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:

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


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


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


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.

May 06, 2016

Jeb Bush: I won't vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton


Jeb Bush the voter plans to sit out the presidential race in November.

The ex-presidential candidate wrote on Facebook Friday that he won't vote for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump -- Bush's chief GOP campaign foe -- or likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"The American Presidency is an office that goes beyond just politics. It requires of its occupant great fortitude and humility and the temperament and strong character to deal with the unexpected challenges that will inevitably impact our nation in the next four years," Bush wrote. "Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character. He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy."

Reporters had pressed Bush's spokeswoman for the former Florida governor's position since Trump became the de facto nominee earlier this week, when his last remaining rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, dropped out of the race.

On Facebook, Bush congratulated Trump and said he will "support principled conservatives at the state and federal levels, just as I have done my entire life."

More here.

May 04, 2016

Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush make cameos in Hillary Clinton video against Donald Trump


Likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign wasted no time to take on presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, posting a video online Wednesday using the words for Trump's former rivals against him.

That includes Miamians Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, who -- especially in Bush's case -- did plenty of Trump-bashing while they were on the campaign trail. Trump's final opponents, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, dropped out Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Bush gets the kicker at the end of the spot.

April 28, 2016

Jeb Bush: 'I don't know which Donald Trump to believe'


Jeb Bush, to no one's surprise, has not had a change of mind over Donald Trump.

In an interview Thursday, Bush told CNN that he's "seen nothing" since leaving the Republican presidential race to persuade him that Trump would make a good president. Last month, Bush backed Trump rival Ted Cruz.

"I don't think he's a serious person," Bush said.

But the former Florida governor has clearly remained abreast of the campaign. He referenced Trump's foreign-policy speech Wednesday.

"I don't know which Donald Trump to believe: the one that read from a TelePrompTer a speech that was inside the ones, or the one that wants to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it," he said. "Which Donald Trump is the one that's expressing these views? There's two of them, and I think we need a president with a steady hand."

CNN has posted other bits from its Bush interview here and here.

This post has been updated.