Marco Rubio Is Hillary Clintons New Enemy No. 1

10 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bush, Rubio Appear to Court Scott Walker Ahead of Wisconsin Debate.

Seething with anger and alarmed over Marco Rubio’s rise, aides to Jeb Bush and his allies are privately threatening a wave of scathing attacks on his former protégé in the coming weeks, in a sign of just how anxious they have become about the state of Bush’s candidacy.With Jeb Bush dropping in the polls, the Clinton machine is starting to worry that Rubio could prove to be a formidable opponent in the general election.

News that Jeb Bush’s allies intend to unleash holy hell on Marco Rubio — highlighting the 44-year-old Florida Republican’s lack of accomplishment and hard-line approach on abortion — arrived a day before the 4th GOP debate.The Huffington Post asked the 2016 republican presidential candidate the question – originally posed to readers in The New York Times Magazine – and received an absolute yes. The cash-rich group aiding Jeb Bush’s White House run has filmed a provocative video casting his rival Marco Rubio as ultimately unelectable because of his hard-line stand against abortion. Back in the days when Hillary was doing her slow crawl towards a presidential campaign, the general feeling among her advisors and allies was that once the Republican circus dust settled, their opponent would be Jeb Bush.

The former Florida governor is not alone in his response either. 42 percent of those polled said they could also kill a baby Hitler, while another 28 percent responded that they were not sure. That group, which has raised more than $100 million, has asked voters in New Hampshire how they feel about Rubio’s skipping important votes in the Senate. The logic was history—the GOP tends to eventually settle on the early front-runner, the one who had the most money and party support, as its nominee. The pro-life candidate was initially asked the question via email, but declined to answer until he was on camera, where he also acknowledged that the act may have unforeseen consequences. And that was seen as mostly good news in Clintonworld, as Bush was the only plausible contender who appeared to neutralize the right’s anti-Clinton talking points.

Just to be clear on his stance regarding the question, Bush later retweeted the journalist who interviewed him, adding, “Gotta do it” to the article link. He met Walker’s brother backstage at the Burlington event, and he’s already secured the support of Walker’s sons — two prolific campaigners for their father.

Rubio was in its sights. “Part of running for president is you have to put your big boy pants on and get vetted on the issues, so we know we don’t have a dud candidate running against Hillary Clinton,” he said. “Jeb Bush helped raise $100 million for this Super PAC. A Walker endorsement would be a boon for any candidate, providing both a handful of major donors that still remain undecided and valuable staffers in early states. They are also telegraphing a warning that has already reached many of Bush’s donors: Such an assault, they argue, would be beneath the dignity of the Bush name.

And Bush should focus on resurrecting his own candidacy, they say, not on trying to tear down Rubio, who they contend represents the future of the Republican Party. Even Mitt Romney told donors at a private meeting in New York that, “a Bush can’t beat a Clinton.” And best of all, because Jeb hailed from Florida, he would be unlikely (or legally unable) to run with Marco Rubio, whose Cuban heritage and campaign charisma would make him a potential game-changing veep pick. Some supporters of Bush are publicly urging restraint. “At the end of the day, wisdom dictates that an internecine fight between the two is unnecessary, and potentially damaging to both,” said Anthony Scaramucci, a New York financier and Bush fundraiser.

As Bush sputtered out of the gate, Clintonistas still believed he would eventually right his ship, much as Mitt Romney and John McCain did before him. The Wisconsin governor was initially seen as an attractive candidate for both the conservative and establishment wings of the GOP, before dropping out in large part due to his campaign’s flagging poll numbers, lackluster debate performances and poor fundraising momentum. An endorsement from Walker, the son of a Baptist minister who frequently touted his faith on the campaign trail, would likely come with a boost of support from evangelical Christians. We are a little worried about the possibility that it may be Marco, and the possibility of Trump is too delicious to even speak about out loud too much’” said one donor who attended. But the preoccupation with Rubio is revealing, suggesting not just fury at his challenge to a former mentor, but also a conviction that rivals like Donald Trump and Ben Carson have no chance of winning and will collapse in time for Bush to rise again.

And Rubio’s campaign is beefing up its outreach to evangelicals with the hire of Eric Teetsel, the executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, a faith-based advocacy group focused on pro-life, marriage, and religious liberty issues. The negative email hits on Bush from the campaign’s surrogate organizations, like its SuperPAC and the Democratic National Committee have slowed to a trickle. “There is a moratorium on hitting Jeb,” said one Democratic operative, who, like most of the dozen aides, operatives and donors contacted for this article insisted on anonymity since Clinton is still mired in a primary. “We want his numbers to go up. We all support him staying there, because he is far from proving he is ready and experienced enough to be president of the United States in a dangerous time.” Murphy’s critique echoed an internal Bush campaign memo outlining Rubio’s vulnerabilities. Under the headline “Marco is a risky bet,” the memo, which surfaced on Oct. 29, said that Rubio “has never been in charge of anything larger than two dozen people.” No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Rubio presents a youthful contrast to a woman who has been in public life for a quarter of a century, and can make his own case for a pathbreaking candidacy of his own right.

Is this a guy ready for the world stage?” Over the last several political cycles, experience has been more of a bane than a boost–just ask John McCain. But Democrats say that this is a different moment–that after sixteen years of newcomers in the White House finding themselves flummoxed by the ways of Washington, voters will at last turn to someone who knows how to turn the gears of power. Rubio, Democrats say, has scarcely been tested on the national stage, and in a general election setting will have a harder time sliding out from under tough questions. Even if he captures the nomination, Democrats wonder if Rubio will be able to capture the imagination of rank-and-file Republicans in the same way that he seems to have captured the imagination of the media.

I don’t know if their electorate is ready for him.” Clintonworld Democrats also say that they will largely stick to the same script they have been reading from in the primaries–that Clinton is the politician who will fight for the middle class, and will try to paint Rubio as just a fresh face on a deeply conservative set of policies. And Democratic jaws dropped at the first Republican debate when Rubio said that he doesn’t support abortion even in cases of rape or incest. “I think he is going to be easy to beat,” said one Democrat working on the 2016 campaign. “I just think Jeb would have been a little easier, but Republicans seem to have given up on him.”

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