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

“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.


  1. Except for 1964 and 2000 republicans followed primogeniture or who ever came in second in the last election has the lead position this time around. The guy who came in second usually woos the Conservative base for the next four years. He doesn’t have to win over the entire GOP just enough conservatives that when they are added to more moderates voters already on your side you have enough to win. President Reagan did this in reverse… he had the conservatives and wooed the moderates. The problem with Gov. Bush is he didn’t woo conservatives but antagonized them on enough hot button issues without attempting to persuade anyone he is a hint conservative. Add this to the fact that among Conservatives (not to mention the country) the nostalgia for another Bush does not run high according to poll numbers. What the GOP is relying on is what gave the GOP CPR in this last election…..hatred of President Obama and the Conservatives have no where else to go. As was witnessed by the Romney and McCain campaigns however is people don’t join a political campaign and go door to door and spend hours on the phone unless they feel the candidate has the same beliefs and principles as they do. Nothing has changed in the RNC after their so called “Autopsy” they still hire the same consultants that give them the information they want to hear. What they don’t understand is we need more patriotism and less patronage. It makes no sense to expect things to change when the republican party is made up of “Big Government Conservatism” Bush people and “Government is the Problem” Reagan people. They are incompatible philosophies.

    • Bob: I said elsewhere that it’s a matter of the party rewarding loyalty. If someone “almost wins,” they are given extra points. But there are also extra points for “time served,” most notably, Bob Dole. That nomination seemed like a “lifetime achievement award.” He was never really expected to win the presidency.

      Likewise, Nixon walked to the nomination in 1968, based on the chits he earned by campaigning around the country in 1966. If it had been a “number two” issue, Rockefeller would have been the nominee, based on coming in number two in 1964.

      This year, Santorum would be walking to the nomination, and he is not being taken seriously. And Pat Buchanan would have won in 1996. He shaped the platform, and was keynote speaker in 1992. Buchanan would also have been the nominee in 2000, if the “second place” assured the top spot next time.

      • Goethe; I agree with you 100% but my post wasn’t advocating primogeniture it was simply pointing out Gov. Bush didn’t earn these “chits”. The establishment republicans are attempting a coronation with Jeb just as the left is attempting a coronation with Sec. Clinton.

        • Yeah. In Jeb’s case, it’s a dynasty thing.

          I think the article writer is not understanding what Jeb is saying. Jeb is not saying you don’t need to win delegates, he’s just saying, you don’t have to be the “perfect” ideologue. If you can have a consistent message, without
          pandering, you’ll look good.

          The ideal would be to have flibbertygibbets like Cruz and Perry take turns coming in number one, but keep coming in second. It’s about number of delegates, not media exposure.

          I think that’s the same way Webb could take the nomination for the Dems. Dems won’t vote for him because they like his message. They’d vote for him to win in November.

          I think it’s reasonable that we could see Webb and Jeb be their party’s choices. And they could end up sounding exactly the same.

            • I learn new words when I hear them used perfectly in context, especially when they are fun to say. This one, I learned from an underrated movie, “Joe Vs. The Volcano,” the first of three movies with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Ryan plays three roles, one of whom describes herself as a “flibbertygibbet.”

              Cruz doesn’t have that much self awareness.

          • The problem there is the “Bush dynasty” isn’t very highly regarded either by Conservatives nor the general public according to recent polls. Therefore having the perfect message is moot. All the negative features are remembered from previous Bush administrations while the public remembers the peace and prosperity of the Clinton administration. Conservatives hated the elder and feel out of love with junior. All you have to do is look back at the last GOP convention and “W” was no where to be found. The Bush family and Jeb in particular have become the very face of establishment republicanism. It’s the moneymen behind the party that’s pushing for a Jeb Bush candidacy not the public. His message is formed to fit their views. That’s how he will stay in the hunt for the nomination.

            As far as the other people being considered it’s way to early to speculate on how they should run their campaigns especially since no one has declared yet.

  2. Conservatives should be more concerned in denying #1 Neocon Mitch McConnell his expected primacy, than with go-nowhere chunky Jeb!

  3. To better understand the establishment republicans arrogant carrot on a stick approach to the Conservatives you need only look at how they stood down against the lawless government take over of the Legislative branch and preach their hands are tied. They claim they needed control of Congress to do anything. Then they claim they need both Houses of Congress. Then they need a majority of 60 votes to over ride the President. And finally they need the Executive branch.Well chances of them getting all that is pretty slim which they knew from the get go so they use fear and in house ****** tactics.They not only stand down against taking any of the authorized action but according to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) they intend to stand down further in the future. “They acted like the amnesty issue wasn’t an issue. The President is going to do what he does and we aren’t going to get down in the mud with him.”
    The article entitled: ” Michele Bachmann: GOP Will Not Resist Obama Amnesty”

    All the reason the RNC/GOP leadership(?) give go back to winning the next election not to the rule of law or the Constitution. As shown by the “Politico” article by Manu Raju below, the republicans are already plotting ways to hang on to their new Senate majority not to uphold any Constitutional authority they seem quite willing to concede to the President on a number of issues. The President has shown he has no fear of Congress standing up to him in the future.
    The article entitled:” Mitch McConnell Preps For 2016 Battle”

    The republicans are constantly on the defense by lecturing ethics to the President and the Democrats who just laugh at them. This was shown it need not be the case since the logic at the time of this past election was that republicans would never win another election if they didn’t pass immigration reform……yet they did very well. Thanks to the Tea Party right holding their feet to the fire.

  4. Ever since Reagan the Presidents and their opponents have been lightweights. We had Buchanan and Santorum who would have been polarizing Presidents, but not as poor as any of the elected Presidents !! They could have led this nation back to a strong, vibrant platform of patriotic normalcy. Instead what we have is a leftist,professor of communist jihad. No….we would NOT have made a mistake by electing either one of them.

  5. Yawn. How about we treat the rank and file of the GOP base like they have some common sense? I know it’s easy to fall into ‘sheeple’ labeling but we’re not leftists. I think the majority of the GOP voters know exactly what they stand for, what they will compromise on and what they won’t. It’s not any leadership that’s axing Common Core, it’s the rank and file. Don’t you think we’d have enough common sense to not support one of it’s major proponents in the GOP, regardless of his last name?
    You guys keep insulting our intelligence and we’re going to think you’re just more leftists trying to divide and conquer the GOP. Or just looking for click bait. Don’t forget who’s driving this train and it ain’t any messianic leaders, including ones who give themselves all the right labels.

    • Marla: I’m not exactly sure who your post was directed at. Was it meant for Nate the author of this piece or one of the commenters? When you say “You guys keep insulting our intelligence” it could even be meant for the RNC/GOP. Please clarify.

      • It was addressed to anyone who thinks the rank and file are even interested in JEB Bush. Loved him as my governor and even I, as a huge fan of GW, wouldn’t vote for him. Even though I wished he instead of GW had ran for President at the time. That’s because JEB has moved too far to the left for *anyone* in the base to support him. If he did run, he’d lose quickly in the primary.
        That was my point. The assumption in the piece seems to be that the rank and file will fall for anything, even though we’ve proven time and time again that we can’t be won with money, even with a good candidate (Forbes), we’re not into nuts (Paul) and we’re forgiving but not forgetful (Newt). Romney hit almost all the right notes, as did McCain (at the time) so the only one with any chance is going to have to be to the right of them. JEB ain’t it.
        In other words, give us here in the grassroots some credit for common sense. These ‘leaks’ are meant to divide and conquer. After the first rumor, which was JEB and/or his supporters probing to see how he would fly, JEB became an also ran before he ran. He’s history and any claims that some hidden money bags will pull something out of the woodwork discounts the base as being sheep being led to the slaughter and I just don’t buy it. We’re smarter than that and have proven it time and time again. How about giving us a bit of credit for some intelligence, aye?

  6. This is off-topic, but we don’t have a relevant topic:

    Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatnua party, said on Monday night that the impending elections are “about whether there will be a
    Zionist state or an extremist state here.”

    Isn’t that like saying a difference between a cat and a feline?

    • Goethe — “whether there will be a Zionist state or an extremist state here.”

      Talking about the US 2016 elections here…right…?


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