The Marco Rubio campaign is making the most out of the blockbuster story in today’s New York Times about the Jeb Bush campaign about to go nuclear on Rubio.
Specifically, Right to Rise, Bush’s super PAC, is apparently ready to spend $20 million in attacking Rubio. “Part of running for president is you have to put your big boy pants on and get vetted on the issues, so we know we don’t have a dud candidate running against Hillary Clinton,” Right to Rise chief strategist Mike Murphy told the Times.
Forget whether the strategy makes any sense – who could have predicted earlier this year that this would be happening? But it is. Rubio is doing better than Bush in the polls, in some cases by a few points, in other polls by as much as 10 points. More importantly, they’re going in opposite directions. Rubio is increasingly being described as a very real legitimate general election candidate, and Bush is being derided as yesterday’s news.
One of the purported attack ads that the Bush camp may use against Rubio, according to the piece, is Rubio’s stance on abortion rights.
In the first debate this past summer, Rubio said that he had “never advocated” laws that would allow abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. It won him plaudits on the right, but the stance goes further than many mainstream Republicans have ever gone on the issue, including Bush.
In an email fundraising note sent to supporters last night, Rubio campaign manager Terry Sullivan writes, “Honestly, it’s something we’d expect from Hillary and the mainstream media, but the fact that the Republican establishment believes this is what they need to do to take down Marco is astonishing.”
It is astonishing that it’s coming from Bush, but considering where he’s at in the polls, it’s what losing campaigns do. Some in BushWorld will applaud the moves, others say it’s going too far.
Then again, this is all coming from Right to Rise, which is supposed to have zero coordination with the Bush campaign. You might recall last week on Meet the Press, when Bush said he had “no idea” about the damaging slide presentation that Right to Rise had put together on Rubio for their donors. Bush said he only had “read” about it.
I know tonight’s debate is supposed to be about only business issues, but a natural question to ask the former Florida governor might be, “What do you think of your super PAC planning on spending $20 million against your former friend?”
In other news…
Florida gets a failing grade (D-) in a new report in every state in the nation being graded on accountability and transparency measures.
A year from the 2016 general election, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), an off-shoot of the AFL-CIO, said yesterday that they will be launching a national campaign aimed at educating Latinos on the importance on voting in Florida, as well as in Colorado and Texas.
Marco Rubio wants to cut the gas tax (which hasn’t been raised since 1993) by 80 percent. Read all about it here.
At Tampa St. Joseph’s Hospital, Congress members Kathy Castor and New Jersey’s Frank Pallone extolled the virtues of energy efficiency savings at the West Tampa hospital.
Congressman Pallone wants a federal hearing on fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings.
And Bob Buckhorn is again all in with helping the Obama White House sign up as many of the uninsured as possible on to the Affordable Care Act.