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June 10, 2015

Business Insider: Having Lost His Front-Runner Status (Did He Ever Have It?), Jeb Bush Is Now Going Negative on Opponents

He had planned to float to the nomination, above the fray, but that's not working out.

On Monday, news broke that Danny Diaz will be the campaign manager when former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) launches his expected White House bid next Monday.

As The Wall Street Journal reported, the position was originally "expected" to go to David Kochel, another operative who will instead serve as Bush's chief strategist.

Business Insider had several conversations with aides to other Republican 2016 presidential campaigns who said they believe this staff switchup is evidence the Bush campaign is changing its strategy amid disappointing poll numbers and failed efforts to eliminate opponents.

"The strategy they were previewing with everybody is already changing substantially, and they haven't even announced their campaign yet," a rival 2016 GOP operative said of Bush's team.

Overall, the operatives who talked with Business Insider said they thought Bush was abandoning efforts to run a positive, above-the-fray campaign. Last year, when he began publicly discussing a potential candidacy, Bush vowed to have a "hopeful, optimistic message" and said he would campaign with "joy in my heart." This month, however, Bush has launched a series of attacks on his Republican rivals that some observers have pegged as a sign of a strategic shift.

The operative suggested naming Diaz as his campaign manager was further indication of a more aggressive strategy by Bush.

Apparently he's an oppo research guy.

I have no idea if this is related to that, but this is where my mind immediately went.

The New York Times report into Sen. Marco Rubio's history of debt, mortgages and loans, published Tuesday, raises serious questions about the candidate's ability to manage his finances, Republican and Democratic political strategists say.

The only problem with the report, they say? It came days after another Times article raised what many of them described as less legitimate questions about his history of traffic violations, which amounted to four minor infractions over a 15-year period.

The traffic violation report, which was widely mocked by Republicans, has provided Rubio with an opening to dismiss the Times' more substantial reporting efforts, no matter how legitimate, some say. On Tuesday, his spokesman Alex Conant issued a statement in which he used the item to dismiss the more recent article about Rubio's financial struggles....

"The parking ticket hit was bullshit, but this is real," one Republican strategist said. "They were trying to lump them together when they are two different things, so that's the Times fault. But Marco shouldn't be able to get away from one legit story about how he can't manage his own finances because the other story was bullshit."

Haven't I seen Jeb Bush refer to Rubio as "Marco" before?

Anyway, I guess this isn't such a big deal. Politics is, alas, politics, and always will be, and spreading gossip and anonymous attacks to the press is a part of it.

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posted by Ace at 04:04 PM

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