Apparently, Donald Trump isn't the only candidate Jeb Bush wants to trade punches with in the Republican presidential campaign.
The feud between the former Florida governor and the U.S. Senator who now represents the Sunshine State is far from over. In an attack ad launched this week in Iowa, a pro-Jeb Bush Super PAC claims Rubio—who has been attacked in the past for his attendance record in the Senate—skipped out on an intelligence briefing to campaign.
At the time the missed briefing was actually news, one of Rubio's colleagues, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was quick to defend him:
"I don't think those foreign relations committee meetings is where you're going to get the sensitive information we need to know about what went on in Paris," Grassley said. "That's going to be a secured briefing. It's going to be something that senators go to, we can ask questions, we can have dialogue with the FBI director, the National Security Agency director, central intelligence, people like that."
And now more members of Congress are weighing in on the attack ad itself.
"I'm proud to stand with Marco—he will be an outstanding commander-in-chief," House Intelligence Committee member U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), who has endorsed Rubio for President, said. "As a member of the House Intelligence Committee and a veteran, there is no doubt that Marco has shown great national security leadership in the Senate. The claims by Jeb Bush's Super PAC are misleading and reflect a deep misunderstanding of Marco's critically important record working to keep Americans safe."
A short time later, another member of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Chris Stewart, weighed in:
"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee and a former Air Force pilot, I'm proud to support Marco who understands more than any other candidate the threats facing our country, knows how we can defeat ISIS, and is ready to be commander-in-chief. It's disappointing that Jeb Bush's Super PAC decided to discard clear facts for political gain. Jeb Bush is better than the Los Angeles-based Super PAC trying to deceive voters."
As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Rubio sits in on briefings, as Grassley alluded, that are more in-depth than those conducted for the Senate in general. Prior to the Senate briefing the ad says he "skipped," he had just sat in on one of those classified briefings.
Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said: "Bush's team dishonestly omits that Marco is on the Senate's Intelligence Committee, where he attended the highest level briefings on the Paris attacks. No other candidate for president has received more classified Intelligence briefings or better understands the threats facing our nation today than Marco. It's sad to see Jeb's 'joyful' campaign reduced to such intellectual dishonesty."
Curiously, the ad didn't mention Rubio's failure to vote on the omnibus spending bill earlier this month, which has been a source of anger for many conservatives, particularly in Iowa. That could be because that issue falls in a blind spot for either Bush's campaign or the Super PAC that is attempting to help him move back up in the polls.
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