A “vast majority” of Mitt Romney donors, establishment pooh-bahs, and an anti-conservative consultant who is the epitome of permanent political class want former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to run for president in 2016.
Bush was in Las Vegas this week meeting with Sheldon Adelson, and, according to the Post, “many if not most of 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s major donors are reaching out to Bush and his confidants with phone calls, e-mails and invitations to meet.” One bundler even said that a “vast majority” of “Romney’s top 100 donors would back Bush.”
The Post also noted that in the meantime “Bush’s 2016 deliberations are limited to casual e-mails and chats with Sally Bradshaw, his longtime political counselor in Florida, and strategist Mike Murphy,” who has been one of the most anti-conservative talking heads on television despite never having won a national election.
Murphy, who has been close to and advised Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), has repeatedly blasted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who could be a direct competitor to his potential client Jeb Bush.
“These days, there are are two silos of the Republican party: the regular Republicans, if you will, and the movement-conservative coalition that’s united by anti-establishment rhetoric and populism,” he said. “If Cruz runs, he is going to be the strongest candidate in that movement-conservative silo. He’s charismatic and highly intelligent and says what the base wants to hear. He could maybe even win the nomination, and on the way, he’d be a huge obstacle to Santorum, Huckabee, and Paul. But he’d be a disaster in a general election–a Republican George McGovern.”
As Breitbart News also reported, Murphy went out of his way during the 2012 election cycle to label “conservative candidates who threatened Romney as the Republican versions of McGovern, doing so on programs like NBC’s Meet The Press.“
But though Bush may be the establishment’s new top choice after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” problems, a national Washington Post-ABC News poll found that half of the country would “definitely” not vote for Jeb Bush in a general election, which would greatly undercut the “electability” argument that establishment candidates like Murphy often make about Bush.
Murphy is also the type of “Boomtown” consultant that conservatives have often railed against. According to a New York Times report, Murphy was considering working for Steve Poizner in the 2010 California gubernatorial race until billionaire Meg Whitman invested $1 million in a fledgling film production company Murphy started. According to the Times:
In the months before the deal was closed, Mr. Murphy had been flirting with working on the campaign of Ms. Whitman’s future rival in the Republican primary for governor, Steve Poizner, the state’s insurance commissioner. But he had an about-face.
The timing of the investment and its unusual nature — Ms. Whitman lists no other holdings in the world of independent movie production — raise some questions about its ultimate purpose: Was it strictly a business decision, or part of an effort to ensure that a coveted political strategist did not work for the competition? Or perhaps a way to sweeten the pot so he would eventually sign on with the right team?
Murphy signed on with Whitman and reportedly made $1.3 million in 13 months for her failed campaign. Even though Whitman spent $178.5 million — $144 million was her own money — she failed to defeat Jerry Brown in the general election.