Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post argues that Jeb Bush’s massive campaign war chest could be the Republican Establishment’s only hope to take out Donald Trump–and he has no reason not to use it.
From the Washington Post:
Bush still has one thing going for him, though: money. Right to Rise raised more than $103 million in the first six months of this year. It spent — as I mentioned above — $28 million on ads. For the sake of argument, let’s say that the organization has spent an additional $15 million on fundraising, consulting fees and other miscellaneous costs. And let’s also assume that Right to Rise hasn’t raised any more money since June 30. (It, of course, has.) A little simple math gets you this: Right to Rise should have (at least) $60 million left to spend on this race.
That’s a ton of cash. And although I know Right to Rise already has a plan in place to spend down its massive wad throughout February and March (and beyond) in hopes that Bush eventually emerges as the top choice, I just don’t see a lot of evidence that the race will yield that scenario unless there is a sizeable shake-up sometime soon.
So why not change course and use all of that money to try to force such a shake-up? Simply put: Take all of the ad time Right to Rise has reserved for Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and turn the fire hose on full blast against Trump. I am talking about a sustained ad campaign whose sole aim is to disqualify Trump — not boost Bush. Sure, Bush and Right to Rise have jabbed at Trump — and a super PAC supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign for the Republican nomination has gone into full attack mode against the Donald — but no one other than the Bush forces has the money to maintain a sustained negative ad campaign against Trump in, at least, the first three voting states for the next few months.
Sure, a sustained attack on Trump could, theoretically, boomerang against Bush as Republicans — Trump supporters and not — come to see the move as dirty and punish Bush for what Right to Rise does. But,to be candid, what the heck do Bush and his allies have to lose at this point? He’s absolutely nowhere in the race.
Read the rest of the article here.