MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — A Santorum campaign staffer tells BuzzFeed that his campaign has received a surge of volunteers from Rick Perry’s flagging camp — some of whom said they’d been told by Perry’s staff to join the Santorum campaign.
But top aides to both Santorum and Perry denied that there’s any organized effort to merge the efforts, and there is no evidence that the movement of volunteers represents more than a shift-in momentum and low-level staff efforts.
Perry’s campaign, polling in the low single digits, barely exists in the state: Its Manchester headquarters is practically deserted. Volunteers lack basic technology, and have complained of having to read from printed lists of telephone numbers for calls, rather than the online databases that are now standard.
The Santorum aide who spoke to BuzzFeed said a new volunteer told of going to Perry headquarters to volunteer, and being told that his help “wasn’t needed,” and to go to the Santorum office instead.
A senior Santorum aide said there was no coordination between the campaigns. The Santorum camp is avoiding any overt efforts to raid conservative rivals, though senior adviser Hogan Gidley said they’d seen an “incredible” surge of volunteers from across the state and across the country.
Perry’s communications director, Ray Sullivan, also told BuzzFeed that there’s no broader plan to help Santorum stop Romney in New Hampshire.
“We are absolutely not encouraging or instructing our volunteers in this way,” he said.