- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 24, 2016

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday that the growing number of attack ads from “establishment candidates” like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is an “affirmation” of his GOP presidential campaign’s momentum.

Mr. Rubio said on “Fox News Sunday” that attack ads require a lot of money and are only used against candidates perceived to be a threat.

“In many ways, 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,” he said. “You only spend it if you feel someone is a threat. So I think obviously, that affirms what we’ve been saying, and that is we have a path here not just to the nomination, but to defeating Hillary Clinton.”

Mr. Rubio has pulled $1 million in ads in Iowa and New Hampshire and has switched out 60-second spots with 30-second ads to save money for the long haul — a move that Fox News host Chris Wallace said candidates employ when they don’t think they will win the early primary states.

Mr. Rubio disputed that reasoning.

“This is a long slog because of the number of people running,” he said. “By the way, we did not cut any ads. We have more ads on television than any candidate in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina. We made some strategic shortening of adding, because we got better slots for him and at a better price. We’re always looking to save money so we can redeploy it to things that reach voters. And that’s what this campaign has to be about in the end.”

Mr. Rubio received the endorsement of The Des Moines Register in Iowa Saturday, which said was a sign of growing momentum for his campaign in the early primary states.

“We feel positive about the momentum as we get closer to the caucuses,” he said. “As you know, caucus-goers make up their mind on the day of the caucus or the days leading up to it. So, we feel like we’re gaining at just the right time.”

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