This weekend in Miami Jeb Bush will huddle with a group of his top donors at a brand new “nature-centric,” $700-a-night South Beach hotel, replete with four pools, a Tom Colicchio restaurant and an 11,000-plant “living green wall.” The point, though, isn’t tranquility and relaxation – it’s survival. For a time, it looked like Bush would steamroll the GOP field with a cash-flush juggernaut that might raise as much as $100 million in the first quarter, using a variety of super PACs to push the boundaries of campaign finance laws and dominate the field. But that was before New York hedge fund magnate Robert Mercer pledged more than $15 million to Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio gained the full-fleged support of Miami billionaire Norman Braman and became the front-runner to win casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s backing. Another rival, Scott Walker, recently became the favorite of billionaire David Koch, who seemed to tip his support for the Wisconsin governor at a fundraiser this week.
“Everyone has looked at Jeb’s fundraising strategy of ‘shock and awe’ as him ‘going on offense’,” said a Bush bundler, one of several who spoke to POLITICO for this story on the condition of anonymity. “The reality is: it’s defense. He’s going to have all of these other Republicans, each with their own super PAC funded by their own billionaire, coming after him. He’s going to have to withstand what could be a $50 million onslaught.”
Added another Bush donor: “These folks may have – altogether – somewhere in the neighborhood of $50-70 million in the primary, and we may see them come to a collective decision to try to take Jeb out. Democrats, if there’s an opportunity, may throw some money on top of all that to help.”
Full Article: In 2016 fundraising, Jeb Bush is on the defensive – POLITICO.