Tags: Trump Administration | GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | Marco Rubio | Bush | Super PAC | Anti-Rubio

Critics: Bush Super PAC's Anti-Rubio Ads Creating Path for Trump, Cruz

Critics: Bush Super PAC's Anti-Rubio Ads Creating Path for Trump, Cruz
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By    |   Wednesday, 13 January 2016 12:10 PM

The Jeb Bush-affiliated Right to Rise PAC is slamming his former protege Marco Rubio on immigration, his voting record, and even his heeled boots, but there are GOP centrists who believe the efforts could eliminate the establishment candidate who can best take on Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

"This is something Jeb Bush has to decide: Does he want his legacy to be that he elected Donald Trump or Ted Cruz?" Stuart Stevens, the GOP strategist who ran Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign, told Politico.

"He can't control that super PAC, but he ought to call on the super PAC to stop and stop attacking people with whom he mostly agrees."

There are many who believe Bush can't win the GOP presidential nomination, but still, his super PAC has millions of dollars to spend, and appears in the weeks before the Iowa caucus to be pushing to eliminate Rubio as a threat for the establishment vote.

"This thing has been mismanaged and screwed up since the beginning," an unnamed Bush backer who worked in the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Jeb's father and brother, said.

"It's gotten to the point where the old-timers are saying 'it's really sad,'" the source said. "How, as a presumptive leader with $100 million in the bank did you get yourself in a box where you have to attack Rubio and [Chris] Christie to win your lane?"

One of the latest ad is even benefiting the Cruz campaign without it having to spend any money of its own, as on Tuesday morning, Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler Tuesday tweeted the Right to Rise "boot" Rubio ad, without making any other comments.


Curt Anderson, who ran Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's presidential campaign last year, said that the ads will more likely hurt Rubio than help Bush.

"The Right to Rise folks don't want to end the campaign with $30 million in the bank and they probably realize the positive spots haven't helped Jeb at all," Anderson said. "But how these ads help Jeb, no one understands."

And conservative blogger Erick Erickson said that it is "silly and embarrassing" for Bush's super PAC to turn to "nonstop character assassination" against Rubio.

"More and more it seems to be a case of Jeb Bush's Super PAC going off the reservation just to attack Rubio," Erickson said. "The attacks against Donald Trump have amounted to a billboard or two while the Rubio attacks are a sustained air war by a candidate who is less and less viable by the day."

Stevens, meanwhile, commented that it is starting to "look like spite" for Bush to remain in a race and spin millions in attacking candidates he agrees with.

"It's one thing to lose a race and have run a good race," said Stevens. "It's another thing to lose and have as your legacy that you attempted to destroy everybody else who was most like you. That's a very negative legacy and it's a long lasting one, and that's the question that should be paramount in the Bush organization."

In a Florida town hall Tuesday, Bush brushed off questions about a feud with Rubio, insisting that "he's my friend."

But at the same time, he'll stand by his campaign's promise and "everyone's record will be scrutinized."

Florida Republicans though, are seeing it different. They say it appears that Bush, who waited eight years to run for president after his brother left office, is viewing Rubio's decision to run after just one term in the Senate as an insult, especially after Rubio's numbers have continued to climb while Bush's cropped.

"This is purely just hatred amongst his staff to go after Marco out of jealousy, spite, you name it — because everyone knows the one person who can win is Marco and yet they're doing everything they can to hurt him," a Rubio backer in Florida said.

"They still can't get over him having the audacity to run."

However, super PACs are independent, Florida state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto said Tuesday and can't be ordered to stop their attacks.

And then, not all think Bush's race is lost yet. One-time Rubio consultant and Chief of Staff Richard Corcoran, a Florida representative, said that if people got to know the "real Jeb Bush" who served as governor, he would win the presidential race.

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The Jeb Bush-affiliated Right to Rise PAC is slamming his former protege Marco Rubio on immigration, his voting record, and even his heeled boots, but there are GOP centrists who believe the efforts could eliminate the establishment candidate who can best take on Donald Trump...
Bush, Super PAC, Anti-Rubio, Ads, Creating Path, Trump, Cruz
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2016-10-13
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 12:10 PM
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