Hours after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s incendiary call to ban Muslim immigrants from the U.S., the super PAC backing rival Jeb Bush released a television spot denouncing him as “impulsive and reckless” and questioning the foreign-policy chops of two other opponents.
The attack from the Right to Rise super PAC has been anticipated for months, as Mr. Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio all leapfrogged over Mr. Bush in the polls.
The toughest television spot of the race so far shows an image of the Oval Office and the narrator ominously says, “When the attacks come here, the person behind this desk will have to protect your family. Will he be impulsive and reckless, like Donald Trump? Will he have voted to dramatically weaken counterterrorism surveillance, like Ted Cruz? Will he have skipped crucial national security hearings and votes just to campaign, like Marco Rubio?”
The ad closes: “Twenty-seven generals and admirals support Jeb Bush because Jeb has the experience and knowledge to protect your family.”
The super PAC has spent more than $30 million on television ads so far – more than any other entity in the 2016 race and all on positive spots promoting Mr. Bush’s candidacy.
Mr. Trump’s proposal to prevent terrorism by banning immigrants based on their religious entity, followed by the super PAC offensive, marks another turning point in the most volatile GOP primary in decades. With less than two months before the first votes are cast in Iowa and New Hampshire, the still-crowded Republican field is turning to extreme measures by tapping into mounting concerns about national security in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.
The three-pronged attack ad bankrolled by Mr. Bush’s allies is slated to begin airing Tuesday in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada as well as nationally on Fox News.
Campaigns for Messrs. Trump, Cruz and Rubio didn’t respond immediately to requests for comment.