The New York Times reports that the Super PAC supporting Governor Jeb Bush is thinking about running ads criticizing Senator Marco Rubio for his views on abortion:
In an attempt to blunt Mr. Rubio’s appeal and showcase a potential vulnerability against the Democratic nominee in the general election, Mr. Murphy recently showed some Republicans a video portraying Mr. Rubio as too extreme on abortion. A longtime opponent of abortion rights, Mr. Rubio said in a debate in August that he had “never advocated” laws that would allow abortions, even in cases of rape or incest.
In other words, the Bush Super PAC is considering running ads criticizing Rubio for not supporting legal abortions in cases of rape and incest.
I’m sitting in the cheap seats, and nobody’s is paying me for my political advice. So take this for what it is worth. But I can think of no quicker way to alienate pro-life voters than to attack Rubio for being consistently pro-life. If this report is accurate and the Super PAC goes through with this ad, it will galvanize pro-life supporters in defense of Rubio. And even though the Super PAC isn’t connected to the Bush campaign, it will likely turn pro-life primary voters against Bush.
I am not endorsing or non-endorsing either candidate. But I am a pro-life voter, and I don’t think this kind of internecine conflict serves the cause of life. I hope cooler heads prevail. Any scorched-earth approach that ends up damaging the pro-life cause must be vigorously opposed.
UPDATE 11/12/15: There is some good news in this report from Ashley Parker at The New York Times. Bush has gone on the record in opposition to what his Super PAC was considering.
Mr. Bush declined to personally criticize Mr. Rubio’s hard-line stance on abortion.
“Look, I don’t think anybody should be critical of someone who’s pro-life, because I’m the most pro-life candidate on that stage,” he said, listing his various initiatives in Florida, from regulating abortion clinics and offering “Choose Life” license plates to expanding support for adoptions and funding crisis pregnancy centers. “By doing, not talking. This is the difference, again.”
Asked if he would disavow his “super PAC” should it run the abortion ad against Mr. Rubio, he said, “I don’t think anybody should attack someone who’s pro-life.”
(HT: John McCormack)