The bipartisan drubbing Jeb Bush is taking after Wednesday’s GOP candidate debate could kill his presidential campaign by the force of popular perception, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said on Thursday.
“The one thing that didn’t change between yesterday and today is that Jeb Bush’s super PAC is still sitting on $100 million,” she said. “But money can’t buy you love, and it can’t make you a better candidate, and it can’t probably reverse universal public and political opinion.”
The former Florida governor, she said, was walloped by not only progressive media outlets, but fellow conservatives after his ill-fated attempt to attack Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for missing Senate votes while on the campaign trail.
“The reason last night’s debate was, I think, the most important political moment in the Republican presidential campaign yet is because of the uniformity, the ideological heterogeneity, the breadth and the ubiquity of the consensus that Jeb Bush had been on life support heading into this debate, and last night that debate pulled the plug on his life support machine, and he’s now politically dead.”
Maddow’s guest, Politico senior writer Marc Caputo, took the metaphor even further, comparing Bush to the old man insisting, “I’m not dead yet” in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
“He’s heading in that territory,” Caputo said, adding that Bush would up not saying very much after getting “cold-cocked” by the senator.
The host also questioned why Bush would want to go after Rubio at all and not front-runners Ben Carson and Donald Trump.
“I don’t know why in that dynamic you would think, ‘Well, as a second-tier candidate, what I really ought to do is knock out the guy next to me in the second tier,'” she said. “It just seems kind of like a rookie miscalculation.”
Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Thursday, below.