Just two months ago, Jeb Bush and Rand Paul were battling for third place in the GOP’s presidential nomination race. Now that they’re knocked down to fourth and fifth, respectively, Bush and Paul are teaming up to tackle Marco Rubio, who moved up to become the third-place candidate on the slate. This tag-team method is standing out in the latest debate, too, as the “Dynamic Duo” specify Florida’s junior senator in arguments, even interrupting Rubio in his replies to their comments.
There’s a problem with their WWE format, though. Paul and Bush are using contrasting arguments in their attacks on Rubio. And while both are certainly correct that Rubio would never be an effective president, they’re also proving the same about themselves.
This matchup actually began before the Fox Business network’s broadcast of the debate. The “Right to Rise” PAC affiliated with Bush just announced it would be attacking Rubio in $20 million of television commercials. The ads intend to depict Rubio as unelectable in a general election due to his strong anti-choice stance on the subject of abortion. Oooh! Watch out, moderate Republican women; Marco is too conservative!
But when Bush went to the corner to tag his new partner, Rand Paul came out swinging from the opposite direction. Marco is actually too liberal, Paul said in the debate.
Rubio’s platform calls for extended child tax credits and increased military spending. After he spoke of them in response to a debate question, Paul was quick to jump on Rubio, calling him “liberal” for those particular stances. Those credits would be “tax cuts that will cost the government,” Paul said, defining those increased tax deductions for dependents as a liberal policy. At the same time, Paul said increased military spending would (…somehow…) also be liberal.
So there’s Paul claiming Rubio to be some lefty, but at the same time that Bush is claiming Rubio to be an undesirable RWNJ? Looks like all they accomplished was knocking themselves further down in the polls. But while neither used a proper method of attack, at least both of them are correct when they say Rubio would be a horrible president.
Featured image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia