I do like Jeb Bush, but wow.
Forget everything else about the CNBC debate and forget everything Jeb said, but one thing.
Tonight, Jeb Bush brought up Marco Rubio skipping votes in the Senate.
This came after the Bush Super PAC publicly announced it was going to blow up Marco Rubio over missing votes. It came after the Bush campaign started talking about Marco Rubio as the Republicans’ Barack Obama.
The confrontation was predictable. It was obvious given the drumbeat of the campaign. The Bush campaign so openly telegraphed it that it gave Marco Rubio days on end to prepare a rebuttal and Rubio did.
Rubio blew up Jeb Bush and pointed out Bush was willing to back John McCain in 2008, who missed far more votes than Rubio, without Bush saying a word.
It was a devastating rebuttal and one that could have been handled without telegraphing to Rubio it was coming. Instead of throwing Rubio off his game, Jeb gave Rubio time to bring big guns.
That was campaign amateur hour.
Bush’s heart clearly was not in the attack and he came away bleeding badly. He failed to shine the rest of the debate except in a question about fantasy football, then had Chris Christie denounce the question as unserious — something Bush should have done.
Jeb Bush needs to take his campaign out back and shoot it — then decide if he really has the stomach for this. If so, he needs a new team. McCain was his guy in 2008. If Bush really wants this, he needs to completely shake up his campaign like John McCain.
Tonight was just a sad end to a really good man who will more likely than not be henceforth referred to as a former Presidential candidate.