It's quite clear that the big GOP kahunas were counting on Gov. Chris Christie as their Lord and Savior in the upcoming 2016 presidential race, but have been scared away by all the negativity surrounding the Bridgegate scandal, so instead they are focusing their attentions on backing Jeb Bush for the Oval Office.
Many of the Republican Party’s most powerful insiders and financiers have begun a behind-the-scenes campaign to draft former Florida governor Jeb Bush into the 2016 presidential race, courting him and his intimates and starting talks on fundraising strategy.
Concerned that the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal has damaged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s political standing and alarmed by the steady rise of Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), prominent donors, conservative leaders and longtime operatives say they consider Bush the GOP’s brightest hope to win back the White House.
Many (if not most) of 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s major donors are reaching out to Bush and his confidantes with phone calls, e-mails and invitations to meet, according to interviews with 30 senior Republicans. One bundler estimated that the “vast majority” of Romney’s top 100 donors would back Bush in a competitive nomination fight.
“He’s the most desired candidate out there,” said another bundler, Brian Ballard, who sat on the national finance committees for Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008. “Everybody that I know is excited about it.”
Jeb Bush just was a featured player at the "Sheldon Primary" in Vegas on Thursday so he is definitely at the top of all the GOP lists that matter.
But Jeb Bush has several problems to contend with and one is his name. The country has not forgotten what his brother did to our country and he will always be tarnished with that. As the Post says, he's been out of office for the past seven years and has been a vocal supporter of immigration reform which is a pillar of resentment for the conservative base.
Look how badly Sen. Marco Rubio has fared after making a political calculation that getting out in support of immigration reform first would benefit him.
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Rand Paul: 31% (+6)
Ted Cruz: 11% (+7)
Ben Carson: 9% (+5)
Chris Christie: 8% (+1)
Rick Santorum: 7% (-1)
Marco Rubio: 6% (-17)
Paul Ryan: 3% (-3)
Rick Perry: 3% (+3)
Bobby Jindal: 2% (-1)
Condi Rice: 2% (+2)
Mike Huckabee: 2% (+2)
Sarah Palin: 2% (-3)
He finished below the gay bashing, pro-life hawk Rick Santorum in CPAC's straw poll.
Jeb even tried to discuss immigration reform in the type of religious language he hoped that the fundies could relate to:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) told a conservative conference on Friday that comprehensive immigration reform could be turn around a trend of lower birth rates in the U.S. because "immigrants are more fertile."
"Demography is destiny," Bush explained to the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority conference. "We're going to have fewer workers taking care of a larger number of people that the country has a social contract with to be able to allow them to retire with dignity and purpose. We cannot do that with the fertility rates that we have in our country. We're below break-even today."
But when right wing talk show host Laura Ingraham blasted his immigration positions on FOX News that pretty much ended the support he would get from the conservative base he needs to win in a primary.
Ingraham uses the phony Conservative claim that this is all about "the rule of law" as a crutch to back up her Nativist position on immigration. Jeb Bush also got under her skin when he spoke out against Republicans and called their opposition "wrong and stupid." Laura wasn't happy being tag teamed by the Bush Brothers.
Ingraham: Now that's an interesting way to court future GOP voters given their overwhelming opposition to amnesty, Gov. Bush. maybe President Bush was right. We are suffering from an outbreak of ism's. Elitism comes to mind.
The 2016 GOP presidential primary is shaping up to be quite interesting indeed. While the billionaire segment of the Republican party wants to get behind anyone they think can win, the tea party nuts only want a extremist as their nominee. It should make for some really good twitter-bomb humor.