Politics & Policy

Pro-Paul Super PAC Hits Bush on Bailouts

America’s Liberty PAC, a super PAC backing Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) in his bid for the White House, launched a new ad Monday morning targeting fellow Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

“Bailout Bush” goes after the former Florida governor’s record on government bailouts and his support of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). ALPAC plans on spending five figures to televise the 60-second spot in early primary states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

“Several of Governor Bush’s conflicts with the Republican base have been well documented, but no one seems to be talking about perhaps the most damaging issue: Jeb’s long history of support for bailouts,” said John Tate, President of ALPAC President.

“Opposition to bailouts launched the tea-party movement and is a key issue uniting and defining the modern Republican Party,” he continued. “Jeb Bush, however, supported TARP, took his own bailout and has a long and troubling relationship with big Wall Street bailout recipients. This issue alone leaves Jeb unable to lead the GOP to victory in 2016.”

The ad launches amid discussion about the increasing role which super PACs will play in the 2016 election. In 2012, a record breaking $2 billion was spent by both sides in the general election. With candidates setting monstrous fundraising goals — Hillary Clinton wants to raise $2.5 billion and Bush plans on raising $100 million by the end of June — it seems likely that 2016 will again break the record for money raised and spent in a presidential campaign.

#related#Although super PACs cannot formally coordinate spending efforts with individual candidates due to Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules, they are typically managed by people close to the candidate they support. This helps ensure the money goes where it’ll be most effective.

Shortly after announcing his presidential campaign back in April, Paul hired Jesse Benton to help run America’s Liberty PAC. Benton has longstanding, close ties with the Paul family. He served as the campaign manager for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in 2012 and Rand Paul’s 2010 senate run, and also happens to be married to Senator Paul’s niece.

More recently, Benton managed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s 2014 reelection campaign in Kentucky. McConnell’s campaign received a fair amount of backlash after releasing an ad similar to Senator Paul’s entitled “Bailout Bevin,” which attacked the majority leader’s tea-party opponent Matt Bevin on the same grounds.

— Julia Porterfield is an intern at National Review, editor-in-chief of Red Millennial, and a junior at Regent University.

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