Despite the “breaking news” of Jeb Bush going after Marco Rubio and Rubio putting out an attack ad of his own, the campaigns have been planning for this sort of blood sport for months, GOP operatives tell me. Consider what FOX Business reported in August about attack ads being planned against Donald Trump that would be done largely through the PACs of the various top candidates.
Those anti-Trump attacks have not materialized, but I am told they might if The Donald doesn’t implode from his first-place status among GOP candidates for the 2016 nomination. Most establishment Republicans believe Trump’s mouth, temperament, antics, past ties to the Democratic Party, etc., will wear thin on the GOP’s conservative base. (They believe the other front-runner Ben Carson will implode as well, albeit for different reasons).
But remember, these were the same people who believed Mitt Romney would beat out President Obama in 2012, literally to the moment Obama was officially reelected.
Here’s How Nasty the Campaign is Getting
So for now, on the eve of the FBN GOP debate, the inter-party blood feud remains a Bush-Rubio affair. In addition to the anti-Bush attack ad, the Rubio campaign sent fundraising letters out Monday night moments after the New York Times published a piece, urging supporters to cough up additional bucks for more attacks. Or as campaign manager Terry Sullivan put it bluntly, “Jeb’s plan is to spend $20 million (sic) to damage Mr. Rubio’s reputation.”
Sullivan wrote, according to a copy of the memo obtained by FOX Business, that, “We have to get Marco's back and help him stand strong against this desperate move. Click here to donate $25 immediately to let Marco know you're on his team.” The campaign also quoted a New York Times piece about Bush’s planned attacks.
The Rubio campaign declined to comment on how much money they have raised, but some GOP operatives in Milwaukee say cooler heads could prevail. “The RNC wants to quash these attacks ASAP,” said one Wall Street GOP fundraiser. “Which is why the GOP leadership probably leaked these stories to The Times to embarrass both sides.”
Elizabeth Warren, Hillary’s Running Mate?
Ok, ok, likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the firebrand liberal senator from Massachusetts are said to hate each other (remember Elizabeth Warren has banked her political career on attacking Wall Street, which has bankrolled the Clintons over the years). But, and this is a huge but, political operatives are starting to talk about the very real possibility of a Clinton–Warren dream ticket.
Yes it sounds far-fetched; for a time, there even was a "Draft Warren" movement among Democrats fearing that as president, Hillary Clinton would govern like her former president husband – an economic moderate who deregulated the financial system and appointed bankers to key positions in his administrations.
But on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has ramped up her criticism of the banks, even proposing some ways to regulate the financial system despite the fact that bankers have been big contributors to her campaign, the Clinton Foundation, not to mention all those speaking fees.
She might need to further sure-up her base given how far left the Democratic Party has moved during the Obama years, and Warren would be the best politician in America to do that. Warren, meanwhile, is not so much of an ideological purist as most people think, and would jump at the chance to be the VP.
Or so the theory goes. We shall see.