MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told Breitbart News exclusively here in a brief interview in the middle of his Super Bowl party on Sunday evening that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) would stand no chance in the general election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Of the people on the stage, not in terms of rhetoric but in terms of results, I’m the most conservative reform minded person running for president—which is my record,” Bush said when asked to react to Rubio’s universally panned debate performance on Saturday evening here.
The governors are good people but no one matches the record of cutting taxes, shrinking government, ending affirmative action, a first second third school choice program, moving to a AAA bond rating. I got to do what people talk about. To beat Hillary Clinton, we need someone that has a proven record. We’re not going to beat her with an untested person. She will scrape the bark off a candidate that has never done anything. It’d be ugly.
On Saturday evening, Rubio was ripped to pieces by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—who exposed him for being robotic with his answers during the debate and not having any real experience as an executive or problem solver.
Christie’s move to expose Rubio has benefited everyone in the field, Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich included, as new internal polling surveys conducted by various campaigns over the course of the day on Sunday shows Rubio crashing and burning as everyone else rises. Christie is still at the back of the group of so-called establishment candidates but a pair of surveys shows both Bush and Kasich surging past Rubio. Rubio has fallen into fourth and fifth place in the two internal polls, one from a pro-Kasich Super PAC and the other from a GOP presidential campaign that wished not to be named but confirmed the numbers to Breitbart News. In one of them, even Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has blown past Rubio—a shocking development since the strongly social conservative Cruz isn’t expected to do well in the Granite State’s primary on Tuesday.
In all polling in New Hampshire, billionaire Donald Trump towers over the field and the battle—most everyone will admit—between the rest of these candidates is for second place. Kasich, Bush, Rubio, Christie and even Cruz all have a shot to hit second place—and if Rubio doesn’t make it to second place, it’ll be a significant blow to his carefully crafted campaign narrative as it will prevent the Washington establishment and elite donor class from being to coalesce further behind Rubio. It would also help Bush or Kasich or Christie or anyone else for that matter make a better case than Rubio can for electability in both the Republican primary and the general election.
Bush’s momentum in New Hampshire is real, and his Super Bowl party here where he conducted his exclusive with Breitbart News is a perfect indication of that. More than 500 people packed into the sprawling Irish pub Murphy’s in downtown Manchester to see Bush—and the Super Bowl—as the Bush-backed Denver Broncos went on to win the game. Young, old, and everything in between, Bush’s backers were adorned in “Jeb!” paraphernalia—and were genuinely excited to be there with him. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a machine politician who runs the next primary state South Carolina with an iron fist and one of Bush’s highest profile backers since he endorsed the former Florida governor after dropping out of the presidential race last month, joined Bush and his campaign team in Murphy’s as well.
It remains to be seen what will happen on Tuesday, but Bush—and Kasich and Christie—just might surprise everyone and beat Rubio, knocking him into a tailspin-causing third place or lower.