Jeb Bush just can’t catch a break. Only two days after his meagre debate performance, where he was told off by his former protégé Marco Rubio for using personal attacks, there has been a major leak detailing the Bush campaign strategy. One pillar of this strategy: Smear Marco Rubio!
In the 112 page PowerPoint presentation, which was not intended for publication but obtained by U.S. News, Bush staffers lay out the former Florida governor’s strategy for the Republican primary. A shorter 45-page version of the document was distributed to select reporters to counter with a positive message the negative reporting about the candidate’s low poll numbers.
After Jeb’s subpar performance at the CNBC debate on 28 October, this concerted push to lobby journalists became even more important. Unless the polls and the reporting improves, many donors to the Bush campaign will be looking for the doors.
The full 112 page presentation not only reveals a planed advertisement push where the Bush campaign intends to spend $11 million on TV ads starting in January. It also summarizes, in shameful detail, a list of personal attacks that can be levied at Bush’s opponent Marco Rubio.
Negative campaigning and using dirty tricks against political opponents have a long tradition in the United States. It reached its inglorious low point in the early 1970s with the Watergate Scandal, when then-President Richard Nixon had the Democratic party’s headquarters bugged to gain an advantage over his political foes.
Since then, almost all presidential campaigns have had this ugly element of trying to uncover opponent’s secrets or simply make them up to decrease their public standing. The allegation, that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and not in the United States has proven one of the most persistent political lies that fall into this category. ´
Now the Bush campaign readies itself to take part in this despicable American circus, aiming its guns at Marco Rubio. Here is a list of the points they were hoping to use against the Florida Senator to show why “Marco is a risky bet”:
- Misuse of state party credit cards, taxpayer funds and ties to scandal tarred former Congressman David Rivera takes away line of attack against Hillary Clinton. (p.19)
- Closeness with Norman Braman, who doubles as personal benefactor raises major ethical questions.(p19)
and most vaguely:
- Those who have looked into Marco’s background in the past have been concerned with what they have found.
whatever that is supposed to mean.
Negative campaigning and outright smearing opponents is not conduct worthy of a man who wants to ascend to America’s highest office. A man of character would have immediately reprimanded those who have complied the dossier on Rubio, not let it become part of his overall campaign strategy!
With donors already looking for alternatives, what does this latest fumble mean for Jeb’s campaign?
A top aide to Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign told Politico:
“As the senior Romney advisor, who handled VP vetting and had access to all the vetting documents, I can say that Senator Rubio ‘passed’ our vetting and we found nothing that disqualified him from serving as VP,” wrote Myers, who counts herself a Bush supporter. “
Bush is in trouble, loosing support of big donators.
A memo sent out to donors by the Conservative Solutions PAC names only four candidates maybe winning the Republican nomination, Jeb Bush is out and Marco Rubio is in.
“When you consider all angles, as we do, we believe there are really only four candidates with a reasonable chance of becoming the Republican nominee: Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz….And when you look on to the general election against Hillary Clinton, we are convinced that Marco gives the GOP its best chance to win. The Clinton Machine itself openly acknowledges that Marco is the candidate they most fear.”