jeb-bush-lindsey-graham

They can skip a light fandango.

Via Boston Globe:

Jeb Bush and his supporters still have a pile of money to spend — remnants of $100 million raised when he seemed early last year to be a sure bet. They have an expansive ground operation in New Hampshire. And allies have just begun a new ad campaign in Iowa.

But nothing they have tried so far has lifted Bush’s terrible poll numbers. And with just four weeks remaining until voting begins, Bush needs to do something to save his candidacy.

It may be too late: Other campaigns appear to have counted him out altogether. But, in extensive interviews over the past week, aides and key allies to Bush described a long-shot plan to pull off what seems all but impossible — winning the Republican nomination for president. The plan has six elements:

■ Stay on the attack

In late 2015, Bush called Donald Trump “a jerk,” “unhinged,” and a “chaos candidate.”

Expect more of the same in 2016, when Bush plans to aim his most aggressive attacks largely at Trump and Hillary Clinton. Though he was initially slow to take on Trump, the real estate billionaire turned politician has proved a useful foil. Bush, the former Florida governor, has cast himself as the only Republican strong enough to stand up to Trump.

“He wakes up in his pajamas and watches the TV shows on Saturday and Sunday,” Bush said Monday, at a Cuban restaurant in Hialeah. “Donald Trump is not serious about being a candidate.”

Yet Bush has also shown himself willing to criticize other contenders from the party’s establishment wing: Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. On a swing though New Hampshire in December, he knocked Christie’s economic stewardship of his state, and Right to Rise, the super PAC supporting Bush, on Tuesday released its first ad, for $1.4 million in Iowa, that directly attacks Rubio, for his Senate attendance record…

■ Woo Senator Lindsey Graham

Throughout the campaign, Bush had made a point of checking in with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina weekly. On the morning Graham dropped out of the race for president, Bush was ready with the hard sell.

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