Kill It in the Crib: BushWorld Attacks Rand on Eve of Launch

AP Photo/The Daily News, Austin Anthony
AP Photo/The Daily News, Austin Anthony
Washington, DC

As Rand Paul gets set to announce his presidential bid, a new Super PAC is already targeting the Kentucky Senator with a $1 million ad buy.

The previously unknown group, the Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America, plans to attack Paul as weak on Iran and will try to tie the Senator to Obama’s nuclear talks with the pariah nation, the New York Times reports.

The group is running its ad on broadcast news and Fox News in the first four states of the nominating process: New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada. The early attack, coinciding with Rand’s campaign launch, is a clear sign that his campaign is seen as a threat to other campaigns.

While the New York Times reported the basics of the attack on Rand, it left out the most interesting nugget; the hit is being orchestrated by those very close to Jeb Bush.

According to the Times, Black Rock Group, a public affairs firm, is “advising” the new Super PAC. Black Rock is yet another GOP consulting firm housed at 66 Canal Street in Alexandria, VA, the Republican party establishment’s outpost across the river from DC. The firm is run by Carl Forti and Brian Jones, longtime operatives in Bush World.

Forti is currently political director of American Crossroads, the GOP establishment Super PAC guided by former Bush political guru Karl Rove. Jones has had leading campaign rolls with Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Jones has extensive ties with mainstream media outlets, which helps explain why the New York Times is breaking a story about a GOP nomination contest.

Republicans, after all, are very adept at using the mainstream media to attack other Republicans.

The titular head of the Super PAC attacking Rand is Rick Reed, a key GOP strategist for the “Swift Boat” campaign against John Kerry more than a decade ago. Reed is largely retired from political campaigns, but seems prepared to suit up again when Bush World calls.

Rand Paul’s campaign announcement this week is also now the official start of the 2016 nominating fight. Bush World is itching for the fight.