Jeb Bush, The GOP’s Hope For 2016?

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Since he first signaled that he was considering a possible run for president in 2016, if it seems we are posting a story about former Governor Jeb Bush on a weekly basis, we are.

Jeb is the second most popular politico in Florida behind Senator Marco Rubio, if not the most, and with a name like Bush, well, any story about him makes for a great read.

Much has been written and will continue to be written about his support of amnesty for illegal immigrants—a change of position he had many moons ago—as well as his unabated support for Common Core education standards.

Every Republican (I would hope), including myself, will support and vote for him in a possible general presidential election against Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Wicked Witch of the West, or whoever wins the Democrat presidential nomination.

But for any of those matchups to take place, Bush will have to get through the Republican presidential primary race, which will not be an easy task.

Jeb has really ticked off conservatives and is expected to hoard all or most of the “establishment” campaign dollars, simply because he is already perceived as being the only potential presidential candidate that can beat the Democrat nominee in 2016.

The argument for a Bush victory in 2016 is pretty strong, considering that Florida could once again be the state that decides the next President of the United States.

Again, Jeb is kind of popular in Florida.

So why not support Jeb in the general?

Except for his support of amnesty for illegal immigrants and Common Core, Jeb is a conservative, according to his past track record as Governor of Florida.

Jeb is his own kind of conservative. He is a “Jeb Bush Conservative.”

But is he truly a conservative?

During the 2006 gubernatorial race between conservative Tom Gallagher and then-conservative Charlie Crist, Jeb sat on the sidelines and did not endorse either man in the race.

But as a conservative, many grassroots activists have wondered why Jeb did not come out early to support his good friend and political protégé, Senator Marco Rubio, early in Rubio’s 2010 Senate race against the Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat, Charlie Crist.

For whatever reason, Jeb did not come out to endorse Rubio over a proven political chameleon until July of 2010, about four months after Crist changed his political affiliation from Republican to Independent.

Was Bush hedging his bets by waiting to see if Rubio could sustain the lead in the polls over Crist?

Sure sounds like that was the case.

Now let’s fast forward to the 2012 presidential race, where Jeb endorsed very-squishy Republican Jon Huntsman early on in that Republican primary.

Huntsman skipped Iowa and placed last in that caucus. Huntsman, who was focused on New Hampshire, finished a disappointing third, leading to him dropping out of the race and endorsing Mitt Romney.

His track record of support squishy candidates, or holding his support for more conservative ones, leads many to believe that he himself is a Republican establishment squish whose every move is calculated and based on political expediency.

The truth is, Jeb is just a shrewd politician. He is conservative, he is GOP establishment, and he is all about Jeb.

Again, Americans will have the opportunity to campaign for any Republican presidential primary candidate in 2016 they feel best represents their values and principles, but if Jeb, or someone similar to him politically wins the GOP primary race, conservatives need to avoid repeating what they did to Mitt Romney in 2012, which was stay home and not vote.

In 2016 a Republican non-vote is a vote for the Democrat presidential nominee.