New York Times
By Nick Corasaniti
January 12, 2016
Right to Rise, the “super PAC” supporting Jeb Bush, has released its third advertisement criticizing Senator Marco Rubio, this time attacking him over immigration. The ad is called “Vane” — no doubt a deliberate homophone.
The ad opens on a picture-perfect scene of a rural barn, then zooms in on a weather vane on the roof, in the form of a smiling Mr. Rubio, one hand insouciantly in his pocket, the other pointing west — or is it east? As a swirling wind blows this way and that, Mr. Rubio reverses himself again and again. Over the faint thump of a washtub bass and a guitar playing the blues, a narrator mocks Mr. Rubio’s shifting stances on immigration. “Marco Rubio ran for Senate saying he opposed amnesty. Then he flipped, and worked with liberal Chuck Schumer to co-author the path to citizenship.” (Here, an image of Mr. Schumer helpfully pops up.) “He threatened to vote against it, and then voted for it. He supported his own Dream Act, and then he abandoned it.” The ad cuts to a speeding “Jeb 2016” locomotive, pulling a flag-painted boxcar with a giant photograph of a resolute-looking Mr. Bush.
The attack over immigration aims to appeal to conservatives, who have little love for Mr. Bush’s stance on the issue, by warning them that they cannot trust Mr. Rubio’s conversion to their point of view. But the overall effect of the ad is to portray Mr. Rubio as a flip-flopping, untrustworthy “Washington politician.” By contrast, it promises, Mr. Bush is “a leader, so you always know where he stands” — just as a barreling locomotive will not leave its track.
Mr. Rubio’s record on immigration has been well documented and repeatedly attacked. He was a part of the “Gang of Eight” senators who in 2013 worked on a bill for comprehensive immigration reform that included a path to citizenship. He also threatened to vote against it in a demand for better border security. And in 2012, he did consider a Dream Act-style bill, but eventually decided against it. But Mr. Bush also supported the immigration reform in 2013, and he, like Mr. Rubio, supports a path to earned legal status.
In Iowa and South Carolina.
The ad is an attempt to weaken Mr. Rubio before he goes to New Hampshire, where Mr. Bush is hoping for a resurgence. But in criticizing Mr. Rubio for breaking a promise to oppose “amnesty” — an inflammatory term popular with conservatives — the ad treads into rhetorical territory that Mr. Bush had avoided until now.
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