As the New Hampshire campaign comes to a close, a super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio has changed its ad strategy to try to slap down a possible rally by his Florida rival, Jeb Bush.
Since Friday, Conservative Solutions PAC has pulled more than $1 million in positive ads for Rubio, plus another $360,000 in ads attacking Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, to focus a barrage of ads against Bush – more than $1.6 million in all, campaign filings at the Federal Election Commission show.
Most of the money went toward airing an attack ad portraying Bush as the head of a hapless campaign, picturing him with his head in his hands and saying his ideas are “old and wrong.”
A mailer by the super PAC showed Bush with a goofy crown on his head, alongside pictures of Henry VIII and the Burger King mascot, with an old quote by Bush’s mother before he launched his campaign: “We’ve had enough Bushes.”
Bush called that a “pretty low blow” in an interview on CNN.
The shift in spending is a sign of concern among Rubio’s supporters about a possible late surge in New Hampshire by Bush, who joined New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in mocking Rubio during Saturday’s GOP candidate debate.
Bush and Rubio are both from south Florida, and the former two-term governor was once Rubio’s friend in the Florida state House. But the two men have been in an increasingly personal feud as they compete in the same pool of voters and donors.
Right to Rise, the $100-million super PAC supporting Bush, has spent heavily in New Hampshire on ads attacking Rubio.
In an email, Conservative Solutions spokesman Jeff Sadosky declined to answer questions about the PAC’s strategy.
Other attack ads in the last week show supporters of Christie focusing more than $500,000 worth of attack ads on another establishment-aligned GOP governor, Ohio’s John Kasich. Both governors have bet their hopes on a strong showing in New Hampshire.
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