Jeb’s Target Practice

Now this is an interesting little news item from Bloomberg Politics’ Sahil Kapur:

Jeb Bush’s official campaign website on Thursday briefly featured two separate sections attacking two top Republican rivals, something he has not publicly done thus far in the 2016 presidential race…..

Asked why the sections were deleted, Bush campaign spokesman Tim Miller responded that they were “draft pages that were taken down, we have lots of material to prepare for the debate as circumstances require.” (Bloomberg’s e-mail inquiry and Miller’s response came within an hour of the first Republican debate in Cleveland.)

It’s unclear how long the pages were up, and whether there were similar pages about Bush’s other Republican rivals in the 17-member presidential primary field. The glimpse of how the Bush team intends to attack its rivals may be of interest to Right to Rise, a pro-Bush super-PAC that is not legally allowed to coordinate with the campaign.

Bloomberg’s screenshot of the Bush site shows a pretty harsh attack on Scott Walker’s economic development and fiscal record in Wisconsin, including this line:

Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Has Been Marred By Scandal–Including Unpaid Loans and Taxpayer Funds Spent on Alcohol, iPads, College Football Tickets, and Even a Maserati.

All those capital letters are a nice touch.

But then there’s a separate item basically dismissing Jeb’s old and fast friend Marco Rubio as an empty suit career legislator with a bad attendence record and no accomplishments.

You may recall that Jeb initially promised to run an upbeat, no-negatives campaign. Then it became obvious his Super-PAC maestro and personal strategist, Mike Murphy, would do the dirty work over at Right to Rise. You’d sure hate to find out there’s some coordination going on, wouldn’t you?

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.