Bush mocks Rubio and his fans: Stop whining that it’s “unfair” that you’re being attacked by another candidate’s Super PAC

posted at 6:01 pm on February 5, 2016 by Allahpundit

Via the Weekly Standard, this is the first high-five moment for Jeb since … ever, right?

There’s a debate raging at NRO as I write this between Mona Charen and Charles Cooke, who think Jeb’s done and that it’s time to redirect the Bush Super PAC Death Star towards worthier targets like Trump and Hillary, and Ramesh Ponnuru, who doesn’t see why we should short-circuit the process. I’m on Team Ponnuru, with reservations. Even in the latest polls showing a Rubio surge in New Hampshire, Bush is at 10 percent and within single digits of second place. New Hampshire polling is famously unreliable to boot. Why should Jeb pull the plug when there’s a chance that he’s competitive with Rubio right now and stands a chance of finishing ahead of him on Tuesday night? He’s spent the last four months there and many millions of dollars campaigning doggedly. He deserves to find out what sort of return he got on his investment. Plus, per Jeb’s point about whining, some of Rubio’s most stalwart supporters do seem at times to behave as though shots at Marco are necessarily “unfair.” The vibe I get is that he’s somehow more innocent and guileless than the other candidates and therefore less deserving of the harsh attacks that a creature like Cruz is forced to endure as a matter of course. I remember Obama supporters behaving the same way in 2008. I took to calling him “Bambi” on the site because there was a sense among O fans that every Clinton attack was dirty pool, no matter how pedestrian it was. Obama, being young, charming, and relatively unspoiled by years in D.C., embodied their own pure aspirations of what America should be, and therefore attacking him was nasty by definition. Rubio seems to do something similar to his hardcore fans, although not to the same extent. It’s a testament to his and Obama’s retail skills that they’re able to generate that protective impulse. You don’t pull a gun on Bambi, and yet Jeb and Mike Murphy have been firing relentlessly at him for months. The bastards.

About those reservations, though. The main reason Right to Rise catches so much flak for attacking Rubio, I think, isn’t the Bambi factor or even because they’ve spent so much money on the effort. It’s because of the perception, fair or not, that Jeb Bush’s candidacy was less about electing Jeb and more about electing “the establishment’s guy.” Jeb had $100 million dropped on him not because he was fantastically impressive but because the Bush family has many friends and, more importantly, the donor class needed someone formidable on the center-right who could oufox the Cruzes and Pauls and Walkers of the world. Jeb himself has reinforced that perception, whether intentionally or not, by making “stop Trump” one of his core messages. That befits his role as a member of the GOP’s governing class: The goal here isn’t merely (or even ultimately) to elect Jeb Bush, it’s to make sure the GOP ends up with a “responsible” nominee, which means someone besides Trump. Jeb’s candidacy is, in other words, bigger than himself. That being so, it’s strange watching him turn the guns on Rubio, a guy whom even Jeb’s own donors would say easily meets the “responsible” test, instead of blowing up the alleged menace Trump even though Trump is the biggest beneficiary of the muddle among the “establishment” candidates that Jeb has helped create. That’s the killer — when offered a chance to hit someone in his own lane who’s outperforming him or the sort of loose-cannon populist gargoyle whom Jeb’s candidacy was ostensibly designed to stop, Bush tries to wreck the former even at the expense of helping the latter. And the punchline is that the guy in his own lane who’s ahead of him is someone he’s known and worked with for years, and who, until recently, he had nothing but the warmest praise for, even once recommending him for VP. That strategy, that it’s worth emptying the chamber at Rubio even though it increases the risk of a party-wrecking Trump nomination, calls the premise of Bush’s candidacy into question and makes the stench of spite here unmistakable. Does he really think it’s of utmost importance for the GOP to have a “responsible” nominee? Or does he think it’s me or bust, whatever that means for a Trump takeover of the GOP? This is why I still can’t get over Jeb tweeting, after National Review’s “Against Trump” issue came out, “Welcome to the fight.” If not for Jeb Bush, the fight against Trump might not have been necessary in the first place.


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Comments

Wow, Jeb has a pulse.

rbj on February 5, 2016 at 6:04 PM

I fully applaud ¡Jeb! for attacking Rubio.

It is patriotic work.

Redstone on February 5, 2016 at 6:05 PM

“Please clap for me”

bazil9 on February 5, 2016 at 6:06 PM

Did mommy dearest approve?

skanter on February 5, 2016 at 6:06 PM

Watchout Jeb!. Petunia will scratch your eyes out.

libfreesMom on February 5, 2016 at 6:08 PM

His old mini me from the house in Fl…gotta sting-

bazil9 on February 5, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Maybe the Bush baby has something to offer after all.

bgibbs1000 on February 5, 2016 at 6:09 PM

It’s a testament to his and Obama’s retail skills that they’re able to generate that protective impulse.

At least at Salem Comm & Foxnews it’s a testament. The Newest Testament. Elsewhere, not so much.

whatcat on February 5, 2016 at 6:11 PM

Wait. What is ¡Yebbie!’s message again? LOL

Fallon on February 5, 2016 at 6:12 PM

Beginning to look to me like the beginnings of the traditional ‘publican circular firing squad.

vnvet on February 5, 2016 at 6:13 PM

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

libfreesMom on February 5, 2016 at 6:14 PM

Wait. What is ¡Yebbie!’s message again? LOL

Fallon on February 5, 2016 at 6:12 PM

lol, Fallon…oops-message fail.

bazil9 on February 5, 2016 at 6:14 PM

Smoke and mirrors. Jeb is not electable. Jeb alone did not bring us Trump.

Still, if his momma says he’s a good boy, I guess Bush would make a fine president, after all.

It’s a faaaamily tradition!!!

Gimme a break!

Sherman1864 on February 5, 2016 at 6:16 PM

It’s a faaaamily tradition!!!
Sherman1864 on February 5, 2016 at 6:16 PM

At least the Clinton family didn’t try to run BillyJeff’s bro Roger for Prez, I’ll give that much.

whatcat on February 5, 2016 at 6:25 PM

Rubiotch is a clear and present menace to America in a way that even Bernie isn’t. Kudos to Heb! for directing fire where it’ll do some good.

Say what you want about the Bushes; at least they’re usually patriotic.

pat buchanatar on February 5, 2016 at 6:25 PM

whatcat on February 5, 2016 at 6:25 PM

I think they are waiting for Chelsea to run for some office…

bazil9 on February 5, 2016 at 6:28 PM

I think they are waiting for Chelsea to run for some office…
bazil9 on February 5, 2016 at 6:28 PM

Bill and Hill hate being out of power. But you really gotta feel for ’em, what with them being dead broke and all.

whatcat on February 5, 2016 at 6:36 PM

Maybe Jeb has a strategy after all. Get the sympathy vote. Let everyone else seem like an a-hole and get the non a-hole vote.

SDRightWinger on February 5, 2016 at 6:37 PM

Jeb! says, “I will give amnesty to more illegals”

Boobio says, “no, I will”

Boobio says, “I will give amnesty to the entire population of this continent”

Jeb says, “who you calling incontinent”?

Boobio says, “make South America great again”

Jeb says, “a Bush needs a gardener”

Boobio says, “I’ll appoint an amnesty czar”

Jeb says, “I’ll appoint a new secretary of LOW ENERGY”

Boobio says, “I’ll drink to that. where is my water?”

Jeb says, “I’ll win, no sweat”

Boobio says, “cheap shot”

Senator Philip Bluster on February 5, 2016 at 6:41 PM

But you really gotta feel for ’em, what with them being dead broke and all.

whatcat on February 5, 2016 at 6:36 PM

Yeah, I’m all torn up inside.

bazil9 on February 5, 2016 at 6:41 PM

I hope Jeb doesn’t ruin it all for son, Peter, presently making his political bones in Texas. I assume he’ll run against Chelsea at some point.

butch on February 5, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Jeb! says, “I will give amnesty to more illegals”

Boobio says, “no, I will”

Boobio says, “I will give amnesty to the entire population of this continent”

Jeb says, “who you calling incontinent”?

Boobio says, “make South America great again”

Jeb says, “a Bush needs a gardener”

Boobio says, “I’ll appoint an amnesty czar”

Jeb says, “I’ll appoint a new secretary of LOW ENERGY”

Boobio says, “I’ll drink to that. where is my water?”

Jeb says, “I’ll win, no sweat”

Boobio says, “cheap shot”

Senator Philip Bluster on February 5, 2016 at 6:41 PM

That’s some damn fine scholarly work there, my friend. Bravo.

fossten on February 5, 2016 at 6:52 PM

I actually haven’t heard Rubio doing any complaining… but I have heard a lot of supposed experienced former governors belly aching about Rubio beating them.

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 6:54 PM

Watchout Jeb!. Petunia will scratch your eyes out.

libfreesMom on February 5, 2016 at 6:08 PM

Meoooow!

No he’s moved up. He is now second last under consideration, before Cruz.

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 6:57 PM

It’s a faaaamily tradition!!!
Sherman1864 on February 5, 2016 at 6:16 PM
At least the Clinton family didn’t try to run BillyJeff’s bro Roger for Prez, I’ll give that much.

whatcat on February 5, 2016 at 6:25 PM

Yet.

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 6:58 PM

Actually look at those pictures on the sidebar. Who is the one smiling?

In fact does Rubio ever stop smiling?

What a great guy!

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM

fossten on February 5, 2016 at 6:52 PM

thanks, fossten.

Senator Philip Bluster on February 5, 2016 at 7:18 PM

Interesting piece at the end of a wild Week 1 kickoff, AP. I think you’re well ahead of the curve compared to many of your colleagues in trying to get a handle on the Rubio/Bush dynamic, including how it is affected by Trump and Cruz.

A bit of unsolicited advice from an old proofer, if I may. More paragraph breaks, as I’ve notice of late a lot of long ones. Not only is it easier on a lot of readers’ eyes, but it makes space for your trademark wit to stand out. These are complex issues and dynamics, and bite-sized pieces are a bit easier to chew on. Food for thought…

Have a Newcastle and a great weekend!

Christien on February 5, 2016 at 7:19 PM

Rubio himself hasn’t whined about the attacks.

His supporters, maybe. I count myself one of his supporters.

Vyce on February 5, 2016 at 7:23 PM

I hope Jeb doesn’t ruin it all for son, Peter, presently making his political bones in Texas. I assume he’ll run against Chelsea at some point.

butch on February 5, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Doesn’t he also have a son George? So does that mean we are going to have Bush’s in Presidential elections for the foreseeable future?

So we can take a pass on this one,

There’ll be more chances. ;)

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 7:34 PM


10-4 on that.

scookam on February 5, 2016 at 7:36 PM

Who is Rubio?

Schadenfreude on February 5, 2016 at 7:40 PM

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM

So, it’s all about looks?

Barred on February 5, 2016 at 7:58 PM

Why should Jeb pull the plug when there’s a chance that he’s competitive with Rubio right now

Hope springs eternal…

J. E. B. Yeb should’ve started mocking (and insulting) people sooner…..

Mcguyver on February 5, 2016 at 8:00 PM

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM
So, it’s all about looks?

Barred on February 5, 2016 at 7:58 PM


It’s all about optimism versus pessimism.

Bush says Rubio is whining… I see Rubio smiling.

Looks to me like Bush is whining.

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 8:13 PM

Are you honestly rooting for Bush over Rubio?

What is wrong with your brains?

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 8:15 PM

Are you honestly rooting for Bush over Rubio?

What is wrong with your brains?

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 8:15 PM

It is the Internet bottomfeeders who don’t like brown people with Latino names… Typical Trumpkins.

As for the larger story, I think my frustration with Jeb! is why he arrogantly thought he was the only “reasonable” Republican. Jeb! is a retread in an election cycle where the Rs had a chance to put up a generational contrast. He has been out of office for almost a decade. He is really lacking in the charisma department. Oh and he has a huge last name problem. Fine, Rubio has issues but in the whole Republican establishment, there was no one better than Jeb! to be the “chosen one.” How about Paul Ryan? If the biggest hit against Rubio is his lack of accomplishments, no one could hit at Ryan for his lack of accomplishments and you would still have the generational contrast. Or if you want a governor, how about John Kasich? Yes, he is annoying and sanctimonious, but so is Jeb! and the guy who won reelection in Ohio by 20 points has a better case for being electable than the guy who ran his last campaign in 2002. Jeb! was never going to win in 2016; his last name made that impossible. However, he took away all the oxygen and money and his candidacy made what was supposed to be an interesting contest of ideas into a three ring circus. He made the Trumpkins candidacy possible and perhaps destroyed the GOP in the process. Oh and as a parting shot, Jeb! and his Sancho Panza, Mike Murphy, are determined to take down the only vaguely electable candidate currently in the GOP field out of pure spite because Rubio refused to wait his turn.

Illinidiva on February 5, 2016 at 9:10 PM

Hey, Low Energy! What’s kickin’ ??

Sherman1864 on February 5, 2016 at 10:19 PM

Trump changed everything. And he proved the establishment doesn’t have as much power as people thought.

It’s going to be trump or Rubio

Not establishment

petunia on February 5, 2016 at 10:40 PM

You don’t pull a gun on Bambi, and you don’t mess around with Jeb…

Ogabe on February 6, 2016 at 12:38 AM

Charlie Crist had some friends in Florida, and some folks think this is some rematch with Rubio, with Jeb! as a proxy.

Sekhmet on February 6, 2016 at 8:58 AM

Jeb should have some dirt on Rubio from the Florida days together. He should know that Rubio is nothing more than an opportunist who’s only in it for himself. He even reminds me a little of Castro back in the 60’s when he was just getting started.

Kissmygrits on February 6, 2016 at 10:22 AM

El Jeb!! is all tough guy now that his gram mom is out campaigning with him.

El Jeb v Senor Dondi = Iran v Iraq

james23 on February 6, 2016 at 3:03 PM

What I see is a man who wants to knock down the most viable candidate the GOP has so he can say after HRC wins, “you should have gone with me.”

Pathetic.

evergreen on February 6, 2016 at 11:11 PM