It’s no secret that Jeb Bush holds several views outside of the mainstream within the Republican Party base. The topics of immigration, education, and spending come to mind as some key examples. Given these differences, a group of conservative leaders are launching an effort to thwart any attempt by Bush in 2016 to win the Republican nomination.
Report from the Washington Examiner:
Conservative leaders who had a hand in key Republican victories including Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the Contract with America and the birth of the Tea Party, are ganging up to oppose a Jeb Bush presidential bid, declaring him easier to beat than Bob Dole or John McCain.
“I don’t know of any conservatives who are supporting him,” said Richard Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.
“Jeb is a very good moderate Democrat,” added top-rated talk radio host Mark Levin. “He’s very boring. He doesn’t elicit excitement and energy outside a very small circle of wealthy corporatists and GOP Beltway operatives. Time to move on.”
The criticism of Bush, a media darling and leading centrist GOP potential presidential candidate, took off when Phyllis Schlafly updated her 50-year-old conservative manifesto, A Choice Not an Echo, with a slap at Bush.
In her latest revision, provided to the Washington Examiner, she wrote: “Do you get the message that the media buildup for Jeb Bush has begun and that the 2016 Republican National Convention may nominate another establishment loser, the next one in line? But it doesn’t have to be.”
Many conservatives are critical of Bush’s support for Common Core educational standards and immigration reform.
But his biggest hurdle may be his last name.
Bush’s name recognition could be his best and worst asset. Add to that blast from the past several views which will be skewered by his primary opponents and I’m not sure Jeb has a clear path in 2016. His views could have made it in 2008 or 2012, as witnessed by McCain and Romney. However, his name may no longer be the issue but GOP primary voters seem to be searching for someone to carry a more conservative mantle than witnessed in the prior two cycles.