Pushed to the brink by the rise of [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] as an alternative candidate of the establishment, backers of Jeb Bush are contemplating the use of a new secret weapon: Spending millions bashing Rubio for being too anti-abortion.
As reported by The New York Times late Monday, Right to Rise, the $100 million super PAC that backs Bush’s presidential run, has crafted a new attack video that savages Marco Rubio for opposing abortion. Rubio has long been a strong critic of abortion rights and has indicated he opposes it even in cases of rape and incest.
Right to Rise’s top strategist, Mark Murphy, has said he is willing to spend as much as $20 million pushing this and other attacks on Rubio, according to the Times.
Such an attack would continue a shift from early in the campaign, where Rubio and Bush were both genial to one another despite being rivals for the same office. But with Rubio rising to a consistent third place in the polls (behind political upstarts Donald Trump and Ben Carson), Bush’s campaign may view the destruction of Rubio as the only way to revive his flagging campaign.
Still, savaging Rubio on abortion is an odd tack for Bush supporters to take, since Bush has previous described himself as the “most pro-life governor of modern times” and bragged about defunding Planned Parenthood during his tenure in Florida.
Focusing on attacking Rubio could also be very dangerous for Bush. In the most recent debate Bush attempted to press Rubio for missing Senate votes to campaign, only to walk into a strong parry from Rubio that was widely described as a humiliation for Bush. Shortly after the debate, GOP megadonor Paul Singer endorsed Rubio, a big blow to the Bush campaign. (RELATED: Rubio Snags Key GOP Donor)
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