Bush donor takes out 'BULLYionaire' ad on Trump

Posted at 10:29 AM, Dec 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-05 10:29:54-05

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A major supporter of Jeb Bush's presidential bid is taking out full-page newspaper ads targeting Donald Trump as a "BULLYionaire" who he says is wooing crowds with "forked-tongue hatefulness."

In the ad Michael Fernandez, a billionaire and Cuban immigrant who founded MBF Healthcare Partners, L.P, writes a personal letter to potential voters, urging them to reconsider what he sees as the dangers of electing the bombastic billionaire businessman.

"See the 'hater' for what he is -- an insecure, narcissistic BULLYionaire with a hunger to be adored," Fernandez writes.

The hard-hitting letter, first reported by Politico, also draws comparisons to Adolf Hitler.

"History reminds us that when governments promise enticing favors, and fail to deliver, the people lose confidence. They become scared and seek out strong -- and frequently despotic -- leaders. We saw that in the Great Depression and many other moments in history. Look at Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy and Peron in Argentina. When people lose hope, they are susceptible to those who offer to think for them."

The ad, which will run in newspapers in Des Moines, Miami, and Las Vegas, comes as Trump secured a 20-point lead over his nearest competitor in a new CNN/ORC poll released Friday. Trump came in at 36% among Republican voters, while Bush dropped to sixth place at 3%.

Fernandez declined to say how much he's paying for the ad buy but said he plans to spend seven figures by Election Day next year.

He has donated $3 million to Right to Rise, the super PAC supporting Bush, a former Florida governor. His ad hardly mentions Bush, focusing solely instead on the GOP frontrunner who's maintained a steady position at the top of the GOP field for months.

In the ad, a deeply-worried Fernandez writes about his own immigrant story and laments about the direction he sees the country taking, saying he "cannot stand by and accept demagoguery that would separate us."

"Surely, we are better people than to agree with this man's sound bites and raucous rallies and think the worst in us is right for this country," he continues. "Our nation deserves thoughtful candidates with inspiration and ideas that speak to the best in all of us. The path of wisdom can never be by way of uncivil and shallow discussion of our greatest issues. Is there any way that Mr. Trump speaks to what Mr. Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature"? You know the answer."

In an email announcing his ad on Friday, Fernandez urged colleagues and friends to also take action to stop Trump's momentum.

"We can use the press by printing our own views, yes it's expensive but how much do you value your opinion and how much is it worth?" he wrote. "Can you, once in your lifetime, spend 1% or a fraction of 1% of your net worth to express your unfiltered views and impact our Nation's future?"

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