September 18, 2016

Jeb Bush makes surprise, hilarious Emmys cameo

Jeb(6)
@PatriciaMazzei

Jeb Bush's funniest moment of the presidential campaign happened seven months after he dropped out, at the Emmys.

He appeared Sunday night in a taped cameo on the opening video of television's yearly wards, as part of host Jimmy Kimmel's opening video. 

The gag had Kimmel trying to hitch a ride to the awards show. He walks up to the motorcade of "Veep" President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). A driver's voice tells him there's room in the front. The driver? Bush, gamely donning a chauffeur's cap.

"I'm in between jobs right now," Bush says. "You know you can make $12 an hour driving for Uber?"

He asks Kimmel if he's nominated: "Wow. What's that like?" 

When Kimmel tells him there's a lot of competition to win, Bush offers advice: "If you run a positive campaign, the voters ultimately will make the right choice," Bush says at one point, playing the straight man. 

Kimmel starts talking about his psychic  

"Jimmy," Bush interrupts, "that was a joke."

He kicks the bearded Kimmel out the car.

"And shave that wig off your face, you godless Hollywood hippie," Bush barks, as the limo peels off and shows a bumper sticker with "2016" crossed out -- and "2020" scrawled over it. "JEB EXCLAMATION POINT!"

Photo credit: Matt Rourke, Associated Press

September 08, 2016

Jeb Bush endorses in his local Florida House race

@PatriciaMazzei

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush backed a state House candidate late Thursday to represent the Coral Gables-based district where he lives. 

His choice was hardly a surprise: Bush endorsed Republican John Couriel over Democrat Daisy Baez. The two candidates are battling to replace term-limited Republican Rep. Erik Fresen in District 114.

"Having known John since he was a college student, I'm delighted that I get to vote for him to be my state representative," Bush said in a statement. "He speaks with clarity and optimism about the challenges we face as a community and nation: promoting economic opportunity for all, making our kids career-ready, and making health care more affordable and transparent."

Couriel is a GOP establishment darling who's certain to use the big-name endorsement as a way to introduce himself to voters. But Bush's lone local legislative endorsement in the primary didn't seem to do much good for Republican Lynda Bell. She placed third in District 118, behind David Rivera and Anthony Rodriguez.

UPDATE: Bush is headlining a fundraiser for Couriel Sept. 23 at the Biltmore Hotel.

September 06, 2016

Former Rubio donors shift to Trump. Former Bush donors, not so much.

Rubio (2)via @learyreports

John Angelbeck of Ocala wanted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to succeed in his presidential bid and twice contributed $100 to Rubio’s campaign. But after Rubio bowed out following a landslide defeat in Florida’s March primary, Angelbeck shifted his allegiance — and money — to Donald Trump.

In June, he sent checks to Trump’s campaign for $40 and $80. “Anything to beat Hillary Clinton,” Angelbeck, 78, said Friday.

He is one of 640 Floridians who supported Rubio financially but have given to Trump since the primary, a Tampa Bay Times analysis of campaign finance data shows. That illustrates Trump’s appeal among dedicated Republicans in the state.

By contrast, only 113 donors to former Gov. Jeb Bush have given to Trump since Bush withdrew from presidential contention in February.

More here.

Photo credit: Alan Diaz, Associated Press

August 29, 2016

Ahead of tough reelection, Curbelo taps big guns Bush, Rubio

ZikaFunding0604 PresserTwo MSH (1)
@PatriciaMazzei

Florida's primary election will be on Tuesday. But Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo isn't waiting to find out whom his Democratic opponent will be before kicking off his reelection campaign in earnest.

Curbelo's campaign put out a Spanish-language radio ad featuring one of the congressman's most prominent political backers: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Curbelo was one of Bush's early backers for the Republican presidential nomination.

"We need honest and hard-working leaders like Carlos Curbelo, who has fought to improve the education our children receive and to reform our country's immigration laws," Bush says in the spot. "I know Carlos, and I know he will continue representing us with integrity in Washington."

On Monday, the Curbelo camp also emailed supporters with a letter from another big-name friend: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the man Curbelo endorsed after Bush dropped out of the presidential race.

In the fundraising pitch, Rubio says Curbelo is part of "a new generation of leaders."

"He understands the need to empower people, the private sector, and our local communities to drive prosperity and innovation," Rubio says. "Carlos and I have been working together to respond to the Zika crisis and prevent wast, fraud, and abuse in our refugee assistance program. After seeing him in action, I know Carlos will continue to be a strong voice for South Floridians and that is why I'm behind him 100%."

Curbelo's 26th congressional district, which stretches from Westchester to Key West, is one of the country's most competitive seats -- and now leans more Democratic than it did when he won it two years ago. He'll learn Tuesday if his Democratic opponent will be former U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia or Annette Taddeo. National Democrats have already reserved significant air time ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.

 

Photo credit: Marsha Halper, Miami Herald

August 26, 2016

Jeb Bush on Trump's immigration shift: 'I find it abhorrent'

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush said Donald Trump looks like “a typical politician” as the nominee has shifted on immigration and appears to hold views similar to Bush’s, despite attacking Bush as soft on the issue.

“I can only say that whatever his views are this morning, they might change this afternoon, and they were different than they were last night, and they'll be different tomorrow," Bush said on WABC.

"Sounds like a typical politician, by the way, where you get in front of one crowd and say one thing, and then say something else to another crowd that may want to hear a different view. All the things that Donald Trump railed against, he seems to be morphing into. It’s kind of disturbing.”

Bush will not change his view on Trump. “I don’t know what to believe about a guy who doesn't believe in things. ... This is all a game," Bush said. "His views will change based on the feedback he gets from a crowd, or, you know, what he thinks he has to do."

"For me, I couldn't do that. I have to believe what I believe, and if it’s popular, great. If it’s not, I try to get better at presenting my views. But shifting my views because it’s political to do it? That’s what politicians do in this country. That's what Trump is trying to do right now. I find it abhorrent.”

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

August 13, 2016

Pence met with Bush in Coral Gables, to try to mend fences

 @PatriciaMazzei

Donald Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, has quietly tried to smooth things over with Trump's Republican primary rivals who have refused to endorse him, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pence recently met with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the Journal reports, at Bush's office at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

Pence, the Indiana governor, has also reached out to Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. None of the Republicans commented to the Journal about their conversations.

August 08, 2016

In Texas, Jeb Bush's son backs Trump

From the Texas Tribune:

Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who has not endorsed Donald Trump, is now asking Texas Republicans to support the party's presidential nominee. 

Addressing state GOP activists Saturday, Bush said it was time to put aside any lingering animosity from the primaries — where Trump defeated Bush's dad, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, among others — and get behind Trump. 

"From Team Bush, it's a bitter pill to swallow, but you know what? You get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton," Bush said, according to video of the remarks provided by an audience member.

More here.

August 07, 2016

Jeb Bush to make rare endorsement in Miami state House race

Campaign 2016 Money
@PatriciaMazzei

Jeb Bush may not be endorsing Donald Trump for president -- but he is taking sides in contested Republican primary for a Florida state House seat.

On Monday, Bush will formally back former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Lynda Bell over several rivals -- chief among them embattled former U.S. Rep. David Rivera.

"I'm proud to endorse my friend Lynda Bell for the Florida House in District 118," Bush said in a statement to the Miami Herald. "She's a strong, principled conservative who will continue to serve Florida well."

Rivera is considered the favorite in the five-way primary contested among Bell, Carlos Pria, Anthony Rodriguez and Steven Rojas Tallon in a heavily Hispanic, southwest Miami-Dade County district. They're vying to replace Republican state Rep. Frank Artiles, who's running for state Senate.

Rivera, a newly minted millionaire, lost re-election to Congress in 2014, when he came under federal criminal investigation in an unlawful secret campaign-finance scheme. He was an early supporter of his friend Marco Rubio for president.

Before his single, two-year term in Congress, Rivera served eight years in the state House. Four of those years, from 2002-06, coincided with Bush's tenure as Florida governor.

Rivera backs Trump.

Photo credit: Matt Rourke, Associated Press

 

August 01, 2016

Top Jeb Bush adviser leaves GOP, CNN reports

CNN is reporting that Jeb Bush's top adviser, Sally Bradshaw, has left the Republican Party.

"I can confirm that I have switched my party registration to NPA," she told the Miami Herald in a brief email. "This was a personal decision."

Here is the report from CNN:

Jeb Bush's top adviser, Sally Bradshaw, has left the Republican Party to become an independent, and says if the presidential race in Florida is close, she'll vote for Hillary Clinton.

Bradshaw, who's been close to the former Florida governor for decades and was senior adviser to his 2016 campaign, officially switched her registration to unaffiliated. She told CNN's Jamie Gangel in an email interview that the GOP is "at a crossroads and have nominated a total narcissist -- a misogynist -- a bigot."
 
"This is a time when country has to take priority over political parties. Donald Trump cannot be elected president," Bradshaw said.
The departure from the Republican Party of a Bush loyalist -- Bradshaw began her career working for George H.W. Bush's 1988 campaign -- is the latest sign of an influential and respected member of the GOP establishment turning against Trump.
 
Keep reading here.

July 20, 2016

Rudy Giuliani says GOP convention isn't about Jeb Bush's 'ego'

via @adamsmithtimes

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Rudy Giuliani fired up the Florida delegation this morning, casting Bill Clinton as a predator and Hillary Clinton as a crook. The veteran prosecutor said never had a criminal case with so many violations of federal law and Clinton's email case, which the FBI said did not merit charges.

"I would bet my life, if you put me in front of 12 fair and decent Americans and you let me prosecute this case against Hillary Clinton, she would go to jail," the part-time Palm Beach resident declared.

"Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!" the crowd chanted.

Asked about party leaders declining to get behind Donald Trump, Giuliani said he would be supporting Trump even if he did not know him as well as he does.

"How could they possibly want to see Hillary Clinton in the White House, We can't play this game," Giuliani said. "it's not about Jeb Bush, it's not about his ego or whether he feels he was insulted... It's not about Mitt Romney and whether he feels --- I don't know what Mitt feels. I never got much feeling from Mitt to start with," said Giuliani, who ran against Romney for the GOP nomination in 2008.

"The establishment of the Republican party was against Donald Trump. Thank God, because the establishment of the Republican party hasn't done much better than the establishment of the Democratic party."

--ADAM C. Smith, Tampa Bay Times