In an attempt to sink the slow but steady rise of Marco Rubio in the 2016 Republican primary race, Right To Rise — the super PAC supporting Jeb Bush — told The New York Times that it plans to spend as much as $20 million of the $100 million it has raised on an ad campaign that will paint Rubio as too extreme on abortion and, ultimately, unelectable.
It’s a little confusing as to why Right To Rise would telegraph their plans to attack, if for no other reason than how well-prepared Rubio was for the fairly obvious shots Bush took in the last GOP debate. That volley was so embarrassing for Bush that he was visibly shaken, red-faced and slack-jawed.
But Rubio’s ahead of the Bush game again this morning. In anticipation of the Right To Rise video, Rubio released an ad that shows several instances of praise Bush has heaped upon Rubio over the years. In it, Bush says “I’m a huge Marco fan,” that Rubio’s “the most articulate conservative on the scene today and the fortitude to be a good president,” and how “proud” he is of Rubio.
Certainly somebody within the Bush camp must know that hitting Rubio in this way is a dead end and smacks of desperation — that it suggests they literally must not have another way of attacking Rubio. “Given their closeness while governing, I find the whole thing baffling,” Stuart Stevens, a Republican strategist from Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, told The New York Times. “I seem not to be alone,” he added. “I don’t see any evidence that it’s working.”