Rick Perry campaign stops paying staffers in South Carolina

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has stopped paying his campaign staffers in the early primary state of South Carolina, in a move that could raise questions about whether his presidential bid is on the rocks.

Spokesman Lucy Nashed said in a statement late Monday that "tough decisions have to be made in respect to both monetary and time-related resources."

"Governor Perry remains committed to competing in the early states and will continue to have a strong presence in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina," Nashed said in a statement. "The Governor is also looking forward to his trips to South Carolina this Thursday and to Iowa next week."

The pay suspension was first reported by National Journal, which said that Perry's South Carolina state director Katon Dawson was among those working on a volunteer basis. Other Perry South Carolina staffers told the Associated Press they would continue to work on the campaign, at least for the time being, believing the former governor's fortunes may improve.

"We'll do it whether there's pay or no pay," Dawson told National Journal.

The Perry campaign had no immediate comment to Fox News outside Nashed's statement. Late Monday, a political action committee supporting Perry said it would provide additional funding to supplement the campaign's expenses.

"As far as I know, we still have a plan and we're still on track," Sam Clovis, the campaign's Iowa state chairman, told AP

Perry just barely failed to crack the top 10 in national polls of the crowded Republican presidential field, keeping him off the main stage at last week's much-watched debate. His campaign announced in July that Perry had raised only around $1 million in about a month — though super PAC support pushed its total war chest to nearly $18 million.

Perry spent 14 years at Texas governor, the longest tenure in state history, before leaving office in January.

He's hoping to convince Republican primary voters that he's humbler and better prepared than in 2012, when his first presidential bid opened to strong fundraising and a brief surge in the polls — but fizzled amid a series of public gaffes.

Perry dropped out of the race four years ago just before the South Carolina primary, after disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.