One of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R) top allies opened up about the presidential race in a new Bloomberg Politics interview published Tuesday.
Mike Murphy, the ally, has been a Bush political adviser since 1994, according to The New York Times.
And Murphy — who now runs the massive, $US100 million-plus super PAC fuelling Bush’s candidacy — does not think presidential rival Donald Trump has any shot at the White House despite his lead in all of the polls.
“It created a false zombie front-runner. He’s dead politically, he’ll never be president of the United States, ever. By definition I don’t think you can be a front-runner if you’re totally un-electable. I think there’s there an a-priori logic problem in that,” Murphy told Bloomberg’s Sasha Issenberg.
Murphy also lamented that Bush was declared the establishment front-runner at the start of the race.
Bush, the brother and son of two recent presidents, was one of the leading candidates in the polls before Trump leaped into the contest and surged over the summer.
“Well, I knew it would be kind of hyper because that’s the business now. But one thing in hindsight is we got this paper crown of front-runner early that we didn’t want and I don’t think realistically we should have had,” Murphy said.
“Because what happens is when the punditocracy says, ‘You’re the front-runner,’ then they take a bunch of meaningless polls and a Donald Trump or a Kardashian or whatever jumps in and they say, ‘Now you’re not the front-runner.’ So they put you on trial for them being wrong at the beginning. I think we’re getting a little bit of a bad rap on all that stuff but, you know, who cares? We’re going to power through it.”
Murphy also argued Bush would love a one-on-one race with Trump and framed Bush’s “real competition” as the “weaker candidates in our lane.” He cited Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), and former New York Gov. George Pataki (R).
“There are people we have respect for, but there’s Governor Christie, Senator Rubio, Governor Pataki, Governor Kasich — that’s the vote we’d like to consolidate,” Murphy said.
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