One of the worst moments of the Jeb Bush campaign was when he tried in a debate to criticize Marco Rubio's Senate attendance record only to see Rubio turn it into evidence of Bush's weak poll numbers.

Rubio's Attendance Record Still a Campaign Issue

But Bush's allies aren't letting go of the argument. The Super PAC supporting him, Right to Rise, started off the year with a tough negative spot using the controversy to tag Rubio as a loathed "Washington politician."

The ad "Promotion" begins in the classic negative ad style, with the ominous pound of a single low piano note and a dismayed narrator: "Marco Rubio thinks it's unfair to criticize him for missing votes."

The ad cuts to a Rubio defense, "but I am going to miss votes, I'm running for president." "But he's been missing votes for a long time," the narrator retorts, leading into a "Reality Check" segment from Georgia TV news anchor Ben Swann who said "one-third of all of his missed votes in 2015 were missed before he announced he was running for president."

The narrator piles on, claiming "over the last three years Marco Rubio has missed more votes than any other senator," as we see an empty Senate chair.

Do Super PAC Ads Matter More Than Debate Performances?

The ad ends with this kicker: "Washington Politician Marco Rubio. Doesn't show up for work, but wants a promotion?" In a classy touch that speaks to Right to Rise's well-stuffed coffers, the ad creates a shiny gold "Washington Politician" logo as if it is an award bestowed on accepted club members.

Can the ad succeed where Jeb failed in the debate? If so, it would argue that a well-funded, widely-repeated ad can still pack more punch than a debate tussle that fades from memory after a few news cycles.

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