An open letter to Jeb Bush

Your ads have been embarrassing. You and Rubio agree on nearly everything, so you’re dredging up long-since debunked stories about credit cards and ridiculous accusations of missed votes in the Senate chamber. Really? Is that all you’ve got? No, you’ve also run ads attacking Rubio for taking the same position you took on illegal immigration. When challenged about these at the most recent debate, you said, “Politics ain’t beanbag.” No, but this is the narcissism of small differences.

You seem to believe, as many of us do, that in order to prosper, in fact, in order to survive, the Republican Party must look beyond its aging, white, rural, and Evangelical Christian core to welcome African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, urbanites, and the young. Yet by attacking Rubio, you are attempting to sabotage the very best messenger the Republican Party has found in decades. As you yourself put it: “What Marco has is something that the Republican Party needs to have: A hopeful, optimistic message based on our principles. He’s probably the most articulate conservative on the scene today.”

After Iowa, Marco Rubio has an excellent chance of winning the Republican nomination. If he prevailed, he would be the most conservative nominee in decades and well situated to win the general election. This is not to hurt your feelings, but your general-election favorability ratings are the worst in the Republican field with the exception of Trump. Despite the avalanche of negative ads, Rubio’s net favorables are the best (with the exception of Ben Carson and we know where that’s going).

If you were to drop out of the race now and endorse Marco Rubio, or at the very least, call off the attack dogs, you would be advancing everything you say you believe in except yourself. It would be a gracious and inspiring gesture. It would be a different way to serve your country — and might even revive our faith in Yankee integrity.