Until now, I have taken a benign view of Jeb Bush’s presidential candidacy. I have said from the beginning that he has zero chance of getting the Republican nomination, but he was a good governor and he has as much right to seek the nomination as anyone else.
But now, Bush has turned into a negative, anti-Republican force. To an even greater degree than Donald Trump, he mouths Democratic Party talking points. In particular, he is engaged in an obsessive and destructive vendetta against Marco Rubio, who, unlike Bush, is a serious candidate for the nomination. Following his unsuccessful attack on Rubio during the CNBC debate, Bush has doubled down on his claim that Rubio has missed too many Senate votes.
Actually, Rubio has been present for more votes than most, or maybe all, senators who have recently run for the presidency. John Kerry, Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton all missed more votes than Rubio. (McCain probably did too, but I haven’t seen the numbers.) And, of course, most Congressional votes are not important. Either the issue is insignificant or the outcome is a forgone conclusion, or both. Rubio has made the important votes. Jeb Bush knows all of this, so for him to repeat the Democratic Party’s attack on Rubio is unforgivable. Yet his staff has leaked a 112-page power point that included various attacks on Rubio, and today on Meet the Press, Bush repeated his criticism of Rubio, saying that Marco has “given up” on the Senate because he hasn’t made every vote.
At this point, Bush’s continuing his fruitless campaign serves no one except the Democrats. If he can’t stop attacking his fellow Republicans, he should do the right thing and retire gracefully from the field.