Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio: The Frenemies of 2016

19 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bush, Rubio step up jabs as 2016 rivalry heats up.

There once was mutual public deference. Republican presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, transitioned from defense to offense on Sunday after criticism from rival Donald Trump that his brother, former President George W. But that has eroded as the Florida Republicans battling for the presidential nomination have come to see the other as the main threat to lofty ambitions: Bush claims the party establishment’s mantle, Rubio wants to be the party’s fresh national face. In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” the real estate mogul said that since he’s “extremely, extremely tough on immigration” the attackers wouldn’t have been in position to commandeer U.S. flights. “I’m not blaming George Bush,” Trump said. “But I don’t want Jeb Bush to say, ‘My brother kept us safe,’ because September 11 was one of the worst days in the history of this country.” On Twitter, as the “Fox News Sunday” interview aired, Trump tweeted: “Jeb, why did your brother attack and destabalize the Middle East by attacking Iraq when there were no weapons of mass destruction? Trump, the flamboyant front-runner in the 15-candidate Republican field, again provoked a tit-for-tat with Bush on Friday by saying his brother must share some of the blame for the attacks that occurred during his first year in office.

The rise of GOP outsiders such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson has increased the stakes for Bush and Rubio as they try to become the mainstream alternative. The former Florida governor attacked Trump’s foreign policy credentials and compared his grip on international issues to a reality television show the billionaire businessman formerly hosted. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Trump faulted George Bush for allowing 9/11 to happen during his tenure. (RELATED: Trump Faults Bush For Not Stopping 9/11) As is characteristic of the mogul’s trolling, Trump quickly veered the attack from 9/11 to immigration and the Iraq war, making the assault more in-line with the message of the mogul. This leaves Bush with the politically-hazardous task of defending the decision to invade Iraq and reminding voters that he is still closely related to the most unpopular president in recent history. It’s part of the mantra Bush has repeated since the Republicans’ second debate in California a month ago, when Rubio won praise for staying above the fray.

He has since drawn nearly even with Bush in national polls, although both remain in the high single digits. “We’ve got a president that the American people supported based on the fact that he was an eloquent guy,” Bush said in Iowa last week. “And he had nothing in his background that would suggest he could lead.” Though describing Obama, it’s a slight to Rubio. Distancing himself from George and avoiding unnecessary discussion of the intervention makes for smart campaign strategy, and that appeared to be Jeb’s plan at the start. Sanders said later Sunday that he plans to give a major speech “in the not-too-distant future” soon to explain his belief in democratic socialism, acknowledging the political label could be a stumbling block to winning over American voters. He delivers a compelling story about his parents’ flight from Cuba and his working class background, but he has been in the Senate less than five years and has missed much of its business this year while campaigning for president. Evidence of the tension between the Florida politicians was on display Thursday when Rubio’s campaign, minutes after the Bush organization announced raising $13.4 million in the last quarter, boasted it had more cash on hand.

A group far worse than Saddam Hussein ever was now controls a sizable amount of Iraqi territory and there’s little chance ISIS is going to give it up any time soon. Sanders, it is a reminder that Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was then a senator from New York, voted to approve the war. “I would point out to you that in perhaps the most significant public policy issue of our time, the war in Iraq, I cast the correct vote,” Mr. But about $1 million of Rubio’s cash cannot be accessed unless he wins the GOP nomination, a point Bush campaign spokesman Tim Miller pounced on via Twitter.

It’s also worth noting that the last Republican who had to run for president defending Bush’s record lost decisively to a then-unproven senator from Illinois. There’s a good reason why Bush has been so adamant to not bring up his brother, to say how he’s a different man, to not allow George to campaign for him and to conspicuously only use “Jeb!” on election gear. Hopes have not come to pass that rivals could be chased from the field with Bush’s mammoth fundraising effort in the first half of the year — yielding more than $100 million for his campaign and the super PAC supporting him. The establishment favorite learned that lesson earlier this year when it took him a whole week and three tries to get his answer right on the intervention. It doesn’t show that he’s a serious person as it relates to being commander in chief and being the architect of a foreign policy.” “Look, look, Jeb said, ‘We were safe with my brother.

Those challengers have ridden dissatisfaction with the government to a lead in national and early state polls with four months before Iowa leads off the 2016 voting. In New Hampshire recently, Rubio said the election is “a generational choice” and political leaders in both parties are “out of touch.” Rubio is 44, Bush is 62. “We will not change direction if all we do is keep electing the same kind of people,” Rubio said in Portsmouth. “This election cannot be one of those elections where we just promote the next person in line, where we just vote for the person the experts tell us we have to vote for.” The remarks are aimed as much at Bush, whose father, George H.W. The connections between Rubio and Bush go back to the late 1990s when Bush, then governor, contributed $50 to Rubio’s campaign for a West Miami commission seat. When Rubio became the first Cuban-American to ascend to Florida House speaker, Bush gave him a sword to remind him to stay true to his conservative values. “I can’t think back on a time when I’ve ever been prouder to be a Republican, Marco,” Bush said then. Rubio in his memoir, “An American Son,” praised Bush’s “creativity and daring.” “Jeb is my friend,” Rubio told reporters in Florida when asked about Bush’s jabs. “I have tremendous respect for him as a person and for what he did for Florida as governor.”

Maybe Trump wasn’t intentionally trying to prod Jeb into a fight a Bush couldn’t win, but the businessman has certainly manipulated the situation to make it advantageous to himself.

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