At this point, Jeb Bush’s campaign slogan should be changed from “Jeb!” to “Jeb…”
There was a time that everyone thought that given the amount of money and clout Jeb Bush had with the Republican Establishment, he was a shoe-in for the GOP nomination. Then this happened:
And more importantly, this guy started looking like a viable candidate for Republican Establishment:
That potent Molotov cocktail of the rise of Donald Trump and the acceptance of Marco Rubio has put the Bush campaign in a very precarious position. So much so, even those ardent supporters of Bush are now starting to reconsider their allegiances. So any help right now would benefit the overall campaign, which makes the dismantling of a super PAC that targets the Hispanic Bloc all the more painful.
Yesterday Vamos for Jeb, a pro-Jeb Bush super PAC, called it quits. Vamos for Jeb was originally established as a super PAC that would mobilize and show support through Hispanic voters that supported Jeb Bush’s run for the White House. As you can see with the Bush campaign, that has been a hard sell in these primaries.
In a letter to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), they wrote that “up to this point the only activity done were social media pages on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook which have been deactivated.” They also pointed to the rise of Donald Trump (and the increase in harsh rhetoric on immigration) as being a factor in the super PAC’s eventual termination.
A quick look at OpenSecrets backs this sentiment. However both Andrea Wong and Claire Hardwick (founders of Vamos for Jeb 2016) have stated that “the decision to close Vamos for Jeb 2016 was solely due to personal priorities taking precedence”, indicating that Bush’s lackluster showing in these primaries did not play a role in the decision. Though in general, with “outsider candidates” like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and at one time Ben Carson being in the head of the GOP primaries, the role of super PACs looked to have been diminished in the early part of this election cycle. Which is absolutely insane if you stop and consider how they played a vital role in the last presidential cycle!
Yet the bigger question now becomes, what does this say about the Jeb Bush campaign?
Well… while the last few months isn’t the “canary in the coal mine moment” for Bush supporters, it does give pause for concern. With reports that the Bush’s super PAC, Right to Rise, has been burning through money at a rapid rate and add that to his declining poll numbers, things aren’t looking good at the moment. But as we said before, ridiculous amounts of campaign money plus strong ties to the Republican Establishment does buy you one thing; time to figure your shit out. Yet with Rubio looking more-and-more as a viable alternative for Establishment Republicans, Bush has to start gaining some type of momentum or this could get ugly quick.
(Update: After this story went live, Andrea Wong of Vamos for Jeb 2016 contacted us to say that the decision to terminate the super PAC was due to “personal priories taking precedence.” We updated the story accordingly to include their statement.)
(Photo Credit: Google Images)