A super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio said on Friday it believes only he, Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz are likely to become the Republican presidential nominee—pointedly leaving Jeb Bush out of the mix.
“When you consider all angles, as we do, we believe there are really only four candidates with a reasonable chance of becoming the Republican nominee: Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Senator Ted Cruz,” two strategist for the super PAC, Warren Tompkins and Jon Lerner, wrote in a strategy memo obtained by NBC News. “And when you look on to the general election against Hillary Clinton, we are convinced that Marco gives the GOP its best chance to win. Clinton Machine itself openly acknowledges that Marco is the candidate they most fear.”
The group’s prediction comes two days after Rubio had a breakthrough performance in the debate Wednesday night, when Bush gave another lackluster performance.
During that debate, Bush, the former governor of Florida, was critical of Rubio for missing votes in the Senate while on the campaign trail.
“The only reason why you’re [attacking me] now is because we’re running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you,” Runio fired back, to loud applause.
Since then, Bush has had to assure supporters and donors that he’ll improve as a candidate, and fend off questions about whether his campaign is in danger.
The super PAC, Conservative Solutions, also released a YouTube video linking Rubio’s family story to the promise of Ronald Reagan’s America. It says Rubio’s parents “fled dictatorship” and that he’s “a young man in a hurry [who] took on the establishment and won.”