Jeb Bush Super PAC Ramps Up Attacks On Marco Rubio For Missing Hearings

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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The super PAC supporting Jeb Bush for president is ramping up its attacks on Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, running a television ad in Iowa accusing him of missing “important national security hearings” after recent terrorist attacks.

“Days after the Paris attacks, senators came together for a top secret briefing on the terrorist threat,” the narrator in the new Right to Rise TV ad says. “Marco Rubio was missing, fundraising in California instead.”

“Two weeks later, terrorists struck again in San Bernardino,” the ad continues. “And where was Marco? Fundraising again in New Orleans.”

“Over the last three years, Rubio has missed national security hearings and has missed more total votes than any other senator. Politics first, that’s the Rubio way.”

A Right to Rise USA spokesman says the 30-second ad is starting this week in Iowa. The organization is spending $1.4 million on television ads in the state.

Rubio’s campaign shot back by pointing out that Rubio, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has attended other classified briefings on the terrorist attacks.

“Bush’s team dishonestly omits that Marco is on the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, where he attended the highest level briefings on the Paris attacks,” said Alex Conant, a Rubio campaign spokesman. “No other candidate for president has received more classified intelligence briefings or better understands the threats facing our nation today than Marco. It’s sad to see Jeb’s ‘joyful’ campaign reduced to such intellectual dishonesty.”

Rubio’s campaign also released a statement from House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Pompeo, who said: “As a member of the House Intelligence Committee and a veteran, there is no doubt that Marco has shown great national security leadership in the Senate. The claims by Jeb Bush’s Super PAC are misleading and reflect a deep misunderstanding of Marco’s critically important record working to keep Americans safe.”

Bush and Rubio are among those fighting to be the establishment alternative to outsider candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, Rubio is in third place in Iowa while Bush is in fifth. The others in the top five are Cruz, Trump and Ben Carson.

Bush himself has attacked Rubio over Senate attendance issues, memorably during CNBC’s debate in October.

“I’m a constituent of the Senator, and I helped him, and I expected that he would do constituent service, which means that he shows up to work. … Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work,” Bush said during the debate.

But Rubio shot back: “Jeb, I don’t remember … you ever complaining about John McCain’s vote record. The only reason why you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position, and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.”


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