In the unsparing judgment of the Twittersphere, there was one clear loser after Jeb’s Bush’s graceful exit from the Republican presidential race Saturday night: political strategist Mike Murphy and the Bush-allied super PAC Right to Rise USA, which he directed.
Murphy has long been one of Bush’s closest advisers — and the political world was in awe last year when Right to Rise raised $100 million just as Bush was launching his candidacy.
Now, the super PAC will go down in history as yet another failed Murphy juggernaut.
In the armchair quarterbacking following Bush’s departure from the race Saturday night, Murphy is facing countless questions about the efficacy of the PAC spending tens of millions of dollars on a candidacy that floundered months ago and never rebounded.
Murphy said in an email Monday, “Out of more than 11,000 donors only a handful have complained.”
“This is just axe grinding, mostly from rival consultant types,” Murphy said.
Murphy’s failed effort to help Bush follows his strategic oversight of another expensive losing campaign: the $177 million effort of 2010 California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. Despite her campaign’s lavish spending, Whitman lost to Democrat Jerry Brown, who spent a mere $36 million by comparison.