“As the rest of the world begins to grapple with their New Year’s resolutions, Jeb Bush, who spent most of 2015 in a dismal tailspin, has apparently made a solemn vow of his own: to take down Marco Rubio, his former Florida protégé, even if he has to spend gobs of cash to do it. …
That take-no-prisoners approach is in line with a strategy Right to Rise has been considering, a source close to the super-PAC told Politico, in which they “might spend the bulk of the $75 million to carpet bomb Rubio, Cruz, Carson, Chris Christie—everyone but Trump.”
Way to go, ¡Jeb!
The news gets even better: all the other Republican candidates are preparing to carpetbomb each other with negative campaign ads in January.
“Supporters of Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee are poised to unleash a wave of ferocious attacks this month, according to Republicans familiar with their planning, plunging the muddled contest into a multidimensional war in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses.
By month’s end, the candidates and their allied groups could spend as much as $100 million combined, much of it on negative advertising delivered via television, radio, mailers and digital spots. And after the effectiveness of positive television commercials came under question last year when tens of millions of dollars failed to lift Mr. Bush, January will offer insights into whether attack ads still have the power they did in past presidential elections.
Mr. Bush’s supporters effectively ended the Christmas truce last week when they went on the air in Iowa with an ad savaging Mr. Rubio over his Senate attendance record and with a New Hampshire commercial contrasting Mr. Bush’s achievements as Florida’s governor with Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure in New Jersey and Gov. John R. Kasich’s record in Ohio. The coming offensive will be just as varied, reflecting the layers of the Republican race.
Mr. Cruz is trying to head off Mr. Rubio, perhaps the only candidate who can build a coalition of conservative and center-right Republicans. Mr. Rubio is determined to slow Mr. Cruz in Iowa, where Mr. Cruz is at or near the top of every poll and could be formidable with a decisive win. But Mr. Rubio also must confront Mr. Christie, who is ascendant in New Hampshire, which votes just over a week after Iowa. …
That is why so few of the leading candidates have engaged in any sustained assault or have run ad campaigns against Mr. Trump. It is a remarkable phenomenon: The party’s national front-runner remains largely unmolested as the first votes near, reflecting how his rivals believe that spending money against Mr. Trump and inviting his wrath could only help another hopeful.”
Huckabee and Rubio are going to air campaign ads to torpedo Cruz. ¡Jeb!, Christie and Cruz are airing campaign aids to torpedo Rubio. Meanwhile, Gulliver coasts through January unscathed while the Lilliputians destroy each other.