Trailing in the polls with Iowa looming Monday, Marco Rubio has been the target of more attack ads in the last few weeks.
The Florida senator claimed this was evidence of his potential as "a serious threat," claiming that he gets more attacks than any other Republican candidate in the race.
“It’s an affirmation of what I’ve been saying, and that is, you don’t attack a candidate who is not just credible but doesn’t have momentum. That’s a lot of money,” Rubio said on Sunday. “You only spend it if you feel someone is a threat."
Rubio said that he's used to being attacked from establishment politicians when he runs for office, and told Iowans: "You don't get that money from $50 grassroots donations. Every time I’ve ever run for anything at this level, I’ve taken on the establishment,” Rubio said.
In the latest poll released Tuesday morning Trump hit a new high in the race for the Republican nomination at 41%, with Sen. Cruz as second with 19% and Sen. Rubio in third place with 8%.
This comes after Sen. Ted Cruz told reporters last week, that the Washington establishment was abandoning Rubio for Trump.
“They’ve made the assessment that Marco can’t win this race, and the Washington establishment is rushing over to support Donald Trump. We’re seeing that happen every day, and Mr. Trump is welcoming that support" said Cruz.
In a tweet, Jeremy Peters from The New York Times, said Rubio has faced $22 million in attack ads in just the past seven weeks. And the vast majority of it is indeed coming from “the establishment.”
Since 1st week in December, $22 million in negative advertising spent against Rubio. $20m has been from Right to Rise.
— Jeremy W. Peters (@jwpetersNYT) January 21, 2016
With Jeb Bush now having the worst image among Republicans of any GOP candidate, his Super PAC has ratcheted up new attacks on Rubio.
Republicans are seemingly coming to view Bush’s campaign as a diversion and one that could potentially hurt their ability to keep the party nomination away from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Bush's Right to Rise PAC has hit Rubio with five attack ads in the past month alone. Rubio, Bush's former protégé in Florida has particularly been criticized for his "flipping" on immigration, an issue on which Rubio and Bush have both agreed on in the past. The PAC published an ad of Rubio as a "flip-flopper" while simultaneously mocking his heeled boots.
Other ads note Rubio’s absence during Senate briefings, for both the Paris terror attacks and the San Bernardino shootings, claiming he was fundraising for his campaign.
Jeb’s PAC Right to Rise, even went so far as to title one of its ads “Broken Promise.”
In turn, Rubio’s PAC Conservative Solutions has responded with their its own ad: “Desperate Candidates, say desperate things-- and Jeb Bush is desperate."