Rivals aim to weaken Jeb's huge cash advantage with early ad buys

Some, including Bush’s Florida rival Marco Rubio and his allies, believe that placing ad buys early will secure them airtime at a price lower than that of Bush’s campaign and super PAC, Right to Rise. That’s something they say will help undermine Bush’s financial dominance, but the Bush team strongly rejects the argument as wishful thinking.

In late July, Rubio’s campaign and the super PAC supporting it, the Conservative Solutions PAC, began reserving December and January ad time in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. In early August, the PAC supporting Scott Walker’s bid also poured $7 million into the Iowa media markets. Last week, Right to Rise started buying ad time in the first three states from mid-September through the end of December; the Bush campaign itself has yet to place a buy.

Mike Murphy, the political guru and longtime Bush confidant serving as the top strategist at Right to Rise, says the possibility that any of Bush’s rivals might even the financial playing field by placing strategic media buys is “1,000 percent bullshit.” He says his team has been talking to stations for months, and that there are “no special deals for bullshit artists at Rubio [sic] or anybody else.”