The first official hat may soon land in the 2016 presidential ring. Associates of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a Republican who’s been out of office for eight years, say he could announce his candidacy within a month.
“Keep your powder dry,” Bush wrote in a recent email to potential donors, hinting they should refrain from giving money to other potential candidates. Bush’s backers are also reaching out to potential campaign employees.
The Washington Post reports his leading strategist, Mike Murphy, is encouraging political insiders to wait before signing on with a candidate. Murphy also hints Bush will make an announcement soon.
If he does run, Bush would face tough scrutiny from conservatives.
As Dr. Susan Berry wrote in September, “Bush has been an outspoken champion of both amnesty for illegal immigrants and the Common Core standards, the Obama-supported and federally funded education initiative that opponents say espouses a utilitarian workforce mentality.”
Both positions are staunchly opposed by conservatives. Rush Limbaugh recently came out strongly against a potential Jeb Bush candidacy. He told Fox News the former governor “is totally absorbed in this comprehensive immigration business,” which voters oppose. “The American people are being let down here. They’re voting. They’re expressing their desires. They want this stuff stopped and the Republican Party is not listening.”
Still, Bush is apparently going to try to spin his unpopularity with the base as a positive.
“I kinda know how a Republican can win, whether it’s me or somebody else — and it has to be much more uplifting, much more positive, much more willing to be… ‘lose the primary to win the general’ without violating your principles,” he said earlier this month. “It’s not an easy task, to be honest with you.”