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Jeb Bush Went At Marco Rubio, and Proved Why He Ought to Drop Out

Robyn Peck/AFP/Getty Images

Before Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate began, GOP consultant Rick Wilson got wind that someone was going to make a big mistake.

The mistake arose within the first 15 minutes. Jeb Bush, speaking as a Floridian, and thus a constituent of Senator Marco Rubio’s, called on Rubio to resign from the Senate. Rubio is not running for re-election. In the course of the campaign he has skipped more votes than any other senator (a common occurrence when senators run for president) and basically dismissed the Senate itself as a waste of time.

Rubio got advance notice, too, and came prepared. He reminded everyone of Jeb’s admiration for John McCain’s campaign in 2007 and 2008, when McCain… missed a ton of votes. The counterattack was precise and vicious: Rubio essentially accused Jeb of laying down with the liberal media devil out of desperation. He wasn’t wrong.

If he were quicker on his feet, Bush could have noted that John McCain had been in the Senate for about 150 years before the 2008 campaign, while Rubio’s still in his first term. But Bush had no answer.

The whole exchange exemplified my point that Bush just isn’t very good at this, and would help his party by suspending his campaign.