National Journal Analyst: Jeb Bush 'Big Loser' in Cantor Defeat

National Journal Analyst: Jeb Bush 'Big Loser' in Cantor Defeat

After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor shockingly lost his primary on Tuesday to Dave Brat, National Journal writer Josh Kraushaar said former Florida Governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush was the “big loser.” 

Bush has embraced Common Core and amnesty for illegal immigrants, and he even said illegal immigrants entering the country is an “act of love.” Like Cantor and former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Bush has shied away from conservatives and tried to frame himself as an “ideas guys,” promoting the type of “compassionate conservative agenda” against which conservatives revolted during his brother George W. Bush’s administration. In fact, the Tea Party started in part in opposition to George W. Bush’s expansion of the federal government and excessive government spending. 

Amnesty was also a huge issue in Brat’s race, with Brat declaring that it the central issue of the campaign.

“The central policy issue in this race has become Cantor’s absolute determination to pass an amnesty bill. Cantor is the No. 1 cheerleader in Congress for amnesty,” Brat wrote in a Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed in the last week of the race. “This is not the Republican way to fix our economy and labor markets.”

Cantor also did not do retail politics in his district like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) did to survive his primary. And Bush, who has been out of politics for nearly eight years, has also shown — like with his “act of love” remarks — that he may not be ready to deal with the velocity of the current news cycle if he runs for president or understand how to court the Republican base that, according to Gallup, has become more conservative over the last 14 years.