Conservatives who thought that the Republican establishment’s prayers would be left unanswered, and that Jeb Bush would NOT run for President, better think again. Jeb Bush is now running his brother George W’s playbook, and the first gambit is to scare all the other establishment candidates out of the race.
“I have a voice, I want to share my beliefs about how the conservative movement and the Republican Party can regain its footing, because we’ve lost our way,” Bush told Matt Lauer on “Today” Monday.
The idea that conservatives actually look to Jeb Bush’s beliefs for guidance about how the conservative movement can “regain its footing” is laughable, if not absurd, to most grassroots conservative activists we know.
However, The Washington Post has already anointed Bush as the “prime mover” in the Republican Party, and we predict it won’t be long until Dana Perino of FOX News and other Bush alumns start pushing the line that only Jeb Bush can save the GOP from another presidential election defeat.
Bush has also released a new book, “Immigration Wars,” written with attorney Clint Bolick, and was ostensibly on the “Today” show to promote the book. However, the Republican establishment’s “great white hope” was talking about a lot more than immigration, and interestingly enough, doing a John Kerry on the hot button issue, at least for conservatives, of the so-called path to citizenship for illegal aliens.
Bush threw some very sharp elbows at fellow Floridian Senator Marco Rubio, who has his own following promoting him as a potential presidential candidate, and who was considered one of the leading, if not THE leading conservative until he blew a lot of his street cred with grassroots conservative voters by backing the “gang of eight” illegal immigration plan, that includes a so-called “path to citizenship.”
Bush very directly disavowed support for a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, except for the ill-defined group brought to the U.S. as children by their parents who would be legalized under some iteration of the DREAM Act.
This was a direct shot at Rubio and the first verse in Jeb Bush’s version of the old Bobby Womack song, “Trust Me,” with which Bush plans to woo conservatives.
Been there, done that, and trust us, in Jeb Bush’s case -- the older grape does not make sweeter wine.
First he tells Matt Lauer he is against a path to citizenship, then in a later interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, he said that he could support one under the right circumstances – like John Kerry apparently for it before he was against it and back again.
Next week, Jeb will follow-up this week’s media blitz with a big speech at the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference; what used to be the conservative movement’s premier national gathering. After that speech, and the attendant round of media interviews, we predict that Bush (whether he admits it or not) is in the presidential race until someone knocks him out.
No doubt some conservatives will think well of Jeb Bush for defending Terri Schiavo’s right to life, but any conservative thinking of supporting Jeb Bush for President need only to first watch Bush’s interview with Matt Lauer, and then the one with NBC’s Chuck Todd, to be reminded of what they are really getting in another Bush presidential campaign.
With that flip-flop in mind, conservatives need to ask themselves if they really want another content-free presidential campaign run by Bush family consultants, acolytes and horse-holders like Karl Rove, who must have their rice bowls filled every four years with millions of dollars raised from unsuspecting Republican donors who haven’t yet figured out that the Republican establishment’s elite don’t really care if conservative principles prevail, as long as they get paid and keep the power in the Party.