Share This Article with a Friend!

Viguerie’s Foolproof Test: Is Jeb Bush A Conservative?

Jeb Bush

The announcements that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was resigning from his many lucrative board of directors “jobs” and that he had launched a new political action committee – the misnamed “Right to Rise PAC” – are being treated by the establishment media as indications that Bush is “edging closer” to a run for president.

Make no mistake about it – Jeb Bush IS running for president, not testing the waters or engaging in some “should I or shouldn’t I” inner conversation.

And one of the most telling indications of where a Jeb Bush presidential campaign will take the Republican Party is Bush’s decision not to participate in the upcoming Iowa Freedom Summit, organized by principled limited government constitutional conservative Representative Steve King.

More than a half-dozen potential Republican presidential contenders, including such establishment figures as Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, have said they will attend the event, but Bush is skipping it.

The decision to skip the Iowa Freedom Summit comes fast on the heels of Bush’s pow-wow with Senator John McCain about how to obtain the Republican presidential nomination without “pandering to conservatives” as McCain would put it, or as we conservatives tend to think of it, listening to the GOP base and campaigning as a limited government constitutional conservative.

Bush’s decision to skip the Iowa Freedom Summit and instead concentrate on raising money from his Wall Street and Big Business friends should remind conservatives who you walk with says a lot about who you are – and that Jeb Bush does not walk with conservatives.

Since leaving the Florida Governor’s mansion Bush has seldom surfaced in national politics, except to condemn or criticize conservatives. And just as tellingly, his political confidants and close advisers have surfaced regularly to participate in the Republican establishment’s efforts to marginalize conservatives.

Bush’s long-time confidant and ex-chief of staff Sally Bradshaw was one of the architects of the phony Republican National Committee 2012 “autopsy” that whitewashed the failures of the Romney campaign (and its establishment consultants) and was tellingly ignored by every successful Republican campaign for office in 2014 – except perhaps the race-baiting primary campaign of Senator Thad Cochran.

In addition to Bradshaw another Bush adviser and confidant who regularly surfaces to bash conservatives is establishment Republican media guru Mike Murphy. Jeb Bush has long been part of Murphy’s Unholy Trinity of clients; the others are Mitt Romney, whose 2002 gubernatorial run Murphy advised, and Sen. John McCain.

It was Murphy who said in the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s disastrous 2012 campaign “The biggest problem that Romney had was the Republican primary. That's what's driving the Republican brand right now to a disaster, and we've got to get, kind of, a party view of America that's not right out of Rush Limbaugh's dream journal.”

Another telling hire is Sal Purpura. Purpura is not a policy guy or grassroots campaign operative; he’s one the Republican Party’s most sought-after money managers who worked on the presidential campaigns of John McCain and former President George W. Bush and served as a comptroller for Jeb Bush’s gubernatorial bids, according to U.S. News and World Report.

U.S. News also reports that Bush has secured commitments from several outgoing fundraisers who worked at the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the last campaign cycle, including finance director Heather Larrison.

So early indications are, that despite “Right to Rise” PAC’s website rhetoric that it “will support candidates who want to restore the promise of America with a positive, conservative vision of reform and renewal” its core employees and advisers will be long-time Big Government establishment Republican political operatives – the same kind of Beltway insiders who brought us the failed Bob Dole and John McCain campaigns, the Mitt Romney disaster and the George W. Bush presidency, and who worked to marginalize conservatives through the Republican National Committee’s autopsy of the 2012 presidential campaign, and who in 2016 worked to defeat conservatives through the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Who you walk with tells me a lot about who you are.

During the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s when conservatives saw Ronald Reagan, and certainly every time I saw Reagan, and I saw him quite a bit, he was surrounded by people I knew from conservative politics: Senator Paul Laxalt, Jeff Bell, Lyn Nofziger, Marty Anderson, Dick Allen, Judge Clark, Ed Meese, etc.

Personnel is policy. 

Before the Jeb Bush for President campaign goes any further conservatives need to ask Bush, “If you haven’t walked with conservatives for the past fifteen or twenty years, why should we believe that if you became President you will appoint conservatives to help run your Administration? How can we expect you to have a conservative administration if there are no conservatives around you now?”

Despite all of Bush’s rhetoric about “the transformative power of conservative ideas,” Jeb Bush is the “great white hope” of the Republican establishment.

No one else in America, save Hillary Clinton, starts the 2016 political season with a larger Rolodex of Washington insider supporters than does Jeb Bush. In addition to supporting all of their major policy goals from Common Core to amnesty for illegal aliens, a Bush candidacy will send millions of dollars in consulting business and lucrative lobbying contracts to a small, but powerful, coterie of Bush family supporters and acolytes.

We limited government constitutional conservatives must recognize up front that a successful Jeb Bush campaign would ensure that the Republican establishment stays in power for at least another decade, and it would also ensure that, no matter if Jeb or the Democrat wins, Big Government will continue to get bigger.


Share this