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Posts tagged ‘Jeb Bush’

Republicans Brace for Sign that Jeb Bush May Run in 2016.


By all appearances, former Florida governor Jeb Bush is a man on a mission.

His itinerary for the next several weeks includes stops in Tennessee, New Mexico and Nevada to appear with Republican candidates in this fall’s elections or help them raise money for their campaigns.

And then he speaks at a dinner ahead of a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting featuring several potential Republican presidential contenders at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel is owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who gave over $100 million to Republican candidates in 2012.

Urgent: Who Should Be 2016 GOP Presidential Nominee? 

So what, exactly, is Jeb Bush up to? Could Bush, 61, the son of a U.S. president and the brother of another, quietly be laying the groundwork for a historic attempt to become the third member of his family to occupy the White House?

When Bush is asked if he will run in 2016, he deflects, saying he will decide by the end of this year based on family considerations and whether he thinks he can run “joyfully.”

Bush’s spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell, declined to comment.

But several other people close to him say that now more than ever, there are signs he might look past several potential hurdles – including polls that suggest Americans are not exactly enthralled with the idea of another President Bush – and seriously consider stepping into the fray.

At this point in previous election cycles when his name has surfaced, Bush has told friends, staffers and fellow Florida politicians that he would not run. However, he “has not given anyone the wave-off at this point” for 2016, said a Washington-based Republican strategist familiar with Bush’s discussions about the presidency.

To the contrary, this strategist said, Bush has in place an “inner circle” of fewer than a dozen people who are in regular contact with him weighing the pros and cons of running. “They are at the beginning of a very serious conversation.”

A former Bush campaign aide who remains in contact with the former governor said this year’s speculation is more warranted than that in previous years: “He’s really giving it true consideration. Possibly if you’d asked two years ago, we’d say, ‘Oh gosh, I don’t think he’d do this.’ But I think he’s giving it a real, serious look now.”

Former Republican senator Mel Martinez of Florida, who was secretary of housing and urban development during the presidency of Bush’s brother, George W. Bush, said that in Jeb Bush’s south Florida there is a growing belief among political observers that he is leaning toward joining what promises to be a crowded field of Republican presidential contenders.

Republican strategists said that Bush – whose eight years as Florida’s governor ended in January 2007 – could change the dynamic of the Republican nomination battle and provide a defining moment for a party struggling with a divide between conservative Tea Party activists and more moderate members of the Republican establishment.

There are no declared candidates yet, but the race for the Republican nomination appears to be shaping up as a contest largely among staunch conservatives favored by the Tea Party movement, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, libertarian Republican Rand Paul and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. A more moderate potential candidate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been caught up in a political scandal that has made some Wall Street donors nervous about his prospects.

A campaign by Bush, a face of the party establishment, could challenge arguments of Tea Party activists and others on the right who see losses by John McCain and Mitt Romney in the last two presidential elections as reasons the party should nominate a more strictly conservative candidate.

For big-money Republican donors, strategist Matt Mackowiak said, Bush would represent a marquee name in U.S. politics that could attract the support beyond the far-right Republican base that will be needed to win a general election. He could also bring enough star power to vie against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who officials in both parties expect to run and win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bush is the donor class’ first choice in his home state, said Florida Bankers Association president and Romney campaign bundler Alex Sanchez.

 

‘JEB IS THE EXCEPTION’

For pundits, political observers and history lovers, the prospect of a Bush-Clinton battle for the White House would be a dream matchup: a showdown between two branches of America’s political royalty.

Recent early polls have suggested that if he were to run, Jeb Bush would be weighed down by Americans’ lingering attitudes toward his brother, who left office in January 2009 as one of the least popular presidents in U.S. history. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll this month, nearly half of the voters surveyed said they “definitely would not” vote for Jeb Bush in 2016 – a level of disapproval matched only by Romney.

Even Bush’s mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, has been lukewarm about the notion of another son running for president.

“There’s no question in my mind that Jeb is the best qualified person to run for president, but I hope he won’t, because he’ll get all my enemies, all his brother’s,” Barbara Bush, wife of George H.W. Bush, told C-SPAN in January. She softened her stance in an interview with Fox News this month, saying that “maybe it’s OK” if Jeb were to run.

For a Republican Party desperate to broaden its appeal among the nation’s fast-growing and Democratic-leaning Hispanic population, a figure like Jeb Bush could be significant. He speaks Spanish and his wife, Columba, was born in Mexico. Bush – who won 61 percent of Florida’s Hispanic vote in his 1998 governor’s race, according to exit polls – has backed legal status, but not full citizenship, for undocumented immigrants. This compromise drew conservative fire when Bush’ promoted his book “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution” in 2013.

As governor, he also stressed using standardized test scores as metrics of school and teacher performances, an emphasis at the center of a nationwide debate in U.S. education. Bush, who runs an education foundation, has also promoted the idea of allowing parents and students a choice of which public school to attend.

Bush headlined a Republican National Committee fundraising lunch in southern California in February and spoke to a group of New York-area business leaders less than two weeks later. He also appeared in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce advertisement for the Republican candidate in a Florida special congressional election, and campaigned with his son, George P. Bush, who is running for Texas Land Commissioner.

In the coming weeks Bush will raise money for or appear with a slate of Republicans up for re-election in 2014: Senator Lamar Alexander and Governor Bill Haslam in Tennessee, Governor Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Governor Brian Sandoval in Nevada.

Some Bush allies reject the idea that his recent activity reflects a building desire to run for president.

“People who know a lot aren’t talking, and the people who are talking don’t know. He’s made clear he’s going to be deliberate and methodical in the way he goes about this,” said former Florida congressman Tom Feeney, who ran for lieutenant governor on a ticket with Bush in 1994 and remains close with him.

Several Republican strategists and Bush loyalists said it would take less time for Bush to organize a full-scale campaign team than it would for someone like Walker or Cruz, thanks to his family’s experience and connections. They also dismissed concerns that Bush would have trouble running a modern campaign, given that he has not run for office since 2002 – before the age of Twitter and the Tea Party.

“Jeb is the exception,” said Mackowiak. “The time it takes to build a national finance operation for one of those other candidates? He only has to spend a fraction of that to get his together. … The clock is ticking for him, it’s just ticking more slowly.”

Urgent: Who Should Be 2016 GOP Presidential Nominee? 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Jeb Bush Leads GOP Contenders Against Hillary Clinton.


By Drew MacKenzie

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the strongest potential GOP contender against the likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to a new poll.

The Public Policy Polling survey shows that Bush only trails Clinton by a margin of 3  points, 47-44 percent while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is close behind with a 4-point deficit, 46 percent to 42 percent.

Clinton, who has not yet decided whether she will run, leads Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky by 47-42 percent and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin by 48-43 percent.

The former secretary of state is well clear of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by an 8-point gap, 48-40 percent, and she has an 11-point margin over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 51-40 percent.

“At this point, the contrast for 2016 is pretty stark, Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement. “If Hillary Clinton runs, Democrats are favored to keep control of the White House. If she doesn’t run, voters are more inclined to vote for the GOP nominee.”

When it comes to who is the most favored of the potential Republican candidates for president, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the field with 18 percent support compared to 15 percent for Bush, 14 percent for both Christie and Paul, and 11 percent for Cruz.

Rubio received 6 percent while Ryan and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had 5 percent each, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had 4 percent.

The survey was conducted among 1,152 registered voters from March 6 to 9 and has an overall margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Jeb Bush May Be GOP’s Best Hope for President.


Image: Jeb Bush May Be GOP's Best Hope for President

By Melanie Batley

All eyes are set on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to see whether he might throw his hat into the ring for the 2016 presidential campaign, a prospect many in the GOP believe could give the party its strongest rival to Hillary Clinton.

People close to the Republican say he is considering a bid more seriously than ever before, and believe his record and personality could be just the right combination to give him star appeal across the country, according to The Hill.

“I’ve never seen him so seriously considering a run for higher office,” Slater Bayliss, a Florida GOP lobbyist and former Bush aide, told The Hill. “He’s legitimately going through a very methodical, thoughtful process to come to a decision.”

The Hill reports that many party strategists believe Bush could transform the electoral map, “turning blue states purple and purple states red.”

On the other hand, the paper says, a third Bush in the White House could strike voters as too “dynastic,” an obstacle that Bush has recently acknowledged.

Nevertheless, Bush appears capable of leading on the key issues expected to define the 2016 campaign, including immigration and education reform. His multicultural family could also be an asset; his wife is from Mexico, and he speaks Spanish fluently, two things that could help the GOP capture the crucial Latino vote, according to The Hill.

Meanwhile, polls are showing that other potential establishment front-runners, such as N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have seen their star power fade to the possible benefit of Bush.

In the last few months, Bush has been careful to say he has decided whether to run. He has said he is deferring a decision until later in the year and would only consider running if he could do so “joyfully” and in an environment without much acrimony.

Allies are hoping he will make the decision in favor of jumping in, and do so soon, according to The Hill.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Fox Poll: One in Four Say Obama ‘One of the Worst Presidents’.


A new poll has found that the number of Americans who think President Barack Obama is “one of the worst presidents” in history has increased by 5 percent over the past year.

The Fox News survey of 1,027 registered voters reveals that more than one in four respondents, a record high of 28 percent, believe he’ll go down as one of the worst. In a similar survey taken last December, 23 percent of respondents felt that way.

In 2009, after less than a year in office, only 16 percent felt that he would turn out to be one of the worst presidents.

The new Fox survey, conducted Dec. 14-16, also found that 16 percent of respondents view Obama as “a below average” president. Last year, 14 percent held that view.

Thirty-three percent, meanwhile, rated Obama as an “average president,” compared to 19 percent who said the same thing last year. In this year’s survey, only 16 percent described him as a “great president,” compared to the 2012 survey when 29 percent predicted that he would turn out to be a “great president.”

Taking the rating a step further, six percent of respondents described him as the “greatest” president, compared to 12 percent who saw him that way a year ago.

When questioned about his trustworthiness, a record low of 49 percent said he is not “honest and trustworthy,” compared to 45 percent who still believe he is.

Another 10 percent of respondents who voted for Obama said they actually regret their votes now.

The Fox poll also asked respondents to look ahead to 2016. Sixty-eight percent said they would prefer former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic presidential nominee over Vice President Joe Biden, who pulled only 12 percent support.

On the Republican side, 16 percent said they favor New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the GOP nominee over all the other potential candidates. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, all drew 12 percent support, while Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul collected 11 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio 8 percent.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By Drew MacKenzie

Gravis Poll: Huckabee Tops SC’s GOP Presidential Field.


Image: Gravis Poll: Huckabee Tops SC's GOP Presidential Field

By Cathy Burke

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the field of potential Republican presidential candidates in early-voting South CarolinaThe Hill reported Monday.

In a poll from Gravis Marketing, Huckabee, host of Fox News Channel’s “Huckabee,” received 18 percent, ahead of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who had 17 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was third with 14 percent, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who had 13 percent.

No other candidate reached double digits in the survey, The Hill reported. The Gravis Marketing poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Huckabee, who finished a strong second in South Carolina’s 2008 primary, hasn’t ruled out a 2016 presidential bid, and appeared to take a step closer with his planned headliner speaking engagement later this week at a meeting of conservative pastors.

Some polls in Iowa, which he won in 2008, have found him to be a strong potential candidate there.

Hell be in Little Rock, Ark., on Thursday and Friday for the Arkansas Renewal Project, part of evangelical organizer David Lane’s American Renewal Project. Huckabee had the support of pastors in his 2008 fight against eventual winner Sen. John McCain.

Pastors from Iowa and South Carolina — two key political states early in the GOP primary season — will be meeting with Huckabee during the convention to urge him to run, the Des Moines Register has reported.

The purpose is to let Gov. Huckabee know there are people that would like to see him run for president again,” Randy Davis, an evangelical Christian from Ottumwa, Iowa, who caucused for Newt Gingrich in 2012, told the Register.

“It seems like Gov. Huckabee has this uncanny ability to communicate the conservative message without being obstinate or polarizing,” Davis said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Jeb Bush Hits Obama on Vatican Embassy Move.


Image: Jeb Bush Hits Obama on Vatican Embassy Move

By Cathy Burke

Jeb Bush has suggested President Obama’s shutdown of the freestanding U.S. Embassy to the Holy See may be “retribution” on Catholics who oppose his signature healthcare law — a powerful rebuke from a top GOP contender for president and the latest in a growing chorus of outrage.

Bush posted on his Twitter account Wednesday his thoughts about the decision to “close” the embassy.

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“Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare,” he tweeted.

The State Department insists the embassy is not being shuttered, just moved onto the grounds of the larger American Embassy in Rome to ensure increased security and cost savings. 

Still, the National Republican Senatorial Committee drew up a petition saying “President Obama plans to close the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican,” Politico reported—and its spokesman, like Bush, characterized the proposal as a “hostile” action.

“This certainly isn’t the first time that the Obama Administration has been perceived as taking actions hostile toward religion and religious freedom,” spokesman Brad Dayspring told CNN Wednesday.

Former envoys all have spoken out against the move as well, including James Nicholson, Francis Rooney, Mary Ann Glendon, Raymond Flynn and Thomas Melady, theWashington Times reported.

And on Fox News, Nicholson railed: “It’s a dimunation of the stature of that U.S. post.”

With “unrest, upheaval, discrimination and violence … against Christians in the Middle East, this post we have is a key place,” he said, adding it “seems very odd to diminish the stature of this to move it into some office annex…”

“Clearly this is a rebuke of the importance of this relationship with the Vatican… an insult to American Catholics,” he added. “It won’t have the stature and influence it used to have in dealing with these very serious problems… it’s a very important listening post.”

“It’s … almost inexplicable.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Vatican said the move was well within the Holy See’s requirements for embassies and that relations with the United States are far from strained,CNN reported.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Canadian priest who works with the Vatican’s press office, said the Vatican requires foreign embassies to the Holy See be separate from the country’s mission to Italy, have a separate address and have a separate entrance.

Rosica said the proposed move satisfies those requirements, CNN reported.

Another Vatican official, however, old CNN the Holy See understands security concerns are an issue for some countries and this move is “an exception, not the ideal, but not the end of the world.”

The embassy will make the move in early 2015, CNN reported.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Jeb Bush and Son Take Opposing Views of Ted Cruz.


Image: Jeb Bush and Son Take Opposing Views of Ted Cruz

By Elliot Jager

Former Florida governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush, and his son George Prescott Bush, who is running to be Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, have staked out opposing stances over the government shutdown and the tactics pursued by Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX.

With Cruz plainly the intended recipient, the elder Bush told ABC News: “Have a little bit of self-restraint. It might actually be a politically better approach to see [Obamacare‘s] massive dysfunction. But we don’t even hear about that because we’ve stepped on that message. And I think Republicans need to just take a step back and allow – show a little self-restraint and let this happen a little more organically,” BuzzFeed reported.

During the shutdown, he referred to the tactics pursued by Cruz and the Tea Party faction as “embarrassing.”

In contrast, George P. Bush lauded Cruz’s campaign to defund Obamacare. “It’s a monstrosity of a law,” he said. “In terms of defunding it, that would be one way to reduce and mitigate the impact it’s going to have on practicing physicians and hospitals here in Texas,” The Dallas News  quoted him as saying.

Speaking at a campaign appearance – he is running unopposed for the Republican nomination – the Houston-born 37-year-old George P. Bush said he also agreed with Cruz on keeping Texas “out of the program unless we can modify it to a Texas-specific solution.”

The younger Bush graduated from the University of Texas with a law degree after returning from Florida where he lived while his father was governor. He served an eight-month tour in Afghanistan with U.S. Naval Intelligence in 2010.

The senior Bush said the best way to defeat the president’s signature healthcare plan would be to “have an alternative” based on free market principles. Republicans lost political ground with their tactics of pursuing defunding – “something that couldn’t be achieved,” he told ABC.

The former Florida governor also disparaged how Washington Republicans handled the debt ceiling crisis which he said left the United States looking “untrustworthy” overseas.

Taking another indirect swipe at Cruz – and an open one at Obama – the senior Bush decried Washington’s lack of civility and the failure to search for common ground. Jeb Bush said a “void of leadership is making it harder to get to a better place.”

Former President George W. Bush has encouraged his brother Jeb and grandson George P. in their respective political careers, The Houston Chronicle reported.

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