Shortly before midnight, Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign manager sent an email to supporters after the New York Times revealed that Jeb Bush’s “Right to Rise” Super PAC was preparing to launch new attacks on Marco Rubio.
“Jeb’s plan is to spend $20 million dollars to ‘damage Mr. Rubio’s reputation,’” Rubio’s Campaign Manager Terry Sullivan wrote. “Not just talk about how they differ on the issues but to actively try to destroy Marco’s reputation. And they’re bragging about that? How is that the kind of ‘joyful’ campaign that Jeb claimed he wanted to run?!?!”
The campaign asks for supporter donations to defend Rubio against Bush’s Super PAC, which has a war chest of about $100 million.
The Times report cites a leak from Super PAC aides who say they have filmed a provocative video casting Bush’s rival Marco Rubio as “unelectable” because of his views on abortion.
“Honestly, it’s something we’d expect from Hillary and the mainstream media, but the fact that the Republican establishment believes this is what they need to do to take down Marco is astonishing,” Sullivan wrote, pointing to the revealed plan of attack.
Bush’s Super PAC is run by political consultant Mike Murphy, who previously advised presidential candidates like Sen. John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney when he was Governor of Massachusetts.
In 2008, Murphy was also caught trashing McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate on a hot-mic. After McCain lost, Murphy was more vocal about Palin. “It was a strategically awful choice, and I said so – both on and off microphone – at the time,” he said.
Murphy appears willing to play the villain for Bush in this election. At one point, he described Donald Trump as a “false zombie front-runner.”
“He’ll never be president of the United States, ever,” he told Bloomberg News.