The tension between the Tea Party and the established republicans couldn’t have been any clearer. Dozens of protesters staged a walkout during CPAC when Jeb Bush took the stage with Sean Hannity during his session Friday afternoon.
Bush, former governor of Florida and current 2016 GOP front runner is the only candidate with a nationwide fundraising effort. However, he lacks the support of most CPAC participants. Taking the stage, he looked to change some minds by reminding them that he was a conservative governor.
During CPAC on Thursday, rumors were flowing around the convention that Tea Party conservatives would lead a massive walkout during Bush’s appearance. Other rumors included Bush supporters being bussed in to pack the session and even ballot stuffing the straw poll. It seemed as though the walkout was going to happen as Hannity asked the audience how they felt about certain potential 2016 candidates. Bush’s name was greeted with a loud boo.
It was a twenty minute question and answer session, with Hannity serving as moderator. Bush used the interview to defend various controversial stances staining his name including Common Core and immigration reform. Bush, nonetheless, was energetic as the walkout and boos tried to overshadow his speech.
Calling himself a “practicing reform-minded conservative,” Bush started off by emphasizing the conservative legislation he pushed during his governorship. Known as “Veto Corleone,” Bush cited his rejection of many pieces of legislations to outline the way he governed Florida.
On the big issues such as illegal immigration, Bush stuck to his moderate position, stating the United States must show compassion and can’t self-deport. “The simple fact is there is no plan to deport 11 million people, we should give them a path to legal status where they work, where they don’t receive government benefits and where they make a contribution to our society,” Bush answered any lingering question on his stance, touting his government record that granted drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. As Congress was taking action on Department of Homeland Security funding just a few miles away from the conference, Bush commented that Congress should “take action to oppose President Obama’s executive actions to prevent some deportations” but opposed cutting off funds as a tactic for an opposition. “I’m not an expert on the ways of Washington, it makes no sense that we are not funding control of our border, which is the whole argument.”
Another issue plaguing Bush is his support for Common Core. Bush defended his position,“The federal government has no role in the creation of standards, the government should not dictate what is taught in schools, the role of the federal government if any is to create more school choice.”
The boos continued during the speech as Bush sought to make the best out the negativity. “To those who made a boo sound, I’m marking them down as neutral and I want to be your second choice.” However, the cheers tried to overshadow the boos as Bush supporters reminded the audience that his allies are around for support. Bush remarked on unity, calling for a broad republican tent stating, “If we share our enthusiasm and love for our country with our belief in our philosophy, we will be able to get Latinos and young people and others needed to win.”
After the session, one attendee said, “I think only the media was the only ones excited about Bush attending the conference than the general audience.”
Steve Deace, a nationally-syndicated talk show host wrote an article that would put a knot in any conservative’s stomach for 2016, especially Ted Cruz. In 2012, the rules were changed at the convention to pave the way for the establishment for 2016. Here’s what Steve Deace’s “Little Birdie” from inside the RNC tells him.
“Look closer at the rules and you’ll see this is tailor-made for Jeb Bush 2016,” he told me. “Under the new rules, which were driven down our throats by Bush family loyalist Ben Ginsberg and the establishment at the 2012 convention, states aren’t allowed to have ‘winner-take-all’ primaries until after March 15th. That means all those southern states that go prior to that will have to proportionally-allocate their delegates……all Jeb Bush has to do is wait it out. Get to the more liberal states like New York and California, which show up later on and have huge delegate numbers that are winner-take-all. Sweep the majority of those in the spring and he’s won the nomination. And yet again we would’ve nominated a candidate who is weak where we have to win, and strong where we’ll probably lose.”
You can listen to Steve Deace as he joins me on Conservative Report Radio discussing more about his article and much more.
Steve states that the “Southern Super Tuesday” offering is a ruse for conservatives. Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas , Mississippi and Tennessee are planning a March 1st primary which forces delegates to be counted proportionally and not winner take all.
If conservatives don’t push their Secretary of State in these southern states, to push the primary date to March 15 making it “winner take all”, it will make a conservative harder to get to the magic number and easier for the Establishment candidate to reach it.
Asking Deace if it’s possible for conservatives to have a game plan in liberal blue states in the primary, Steve explains that demographics and the cost of media will make it nearly impossible for a conservative to win these states.
My conservative consultant friends have also confirmed that there is no room for error regarding Ted Cruz. He must win Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada; raising the momentum and money-drive from a united Conservative march to the nomination.
A friend of mine named “Michael from Texas” tells me this:
I think the election will be effectively over before March 15 notwithstanding winner take all. Cruz will have shined in nine debates by then. He will win Iowa and South Carolina. He is more Hispanic than Jeb is (!), so don’t count him out for Florida, either.
This really will be a Jeb vs Cruz battle on March 1. Guess which one won’t have to defend liberal stances on immigration and education?
If I’m wrong then we’re already lost. I’ll be with the Amish tuned completely out in November 2016.
We have all heard the window dressing. We need someone with experience, We need a governor with governor accomplishments. Why aren’t the most important questions asked? The most important question is: Who best represents our values, articulates conservatism and excites the conservative base the most? I think my friend Michael from Texas nails it. It’s hands down Ted Cruz. Who else comes even close? I also believe that excitement and momentum will rule the day and unite conservatives and the cream will rise to the top.
With that said, I’d feel a whole lot better if we southern conservatives mounted an organized effort to get our secretary of state to move the primary calendar date to March 15, then we can give the establishment a beating they’ll never forget.
Early Tuesday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush revealed that he has decided to explore the possibility of a run for president in 2016. Bush made this announcement via Facebook discussing his plans to establish a leadership PAC that will give him more of an opportunity to travel and talk with voters across the nation. His announcement comes on the heel of a number of appearances he made in several early primary states. He also recently announced plans to release documents from his time as governor.
Jeb is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of George W. Bush. He is a favorable candidate among the Republican establishment but faces many challenges from strong conservatives. He also has the potential of raising more money than anyone in the field, but is expected to be attacked over his support of Common Core guidelines, immigration reform and other issues. This move to form a committee will ultimately lead to questions on how he will set himself apart from his dad and brother who both were unpopular as they began to leave office. Bush’s announcement puts pressure on his fellow colleagues both from the establishment wing as well as the conservative wing of the party.