And We Thought Jeb Bush Was a Gentleman

 

Jeb Bush Addresses The Chicago Council On Global AffairsFrom John Podhoretz’s latest in the New York Post:

Democrats have spent years raging about the rise of Super PACs and the millionaires and billionaires who fund them. Maybe they should start laughing instead, because the largest Super PAC in history may come to be best-known for taking down the Republican candidate who may have had the best chance to win in 2016.

On Thursday, we learned that 35 percent of the money spent so far by the Super PAC supporting Jeb Bush has been used to target the candidacy of his fellow Floridian, Marco Rubio.

According to Jeremy Peters of The New York Times, the anti-Rubio ad buys by Right to Rise (R2R) have totaled a staggering $20 million.

That’s $20 million out of the nearly $60 million through which the Super PAC’s honcho, Mike Murphy, has burned since R2R began its spending spree six months ago.

Jeb Bush could have left the stage as a respected former governor of one of the biggest states and the country and a completely honorable man. Now he risks being remembered as a bitter spoiler. This is unworthy of him.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    It was always about Jeb! I guess, not about America.

    That is true for almost every candidate though.

    • #1
  2. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    “bitter spoiler. This is unworthy of him.”

    I agree.
    I suppose I am not so naive to believe that R2R is running of its own volition without a Bushy blessing.

    What a sad, even disgraceful, coda to the Bush legacy. (Jeb personally, as well as the family.)

    • #2
  3. Max Ledoux Coolidge
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    The only campaign mail I get is from Right to Rise. No other candidate’s superPac sends me mail, and no candidate sends me mail. I think I got one pro-Bush flyer, and everything else is negative about Rubio, Christie, and Kasich.

    Mail? Really? Snail mail?

    And they send mail to my wife, too! So we get two of every thing.

    • #3
  4. FeliciaB Inactive
    FeliciaB
    @FeliciaB

    Why am I not surprised Mike Murphy is behind the effort to take out my favorite candidate?

    • #4
  5. Vice-Potentate Inactive
    Vice-Potentate
    @VicePotentate

    I remember a couple years back when Mr. Murphy was banging on about bringing Hispanics into the party. It seems dollars are a little more important to him than political wins, short or long term.

    • #5
  6. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    As I argued in Mona’s conversation, I think the unceasing financial support for Bush’s campaign demonstrates the wishful thinking of his investors and team.

    If, like so many pundits over the past year, Bush campaigners have held onto the fantasy that Trump cannot win the nomination because they themselves can’t imagine why anyone would support Trump, then that same myopia might lead them to perceive their own 2nd preference (Rubio) as the greatest obstacle to Bush’s campaign.

    Or they believe Bush’s voter base overlaps most closely with Rubio’s, so sinking Rubio would benefit Bush more than other candidates. In that case, it would indeed be a horribly selfish and unlikely gamble.

    Considering how poorly Bush has polled, it seems more likely that he simply doesn’t believe the polls.

    • #6
  7. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Peter,

    It was Jeb! Bush who should have taken on Trump three months ago. Instead, he has dumped the responsibility on Rich Lowry. I am impressed with NR and Rich. They have guts and the courage of their convictions. NR should not have been forced to do this.

    With Jeb!’s money, connections, and power ought to go responsibility. At this point, it isn’t Trump who should be faulted for picking up conservative issues opportunistically and championing them for the people. It is Jeb! who should be castigated for legitimizing HRC and trying to run a meaningless calculated campaign. The attack on Rubio is completely pathetic and really breaks it. Either Jeb! is doing this himself and that speaks to his character or he is so out of touch that he doesn’t realize that Murphy’s campaign is complete stupidity that is helping the democrats. Either way Jeb! has disqualified himself.

    We are in chaos but the democrats are in greater chaos. Also, their sins are greater. Let’s leave it that way.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #7
  8. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Unworthy of Jeb? Or totally predictable from Mike Murphy?

    Murphy quote from Bloomberg Politics in October:

    “You know, I’ll say one more thing about Marco, because I can’t resist. What’s interesting about Marco’s campaign—and in the end I think all the essential truth of the stuff bubbles up to the voters and they sort it out pretty well—is there’s a cynicism to it. It’s cynical to run as the creature of new, fresh, while it’s all secret dark money.”

    I know Mike is Rob’s friend, but that pegs the bull crap meter to the point that there’s smoke coming out of it. Sorry, Michael, it’s better to be a bit cynical than bat-crap crazy like a certain consultant that hasn’t won anything since the first slimy Clinton was in the White House.

    • #8
  9. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    It seems to be a stretch to assume Jeb Bush is responsible for that negative advertising.

    • #9
  10. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    So, let’s see if I’ve got this straight. The man who scares the pants off of Mike Murphy is the Establishment crony from whom only the man endorsed by Bob Dole can save us?

    • #10
  11. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Have I told you all the Romanian joke about the goat? Probably but it bears repeating.

    God and St. Peter come down to Earth. As they are walking through France they come upon a man drinking wine by himself by the side of the road.

    “Why so sad?” St. Peter asks.

    “Oh, monsieur, I am sad because I am thinking about my neighbor. He has found himself a beautiful woman and they are so in love, and I am alone.”

    “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?” asks God.

    “Oui, I wish I could find a woman like her too.”

    Traveling further on they come upon a German drinking beer by the side of the road.

    “Why so sad?” asks St. Peter.

    “Oh, mein Herr, I am just thinking about my neighbor and his job, and how well he is doing, and I am unemployed.”

    “Is there something I can do to make you feel better?” asks God.

    “Ja, I wish I could find a good job just like him.”

    Walking even further they come across a Romanian sitting by the side of the road drinking tsuica.

    “Why so sad?” asks St. Peter.

    “Oh domnule, I’m thinking about my neighbor and his goat. I used to have a goat too but mine died.”

    “Is there something I can do to make you feel better?” asks God.

    “Da, I wish my neighbor’s goat would die as well.”

    • #11
  12. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    MarciN: Unworthy of Jeb? Or totally predictable from Mike Murphy?

    Jeb is responsible.  Murphy can’t communicate directly with them, but we all saw the the interview in late November where Murphy suggested it was time for the campaign to go all out against Rubio, and RtR took the cue just as we assumed they would.

    Are we going to say that Jeb is not responsible for the actions of his campaign manager?

    Ultimately revenge on Rubio is more important to Jeb than republicans winning the white house in 2016.  This is unworthy of him, and speaks ill of his character.

    • #12
  13. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Valiuth:Have I told you all the Romanian joke about the goat? Probably but it bears repeating.

    God and St. Peter come down to Earth. As they are walking through France they come upon a man drinking wine by himself by the side of the road.

    “Why so sad?” St. Peter asks.

    “Oh, monsieur, I am sad because I am thinking about my neighbor. He has found himself a beautiful woman and they are so in love, and I am alone.”

    “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?” asks God.

    “Oui, I wish I could find a woman like her too.”

    Traveling further on they come upon a German drinking beer by the side of the road.

    “Why so sad?” asks St. Peter.

    “Oh, mein Herr, I am just thinking about my neighbor and his job, and how well he is doing, and I am unemployed.”

    “Is there something I can do to make you feel better?” asks God.

    “Ja, I wish I could find a good job just like him.”

    Walking even further they come across a Romanian sitting by the side of the road drinking tsuica.

    “Why so sad?” asks St. Peter.

    “Oh domnule, I’m thinking about my neighbor and his goat. I used to have a goat too but mine died.”

    “Is there something I can do to make you feel better?” asks God.

    “Da, I wish my neighbor’s goat would dies as well.”

    Val,

    I never thought I’d like a Romanian joke as much as I like this one.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #13
  14. Herbert Member
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    Aaron Miller: If, like so many pundits over the past year, Bush campaigners have held onto the fantasy that Trump cannot win the nomination because they themselves can’t imagine why anyone would support Trump, then that same myopia might lead them to perceive their own 2nd preference (Rubio) as the greatest obstacle to Bush’s campaign. Or they believe Bush’s voter base overlaps most closely with Rubio’s, so sinking Rubio would benefit Bush more than other candidates. In that case, it would indeed be a horribly selfish and unlikely gamble.

    I think that is correct, and given the evidence that actually attacking trump in this election cycle has only seemed to elevate trump in the polls, it made sense to try to take out the trump-alternative.

    What i don’t get is why Jeb should be labeled horribly selfish and a spoiler….  was he just supposed to throw in the towel?   Seems like unwarranted criticism.

    • #14
  15. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • #15
  16. Herbert Member
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    Frank Soto: Ultimately revenge on Rubio is more important to Jeb than republicans winning the white house in 2016. This is unworthy of him, and speaks ill of his character.

    Revenge?  for what?  What did Rubio do that Bush is seeking to get revenge?

    • #16
  17. David Sussman Contributor
    David Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    I’m disgusted by the ads. I’m angry that Murphy has turned the otherwise decent Bush into a pariah. I’m thrilled none is this has increased Jebs polling.

    No offense to his friend Rob, but Mike Murphy doesn’t deserve to run the campaign of Podunks Dog Catcher.

    • #17
  18. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    James Gawron:Val,

    I never thought I’d like a Romanian joke as much as I like this one.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Oh, this is just the tip of the iceberg of Romanian jokes, though I and my family have found it to be one of the most profound ones.

    • #18
  19. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Herbert:

    Frank Soto: Ultimately revenge on Rubio is more important to Jeb than republicans winning the white house in 2016. This is unworthy of him, and speaks ill of his character.

    Revenge? for what? What did Rubio do that Bush is seeking to get revenge?

    He ran and did better than him. What could be worse?

    • #19
  20. HalapenyoHarry Inactive
    HalapenyoHarry
    @HalapenyoHarry

    Shame on you Jeb Bush.  At least you had your honor when all this started.  I do not buy the argument, it is politics and you gotta do what you gotta do.  Jeb Bush’s only redemption at this point is to apologize and campaign for Marco Rubio.

    • #20
  21. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Herbert:

    Frank Soto: Ultimately revenge on Rubio is more important to Jeb than republicans winning the white house in 2016. This is unworthy of him, and speaks ill of his character.

    Revenge? for what? What did Rubio do that Bush is seeking to get revenge?

    Jeb views Rubio as a protege.  He supported him in his days in the state house and helped him in his previous campaigns.  Jeb and his people assumed this meant that once Jeb made it clear he was running for president, Rubio would stay out and “wait his turn.”

    When Rubio entered the race Jeb was furious.  His campaign calls Rubio “Judas”.  This is not a joke.  Back when Bush was still leading in the polls, his campaign was more open about how they viewed Rubio entering the race as a betrayal.

    In late November when Bush completely tanked in the polls, Murphy made it clear that they would torpedo Rubio in hopes that once Rubio was knocked out, Bush might rise again.  This strategy is ludicrous, and has only the possibility of knocking Rubio out handing the nomination to candidates who are less likely to win in the general election.

    I have not been impressed with the moral character of Jeb Bush throughout this process.

    • #21
  22. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Frank Soto:

    MarciN:

    Jeb is responsible. Murphy can’t communicate directly with them, but we all saw the the interview in late November where Murphy suggested it was time for the campaign to go all out against Rubio, and RtR took the cue just as we assumed they would.

    Are we going to say that Jeb is not responsible for the actions of his campaign manager?

    Ultimately revenge on Rubio is more important to Jeb than republicans winning the white house in 2016. This is unworthy of him, and speaks ill of his character.

    Clearly, that is what everyone is assuming. However, I like Rubio, but I know a lot of people on Ricochet do not. I would think if you put enough of them in a room with a big enough checking account, they might on their own launch negative ads against Rubio.

    And why would we assume Rubio’s votes would go to Jeb, which would be Jeb’s only motivation? I would suspect Cruz supporters too.

    There may be something I don’t know about how PACs operate, but I have worked on a couple of campaigns, and the people involved at all levels do things that the candidates have no control over.

    The ads may be despicable, but I’m not ready to blame Jeb Bush for them.

    • #22
  23. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Herbert:

    Frank Soto: Ultimately revenge on Rubio is more important to Jeb than republicans winning the white house in 2016. This is unworthy of him, and speaks ill of his character.

    Revenge? for what? What did Rubio do that Bush is seeking to get revenge?

    Rubio stands athwart Jeb’s path to victory especially in Florida, in Murphy’s mind, and it’s quite obvious that Rubio is to blame for Jeb looking so nervous, flustered, timid, flummoxed and weak on the debate stages. If only Rubio hadn’t been there Jeb would have looked so presidential (his father and brother were presidents you know). How dare Rubio look and sound more presidential to a taller candidate who has presidential genetic material.

    • #23
  24. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Peter Robinson:

    According to Jeremy Peters of The New York Times, the anti-Rubio ad buys by Right to Rise (R2R) have totaled a staggering $20 million.

    That’s $20 million out of the nearly $60 million through which the Super PAC’s honcho, Mike Murphy, has burned since R2R began its spending spree six months ago.

    I don’t believe in Karma, but I do get a certain satisfaction from the fact that men that personify the very notion of “establishment GOP” have spent tens of millions of dollars wasted on warfare between two candidates that, combined, are getting less than 25 percent in the polls. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has spent less than 200 grand on an insurgent campaign that will likely get him the nomination.  I get even more satisfaction that this brilliant strategy is being masterminded by the likes of Mike Murphy, who made a point of coming on Ricochet’s podcast and telling us how stupid we were unless we did things his way.

    I hope they keep burning through that cash, all the hundreds of millions of it, and then stare at the ashes of their efforts after defeat at the hands of the stupid ones.

    And speaking of the likes of Murphy…

    EJHill:Sorry, Michael, it’s better to be a bit cynical than bat-crap crazy like a certain consultant that hasn’t won anything since the first slimy Clinton was in the White House.

    Cue Despair, Inc. :

    consultingdemotivator[1]

    • #24
  25. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    MarciN: There may be something I don’t know about how PACs operate, but I have worked on a couple of campaigns, and the people involved at all levels do things that the candidates have no control over.

    They communicate by wink and nod.  Murphy held interviews (I said late November earlier but looking them up it was late October) where the campaign laid out their strategy going forward.  Attacking Rubio was at the top of the priorities of the document.  He needn’t tell RtR what to do directly, he simply needed the press to write articles about the campaign strategy document that he showed them.

    Everyone knew what Murphy was doing.

    • #25
  26. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Frank Soto: I have not been impressed with the moral character of Jeb Bush throughout this process.

    Or judgement.

    • #26
  27. Herbert Member
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    Frank Soto: In late November when Bush completely tanked in the polls, Murphy made it clear that they would torpedo Rubio in hopes that once Rubio was knocked out, Bush might rise again. This strategy is ludicrous, and has only the possibility of knocking Rubio out handing the nomination to candidates who are less likely to win in the general election.

    While it seems clear now that the strategy hasn’t worked,  back then what was Bush supposed to do to get his campaign back on track…  clearly he has to go negative. He has 60 million  to spend.

    • #27
  28. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    I don’t know if ¡Heb! is as narcissistic as our current Resident, but in the debates, he seems at least as bitter and vindictive.

    • #28
  29. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Herbert:

    Frank Soto: Ultimately revenge on Rubio is more important to Jeb than republicans winning the white house in 2016. This is unworthy of him, and speaks ill of his character.

    Revenge? for what? What did Rubio do that Bush is seeking to get revenge?

    This year was supposed to be Jeb’s turn. Rubio “stole” it from him, therefore Rubio must be punished.

    • #29
  30. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    You all know my interpretation of this already, but it’s consistent with the new evidence: He’s pursuing the Assad strategy. Kill any credible rival and leave people with a choice between him and ISIS, or Trump, as the case may be. It’s not a stupid short-term strategy, whether you’re Jeb or Assad. But it’s not one that’s likely to create a lot of good feelings among the people you’ll be stuck trying to put back together at the end.

    • #30
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