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

@PatriciaMazzei

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'

@PatriciaMazzei

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

@PatriciaMazzei

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

Jeb Bush backs Marco Rubio for Senate. But Bush's ex-Miami-Dade campaign chief doesn't

@PatriciaMazzei

Hard feelings toward Marco Rubio remain from one of Jeb Bush's highest profile Miami supporters.

Jorge Arrizurieta, who chaired Bush's presidential campaign in Miami-Dade County, told a local radio station Thursday he won't vote for Rubio's re-election to the Senate -- even though Bush will.

"I don't think I'm the only one," Arrizurieta told hosts Roberto Rodríguez Tejera and Juan Camilo Gómez on the Spanish-language Actualidad Radio. "I feel incredibly disappointed."

Arrizurieta characterized Rubio as disloyal and ungrateful to Bush, his one-time political mentor, and said "no one will be able to convince me" that Bush's odds at winning the White House wouldn't have been greatly improved without Rubio in the presidential race. He said Bush's endorsements speaks to the former Florida governor's integrity.

Nevertheless, Arrizurieta opined Rubio has the best shot as winning the seat, given that he's the incumbent. He also said he doesn't plan on backing anyone else in the Senate contest, though he said Sarasota developer Carlos Beruff has been in touch.

A dejected-sounding Arrizurieta said he was "very saddened" by the Republican Party under presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"The new political order that no one understands," he said.

June 22, 2016

Jeb Bush would back Marco Rubio if asked

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush memorably criticized Marco Rubio on the presidential campaign trail of abandoning his Senate duties to jump for higher office. But Bush harbors no hard feelings toward Rubio.

Asked by email this afternoon if he'd back Rubio's Senate campaign, Bush replied quickly.

"If he asks, I would be happy to back him."

 

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

June 07, 2016

Jeb Bush: Trump should retract racist comments on judge

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush likened Donald Trump's remarks about a federal judge to racism and said the presumptive GOP nominee should retract them.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

May 24, 2016

Jeb Bush returns to education foundation

@PatriciaMazzei

Jeb Bush is returning to his education foundation now that he's no longer running for president.

The Foundation for Excellence in Education announced Tuesday that Bush will once again serve as its chairman and president of the board of directors. The former Florida governor had stepped down from the post in the foundation he created to run for the Republican presidential nomination. 

"One of the greatest challenges and opportunities we have in America today is to create a 21st century education system that ensures all students have the skills, teachers and educational options they need to succeed in life," Bush said in a statement. "Too many children right now are failed by a deeply flawed bureaucratic system, but I'm optimistic about the future because I've seen the great results produced by states across the country."

Bush replaces Condoleezza Rice, the former U.S. Secretary of State who had assumed the position in January 2015 and will remain on the foundation's board.

May 13, 2016

Jeb Bush's daughter-in-law becomes U.S. citizen

@PatriciaMazzei

Jeb Bush's daughter-in-law raised her right hand Friday and pledged allegiance to the United States as a newly naturalized citizen.

Sandra Bush, who is originally from Canada, attended a Miami citizenship ceremony along with her husband, Jeb Bush Jr., and father-in-law, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Ana Santiago said in a statement.

The former presidential candidate and Florida governor posed for photographs with others who took part in the ceremony or attended with their loved ones, according to a tweet by Bush Jr. Jeb Bush, who speaks fluent Spanish, often spoke sympathetically about immigrants on the campaign trail.

Reporters might have covered the event, but USCIS didn't send notice of the 9 a.m. ceremony until 8:08 a.m. One photographer who nevertheless managed to show up in time was told the swearing in began much earlier, at 7:30 a.m.

Bush has kept a relatively low profile since ending his candidacy in February.