Jeb Bush’s campaign insists it is not imploding before primary voters’ eyes despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
The former Florida governor now finds himself in a situation where his own supporters say he isn’t firing on all cylinders, his polls are sagging, Republican insiders claim he is running out of cash, and key endorsements are going to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
And now campaign officials and a top fundraiser are pushing back aggressively against claims the Bush campaign will stop paying staff on Saturday due to lack of funds.
Citing “sources close to the Bush campaign,” conservative commentator and Red State editor Erick Erickson wrote that there was a phone call on Wednesday night in which the news leaked out that the Bush campaign was out of cash.
“Pay for campaign staff will end on Saturday. The campaign is all but over,” Erickson wrote Thursday at the Resurgent. “Additionally, after having hundreds of millions of dollars on hand, the Bush Super PAC has less than $15 million from what I am being told.”
Erikson said Bush could be a “king-maker” if he got out of the race before South Carolina’s primary voters head to the polls on Saturday, but the campaign “vehemently” denied having cash-flow problems.
After Erickson’s story reverberated through the political world on Thursday morning, Bush campaign spokesman Tim Miller tweeted:
“I am traveling on Saturday to Nevada to help oversee that effort, and we have staff waiting for me,” Al Cardenas, a longtime Bush insider and senior fundraiser, said in a telephone interview with The Hill. “And nobody’s been notified about this information.
“It would come as a surprise to [Bush campaign] staff that Erick’s been notified ahead of them.”
And a source familiar with Bush fundraising and the campaign told The Hill the story was “complete bullshit.”
“F—ing Marco Rubio got a third place in Iowa and a fifth place in New Hampshire, and he’s trying to drive us out of the campaign. It’s ludicrous,” the source said.
“It’s a f—ing civil war [with Rubio], that’s what it is… Jeb Bush is a proud dude… We are not going to announce to the world that the campaign will finish on Saturday.”
Rumors that Bush’s campaign is about to be pulled off life-support coincide with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s endorsement of Rubio and a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll released Thursday showing Bush capturing just 4 percent of the primary vote.
A CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday also had Bush running a distant fourth-place behind Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Rubio.
“It’s all been decided, apparently,” Bush sarcastically said at a campaign stop in South Carolina on Wednesday. “The pundits have made it all – it’s all decided. We don’t have to go vote, I guess. It’s all finished. I should just stop campaigning, maybe, huh? It’s all done.”
Bush’s supporters, however, seemed worried.
Edward Scott, 58, who lives in Maryland but works in South Carolina, told the New York Times on Wednesday that Bush seems to have been “knocked off center” by his opponents’ attacks. He told the paper it was important for the former Florida governor to “raise the bar” and “be beyond the bullying.”
“I think [Trump] is getting you off your message, your good message,” added David Villinger, 62, of Ridgeville.
Bush told the Summersville audience he was “disappointed” that Haley endorsed Rubio, but vowed “a role for her in the campaign” if he wins the Republican nomination.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush praised former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg today, calling him a “good man” and a “patriot.”
During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper this morning, Bush was asked what he thought of the news that Bloomberg was considering entering the 2016 presidential race.
“Mike Bloomberg is a good man,” Bush said. “We disagree on a whole lot of things, but he’s a good person and he’s a patriot and wants the best for the country.”
When asked if he would consider supporting Bloomberg if Trump was the nominee, Bush said it was “not going to happen.”
The controversial liberal mayor has spent millions of dollars promoting gun control, and has proposed many nanny state provisions in New York City, such as banning sodas over 16 ounces, reducing sodium levels in food, banning trans-fats, and even to ban loud headphones.
Bush served as a Bloomberg Family Foundation director from March 2010 to 2014, an organization that worked with liberal groups like Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club.
In 2015, Bloomberg praised Bush as one of the candidates he thought would best lead the country as president.
“Hillary and Jeb are the only two who know how to make the trains run,” Bloomberg said, after receiving honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.
After an abysmal presidential campaign in which he struggled to get over zero percent in any poll, Senator Lindsey Graham (RINO-SC) has thrown his support to another struggling establishment RINO squish, Jeb Bush.
Standing alongside Bush at a joint press conference on Friday morning, Graham made that hilarious proclamation that “the only way you can become Commander-in-Chief in America is for the American people to pick you through voting.”
Thank you for that, Goober. That’s a real stunner. We had no idea.
The funny thing is, Jeb actually thinks Lindsey Graham’s endorsement is going to help him. It shouldn’t be too surprising that Graham would support Bush, considering they are both for Common Core and amnesty for illegal aliens.