Marco’s Moment, Bush’s Blueprint, and an Inside Look at the Man Who Brought Us John McCain, Jon Huntsman, and John Kasich


Here’s a quick overview of the latest political news.

Is this Marco’s Moment?
On Wednesday night’s debate stage, Marco Rubio wowed the audience, proving he could hold his own against attacks from Trump. The Washington Post asks if Marco Rubio’s moment has arrived, and includes clips from the debate of Rubio’s most impressive moments.

The Washington Post also suggests that Rubio may be the most formidable candidate to take on Hillary Clinton in the general election next year.

“[Rubio’s] unspoken invitation to GOP primary voters: Imagine the charismatic 44-year-old son of Cuban immigrants on a debate stage a year from now, up against presumed Democratic nominee and former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton.” And, based on the shrill fundraising emails the Clinton campaign has been sending out, it seems the possibility of facing off against Rubio is a troubling prospect for Clinton’s team.

Read more here:

Ted Cruz Wins Third GOP Debate, Blasts Mainstream Media
The talking heads are split on whether Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio won the third GOP debate, but if you’re listening to the American people on social media, Ted Cruz won hands-down.
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Pollster Frank Luntz told Megyn Kelly during a live post-debate Kelly File that Cruz’s big line of the night scored the highest score ever in one of his dial-tested focus groups that he’s been conducting since 1996.
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Cruz’s debate performance was so successful that his campaign reported raising $1.1 million in the 22 hours after the debate, proving that his campaign – due to his ability to raise funds and his impressive ground operation – is in good shape to be one of the finalists in the 2016 GOP nomination contest.
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The Bush campaign leaks its blueprint.
Jeb Bush’s campaign free fall continues, and his performance in Wednesday evening’s CNBC debate was disastrous. Not a surprise, then, that someone in Bushworld thought it helpful to leak a secret campaign document to the media, in an attempt to shift attention away from the “Jeb! Falls Down in Debate” story.

Let’s back up a few days. Last Monday, in an effort to help reassure donors about the campaign’s future, Jeb!’s team convened a meeting in Houston with top donors, and made its pitch. Afterwards, Jeb!’s team distributed a 45-page PowerPoint to reporters. The presentation provided an optimistic outlook about the campaign’s longevity and made the case that the early poll numbers rarely mean anything.

But it turns out the 45-page PowerPoint was not the full presentation. U.S. News obtained the full 112-page report that was distributed to the donors and supporters. The full report includes Bush’s entire road map for 2016, as well as some very harsh criticisms of Marco Rubio (about which, more below).

One particularly troubling revelation: The campaign is counting on pulling 18% of the vote in Iowa, which, based on its projections of turnout, adds up to about 23,700 votes. Problem: Despite calling 70,000 likely caucus-goers, Jeb!’s campaign has identified only 1,281 supporters.

But here’s the key question: Who leaked the memo to U.S. News? On the one hand, the high command itself could have leaked, in an attempt to provide the media a new story to chase (to wit, the hard stuff about Rubio); but if that were the case, and they wanted the media to go after Rubio, why wouldn’t they have ensured it by including the anti-Marco stuff in the 45-page document they handed out publicly? On the other hand, it could have been a disgruntled donor who wanted to curry favor with a reporter – or warn the Rubio campaign it’s about to get dumped on. If that’s the case, the Bush high command has a new problem – which of their top bundlers isn’t trustworthy, and what implications does that have?

You can view the entire Bush presentation here:

Jeb!’s blueprint leak smacks Rubio, but Rubio gets counterattack help from an unexpected source. One specific attack on Rubio in the presentation claims that Mitt Romney’s team considered Rubio for the VP spot in 2012, but ultimately rejected him because, during its vetting process, it learned of troubling aspects of Rubio’s background.

Within 24 hours, Beth Myers – the Romney campaign vet who ran the VP vetting operation in 2012 – had rebutted the insinuation: “As the senior Romney advisor who handled VP vetting and had access to all the vetting documents, I can say that Senator Rubio ‘passed’ our vetting and we found nothing that disqualified him from serving as VP. The Bush aide referred to in this article is simply wrong.”

And you can read more about the 2012 Rubio VP vetting issue here:

A look behind the curtain with John Kasich’s top strategist
Meet John Weaver, a Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-Republican campaign strategist who’s played major roles in the presidential campaigns of John McCain (2000 and 2008), Jon Huntsman (2012), and now John Kasich (2016).

Mercurial, controversial, cut-throat … and those are the nice things people say about Weaver. It’s a fascinating read.

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That’s all for this update! Keep fighting for freedom!

In liberty,


Jenny Beth Martin, Chairman
and the TPP Citizens Fund Support Team

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