In a preview of what is surely to become a recurring theme among other GOP presidential hopefuls, Brent Bozell’s ForAmerica organization is blasting Jeb Bush as a candidate certain to lose [read_more]if nominated.
In a Washington Post interview, Bozell made no bones about his and others’ plans to ensure Republicans nominate anyone but Jeb Bush.
The conservative advocacy group ForAmerica released an online advertisement this week calling Bush “unelectable.” The group’s president, L. Brent Bozell, and other figures on the right say they are attempting to formulate a plan for toppling Bush, possibly by rallying behind one of his opponents.
“If Jeb Bush is nominated, Hillary Clinton is elected. There is no doubt in my mind about that,” Bozell said in an interview Wednesday. “Republicans can’t win without a conservative base that is inspired.”
The above-reference “advertisement” is actually a couple of web videos attacking Bush for the apparent collegiality between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, in contrast to the sharply critical tones used by other Republican presidential hopefuls.
I’m not sure this is a punch that hits its mark squarely. Sure, lots of people have a gag reflex when they see Clintons and Bushes being chummy, but there are a lot more people that aren’t turned off by two people being able to disagree agreeably (though it does call into question Jeb’s ability to forcibly criticize Hillary on things like Benghazi and the rest of her stint as Secretary of State).
But…the mere fact that Bushes and Clintons are famous for getting along in their roles as ex-Presidential families does underscore the fundamental weakness of the latest Bush’s electability. Although being a part of a political dynasty is a plus for things like fundraising and organization, on balance it’s a negative among ordinary voters. Nominating Jeb Bush would take away the built-in advantage Republicans would have in a fight against Hillary Clinton. Stated more crudely, when faced with a choice between a retread and a fresh new face, the new face has an advantage, but in a match-up between two retreads, it’s a wash.
And that’s without even considering policy stances. Bozell nails it when he says that the Republican candidate can’t win without an energized conservative base, which is something Jeb Bush would be unlikely to have behind him in any case.
I like and immensely respect the Bush family for their decades of leadership and service to the Republican Party. I genuinely do. But Jeb just isn’t someone who can win, at least not this time around.
Thankfully, we have a wide field of viable, conservative alternatives who can.