a group of about 50 Iowans during a campaign appearance at the Central Public Library in Des Moines, Nov. 21, 2019.
Marianne Williamson talks to a group of about 50 Iowans during a campaign appearance at the Central Public Library in Des Moines, Nov. 21, 2019.
Jack Kurtz/ via Newscom

Despite the staff cuts, Ewing said she's proud of what Williamson has accomplished on the 2020 campaign trail.

"She's the first woman to ever get to be on the debate stage that was not an elected official for the Democratic Party," Ewing said. "She beat out governors, senators, members of Congress. She's been in this campaign for a year."

About 70% of Williamson's donors were women, "the highest in the race," added Ewing. "And her agenda helped shape what was discussed on those [debate] stages. What she's accomplished is pretty extraordinary."

Paul Hodes, Williamson's now former New Hampshire Director expressed his well wishes in a tweet after finding out he would no longer be working for the campaign saying,

"Marianne is bringing a vital message to the campaign, and I wish her well going forward."

The news of Williamson's staff cuts was first reported by ABC affiliate WMUR.