Jeb Bush Enters Race Wooing Latinos, Furthering Dynasty
He may bring experience as Florida governor, but Bush must overcome his perception as the establishment candidate
After a six-month “exploratory” window that served as the acceleration ramp up to his real campaign, Jeb Bush — the brother of President George W. Bush — formalized his candidacy for president June 15.
“I have decided,” Bush told a crowd at a community college in Miami, “I am a candidate for President of the United States.”
In his campaign, Bush brings a strong Catholic faith, a credible voice in the Latino community in Florida and the baggage that comes when your brother and father both served as commanders in chief.
Jeb indirectly acknowledged that some conservatives believe he is the “establishment pick” by noting, “It’s nobody’s turn, it’s everybody’s test, and it’s wide open — exactly as a contest for president should be.”
Bush’s candidacy was inevitable. As former governor of Florida, the third most populous state in the U.S., “Jeb!” showed off his gift of policy over politics in a rich vein of electoral votes. In the GOP tribe, however, this inevitability is not without its concerns — the Bush name has been gleefully lambasted by the presstitutes. The liberal media loves to invoke partisan animosity toward previous Bush presidencies, diverting scrutiny from controversies involving Barack Obama and his robotic, scandal-ridden heir apparent — Hillary Clinton.
The Jeb Bush campaign will certainly have plenty of funding. That guarantees a mass-marketed, micro-targeted message integrated across all platforms of media designed to reach a vast range of voters. But his key trait — widespread recognition of his family name — might be a liability among many Republicans and virtually all Democrats, thanks to the negatives of Bush 41 and 43.
But he isn’t just another clone of his brother. Jeb Bush is considered by some as a prominent member of the Latino community. Fellow presidential contender Marco Rubio considers Bush a mentor. Fluent in Spanish, Bush decided to reach out directly to Spanish-speaking constituents in his speech. “Ayúdenos en tener una campaña que les da la bienvenida,” he said, a phrase that’s translated to mean, “Help us to have a campaign that welcomes them.”
According to every poll conducted thus far, the GOP presidential primary is wide open. No frontrunner has emerged to doggedly prevent another Clinton White House. The sheer size of the pool of GOP candidates gives the Democrats a whole lot of cover behind which to hide their lack of effective policies as opposed to the authentic race and political choices found in the GOP presidential primary.
For Bush, the bar is extremely high. His successful tenure as governor in Florida displays his talent for leadership. The crucial task of Jeb and his campaign team will be to remind GOP voters of his effective conservative policies implemented during his time as Florida’s top elected official. These victories include a few issues that are inarguably crowd-pleasers for the Right, even the far-Right:
- Passed parental school choice and rigorous school reform that raised the reading level of fourth graders by 11 points
- Enacted tax cuts that totaled $19 billion with an actual reduction in the size of his state’s government by 6.6%
- Supported parental notification of abortions requested by minors
- Pushed through Medicaid reforms with private insurance solutions emphasizing personal health and accountability
- Ended civil service protections of long-time unelected state bureaucrats and eliminated racial preferences in state-government contracting
- Signed the nation’s first “Stand Your Ground” law
- Called five special sessions of the legislature to pass medical liability and trial lawyer reforms to eradicate jackpot justice in Florida
Yet to win the eventual party nomination, Bush must explain his post-gubernatorial stances on a few hot-button topics. First, he backs immigration reform that emphasizes assimilation through access to services, not by enforcing existing law and prioritizing a secure border. He has also been a vocal proponent of Common Core, a set of educational standards originally written by our nation’s governors but soon sullied by the federal government, which established massive testing requirements and strings attached for funding access.
Jeb also must consider a few factors about the composition of the GOP that he’s not seen as a candidate before: In his last election, Bush did not face the Tea Party.
But as Politico writes, “Jeb’s stances on immigration and Common Core distance him from the GOP base, but his Catholic faith brings him back into the flock.”
While the Left is arguing that Religious Liberty is a limited right, one that should be eroded for holier rights such as same-sex marriage or abortion, Bush believes the opposite.
“The most galling example is the shabby treatment of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Christian charity that dared to voice objections of conscience to Obamacare,” Bush said. “The next president needs to make it clear that great charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor need no federal instruction in doing the right thing. It comes down to a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother, and I’m going with the Sisters.”
Governor Bush’s early message and targeted contrasts could make him a heavyweight in the Republican primary, and his name recognition and depth of resources are advantages in the crowded field. Only time will reveal whether we’ll find ourselves rallying to unite against the Left with a nominee declaring, “Third time’s a charm.”
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