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

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

July 19, 2016

Jeb Bush should be at GOP convention for Trump, Rick Scott says

Scott pic

via @adamsmithtimes

CLEVELAND -- Gov. Rick Scott appeared to enjoy himself as he made his way through a gauntlet of TV cameras and journalists at the GOP Convention's "media row" by the Quicken Loans Arena, repeatedly swatting away questions about Melania Trump's alleged plagiarism of Michelle Obama's convention speech.

"My experience with Melania is she's a lovely individual that is very nice to sit around to talk to. She's a wonderful mom, and a  wonderful wife," said Scott. "...I watched what my wife went through, never expecting to be in the middle of a campaign, never expecting to be a politician's wife."

Asked about former Gov. Jeb Bush's absence from the convention, Scott sounded disappointed

"I think he'd want to be here. This is exciting. This is a Republican party that needs to unite behind an individual who worked hard to win the nomination. We have to make sure he wins in November. I do not want Hillary Clinton to be the next president. She would not be good for Florida."

"Any Republican who is not supporting Donald Trump right now is helping Hillary Clinton. I don't want Hillary Clinton to be our next president."

Likewise, he disagreed with Ohio Gov. John Kasich's decision not to attend: "I would be there."

And as for winning Florida's diverse electorate, Scott is optimistic. "The elections's going to be about jobs and ISIS. Those are the two biggest issues in our state. I would talk to everybody....Hillary Clinton has never created a job in her life. If the election is going to be about jobs, Donald Trump wins. If the election is about ISIS Donald Trump wins. She had her shot. She was Secretary of State and she failed to do anything."

--ADAM C. SMITH, Tampa Bay Times

July 15, 2016

Jeb Bush: I 'sincerely hope' Donald Trump doesn't represent GOP future

From a Jeb Bush op-ed column in The Washington Post:

Call it a tipping point, a time of choosing or testing. Whatever you call it, it is clear that this election will have far-reaching consequences for both the Republican Party and our exceptional country.

While he has no doubt tapped into the anxiety so prevalent in the United States today, I do not believe Donald Trump reflects the principles or inclusive legacy of the Republican Party. And I sincerely hope he doesn’t represent its future.

As much as I reject Donald Trump as our party leader, he did not create the political culture of the United States on his own.

More here.

July 11, 2016

'Conservatism is temporarily dead,' Jeb Bush declares


Jeb Bush has written off conservative ideology's grip on the GOP presidential race in the age of Donald Trump.

"Conservatism is temporarily dead," Bush declared in a Monday night MSNBC interview. "I mean, if you look at it, we have two candidates. Donald Trump is barely a Republican. He's certainly not a conservative." (Elsewhere in politics, Bush added, the conservative message "still resonates, and it's still important.")

Bush sounded much like he did during the GOP primary -- perhaps, he noted, because few people listened to him.

"People don't believe in anything anybody says anymore," he told political analyst Nicolle Wallace, who was once Bush's press secretary. "I mean, I don't know if they even heard what I said. That's the point. They didn't -- they want their voice heard. They still do. They're angry for legitimate reasons. They latched onto the big horse. All of which is logical to me in retrospect. In the midst of it, it wasn't very logical."

He didn't offer -- nor was he pressed to offer -- any other analysis on what his campaign might have done wrong.

There's "weird solace," Bush said, in feeling like he gave it all on the campaign trail: "I'm not taking therapy. I'm not seeing anybody."

But he's clearly still peeved at having to talk about Trump -- and at having to envision the party that elected his father and brother president be the party of Trump. He could've voted for John Kasich or Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz -- but not Trump, Bush said: "I can't do it. I can't do it." (He won't vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, either.)

Bush won't even ask his parents if they're going to cast ballots for president. "I don't want to ask," he said. "I don't want to know."

He did offer Trump some pointers for picking a running mate: "Someone that has some experience, that knows how to make a tough decision in the political realm."

This being Bush, he remained partisan to fellow governors. The two names he dropped: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Jeb Bush predicts Trump backers will 'feel betrayed'


Jeb Bush predicts that some of Donald Trump's biggest campaign promises won't happen if the presumptive Republican nominee is actually elected president -- which will leave scores of Trump' supporters upset.

"There isn't going to be a wall built. And Mexico's not going to pay for it. And there's not going to be a ban on Muslims," Bush told MSNBC. "This is all like a alternative universe that he created. The reality is, that's not going to happen. And people are going to be deeply frustrated and the divides will grow in our country. And this extraordinary country, still the greatest country on the face of the earth, will continue to stagger instead of soar. And that's the heartbreaking part of this, is I think people are really going to feel betrayed."

MSNBC released the clip as a tease to the full Bush interview, which will air at 10 p.m. Monday. It was taped near the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush spoke to Nicolle Wallace, a political analyst for the network who once worked for Bush -- and later for his brother, former President George W. Bush.

July 01, 2016

A post-mortem on the Jeb Bush super PAC

From the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan organization that examines political spending:

Super PACs can churn through a lot of money. Exhibit A: Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise USA.

Led by veteran GOP operative Mike Murphy, Right to Rise was excoriated in the press for burning through $87 million in independent expenditures in support of  Bush (and tens of millions more in operating expenses — $104 million total) without any discernible evidence that the super PAC moved the needle for the former Florida governor.

We can’t say what the super PAC did wrong, if anything. There are too many moving parts in a political race. A campaign is built around a candidate, and in debates and on the trail, the wonkish Bush never connected well with sufficient numbers of voters. He withdrew from the race in late February after months of low poll ratings. Maybe there was nothing Right to Rise could have done to save him.

What we can do, though, is perform a post-mortem on how Right to Rise spent tens of millions of dollars.

More here.

June 23, 2016

Jeb endorses Marco, and Marco says thanks


It's all a Twitter-official love-fest now: