Top Bush Donor, ‘I’m Done,’ Bolts to Marco Rubio

Washington, DC

A top Florida fundraiser is bolting from Jeb Bush to Marco Rubio, after what turned out to be Jeb’s disastrous attack on Rubio’s Senate attendance during the last GOP debate.

Politico reports Brian Ballard is “a Tallahassee lobbyist who contributed more than $25,000 of his own money and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars more for Bush’s campaign and the super PAC supporting him.”

“I think the world of Jeb Bush. He was a great governor of Florida and is a really good person, but the campaign has hijacked his message,” said Brian Ballard….

“The campaign has become negative, one that is about attacking and trying to bring down Marco Rubio. And that doesn’t sit well—not only with me, but with anyone who knows the two,” Ballard said. “Marco’s a friend of mine. I didn’t sign up for a campaign that was going to be negative and attack a bright star of the party’s future. It doesn’t make sense. I’m over it. And I’m done.”

It’s also worth noting that Ballard does admit to having stopped raising money for Bush some months ago, and apparently there were other ongoing issues between him and the campaign. In some ways, this could be Rubio payback for Jeb from an already now committed supporter given Bush’s decision to keep going after Marco. At the same time, Ballard’s criticism is being mirrored by many others, as Politico also reports.

“While we appreciate Brian’s support of the governor, in August, we expressed to him serious concerns about his continued lack of discretion regarding campaign strategy — particularly in relation to his interaction with the national media,” said the staffer, noting that Ballard is a Donald Trump lobbyist. “He has not been actively engaged in this campaign or our team’s efforts for months, and his comments today are of little surprise to anyone. We wish him well.”