Jeb Bush campaign looks to go deep into primaries

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fact check: Club for Growth vs. Trump.

MIAMI — Jeb Bush on Friday completed another grueling week raising money and campaigning in Texas, Iowa, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Florida. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush unveiled his Jewish support team on Friday, vowing to “confront anti-Semitism wherever it exists” and “restore our alliances around the world, especially with the brave and democratic State of Israel.” Dubbed the “National Jewish Leadership Committee,” the group consists of 71 prominent members of the United States Jewish community, among them former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, former U.S.Republicans said Thursday that the House will vote next week on a stop-gap spending bill to fund the government after Sept. 30, without the controversial language that would defund Planned Parenthood.Jeb Bush plans to appeal to black voters through “hope and aspiration,” rather than giving out “free stuff,” echoing previous controversial statements made by Mitt Romney during his bid for the White House three years ago.A lawyer for Donald Trump fired off a letter to the conservative Club for Growth threatening a “multi-million dollar lawsuit” if the group does not pull its TV ad claiming Trump “supports higher taxes.” Trump’s lawyer says the claim is false, and libelous.

Here’s what the candidate with the busiest schedule in the presidential race had to show for it: The latest polls have him sixth among Republicans in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire and handily losing to Donald Trump in, of all places, his home state of Florida. Bush’s central plan for selling his 2001 tax cut, both as a candidate and then later as president, was to lie about both its cost and its beneficiaries.

Dozens of House Republicans acknowledged the plan on Friday after the closed-door meeting where Boehner (R-Ohio) made the bombshell announcement that he’ll resign as speaker at the end of October. At a campaign event in South Carolina on Thursday evening, Bush answered a question from a white audience member over how his campaign can be more inclusive to African-Americans. “Our message isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff,” Bush said. “Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.” Bush’s remarks immediately drew comparisons to when Romney, explaining an earlier speech that he gave to the NAACP where he was booed, said, “I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff.” Coming three years later, Bush’s comments again demonstrate this struggle by Republicans to effectively reach out to minorities. Back at “the Pit,” as his team calls their dreary, fourth-floor campaign headquarters with a sweeping and equally dreary view of rooftops in Miami-Dade’s Little Managua area, advisers seem keenly aware that, perception-wise, their candidate has reached a critical juncture. The African-American community disproportionally votes Democratic, which Bush acknowledged as an issue Thursday night. “Republicans get 4 percent to 7 percent maybe of the African American vote for president,” said Bush last night. “Those are kind of the numbers that I hear about.” The GOP has been aware of these numbers for years as well. Having their support has meant so much, and we are looking to build that team.” Bush has reportedly been met with skepticism from some major Jewish donors because of the inclusion of former Secretary of State James Baker in his inner circle.

In a blunt 2012 report examining the issues facing their party, Republicans acknowledged that the party needed to better connect with black and Latino voters if they wanted to stay relevant in future elections. Trump told Time on Aug. 18 that his tax changes would not increase the net amount of taxes, but that does not mean it will not raise taxes on some taxpayers — as Trump himself has said. That image can be self-fulfilling and tough to turn around. “The cable TV chatter is obsessed with early polling and that has the lowest correlation of nominating success of almost any indicator you can find,” said senior campaign strategist David Kochel, whose Iowa nice demeanor masks a reputation for intensity and meticulous strategic planning. “We wouldn’t trade positions with anyone in terms of where we’re situated. Baker is widely seen as a critic of Israel and spoke earlier this year at a convention of J Street, a progressive Jewish lobby that is anathema to many Republicans. “I am privileged to know Jeb Bush,” Cheryl Halpern, a major GOP donor and former national chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), said in a statement. “I am certain that Jeb will not only be a staunch defender of America and American values, but will also be a ‘Shomer Yisrael,’ a guardian of the special relationship with the State of Israel as well.” While Bush led the Republican polls earlier this year, he ranked only fourth in a recent RealClearPolitics survey, behind political outsiders such as business people Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. If they bring all the political skill they’ve shown over the last few years to this election, they’ll wake up and learn they’ve elected Lena Dunham to be the next Speaker of the House, and will have no idea how it happened. * Caitlin MacNeil rounds up some of the conservatives celebrating Boehner’s resignation.

Trump has said his plan will make “people happy, other than maybe the hedge fund guys, who make hundreds of millions of dollars and pay very little tax.” His attorney said Trump’s overall plan would lower taxes. In a crowded field of credible Republican candidates, no one has anywhere near the extensive and far-flung campaign apparatus as the former Florida governor. Give me a break. * Brian Beutler argues that John Boehner’s departure won’t do much to rescue the GOP from the very forces that did him in, though there is one thing Boehner could do for the good of his party and the country: Boehner probably can’t end the vicious cycle that hobbled his speakership. Just look at his foothold in states voting in February: No Republican in modern history has won the nomination without winning either the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary, and Bush has fallen toward the middle or back of the pack in both states. “It’s probably all over if he loses both Iowa and New Hampshire,” said Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist who ran Barack Obama’s Florida campaign in 2008. “If Jeb doesn’t get an early win, all the money in the world isn’t going to change the direction of the race.” Five or six months from now, analysts may look back at this point in the Republican primary and see that Bush was already doomed. But he could plausibly clear the deck for his successor for long enough that the big issues Republicans want to fight over can play out in the election, rather than in the throes of governance.

The revenue it generated, he said, would be used to pay off the debt, then $5.7 trillion, to give a middle-class tax cut and to shore up the Social Security trust fund. His campaign money and organizational muscle may be insufficient to overcome the GOP’s antagonism toward nominating a third Bush and another establishment-backed moderate. He could place legislation on the floor that funds the government for a year, extends the debt limit through 2016, and replenishes the highway trust fund, and allow Democrats to supply most of the votes required to restore calm. Yes, it’s true that if polls taken months before the voting starts mattered greatly then Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain or Rick Perry would have been nominated in 2012. If Boehner were determined to make the next speakership less volatile than his own, and to end his own speakership on a note of responsible stewardship, he almost certainly could.

Kristy Campbell, a spokesperson for the Bush campaign, told the New York Times that Bush’s comments also reflected the candidate’s overall conservative message he was trying to get across. “We will never be successful in elections without communicating that conservative principles and conservative policies are the only path to restoring the right to rise for every single American,” Campbell said. What remains to be seen is whether he has one last fight left in him. * Steve Benen recalls that time when Boehner said in 2013 that Congress should be judged not by “how many new laws we create,” but by “how many laws that we repeal.” Never let it be said that Boehner lacked ambition. Meanwhile, one wonders whether Boehner now regrets not “creating,” i.e., passing, immigration reform when he had the chance. — gs * With excellent timing, NBC has a new poll showing that 72 percent of Republicans are dissatisfied with Boehner and Mitch McConnell’s ability to accomplish conservative goals.

In an Aug. 26 interview with Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect,” one of the hosts, John Heilemann, noted that that would affect not only hedge fund managers, but also people in limited real estate partnerships “of which you are in a fair number.” “That’s right. As applied to African-Americans, this is the old “Plantation” meme, according to which Democrats have ensnared people by the diabolical means of helping them stay alive and make ends meet, as opposed to “empowering” them with benign neglect. Bush is referring to an estimate prepared for media consumption by John Cogan, Martin Feldstein, Glenn Hubbard, and Kevin Warsh — four men who are smart economists in good standing but who are also very much partisan Republicans. This sort of rap coming from the scion of a rich and powerful family might go over better if he were preceded by some commitments to letting African-Americans vote and abandoning mass incarceration as a social control mechanism and taking seriously complaints about police misconduct. As it is, it’s just free rhetoric. * The push for more Democratic debates (which this blog has urged) is spreading: Here’s Ryan Cooper picking up the mantle, arguing that more debates would be good for the Democratic Party and for Hillary Clinton. * For some reason, Republicans like Mike Huckabee who defend Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis have endlessly repeated that she’s a registered Democrat, which is supposed to prove…something or other.

They get that down to the $1.2 trillion figure Bush cites by assuming that GDP will be 8 percentage points higher in 2025 in the Bush Utopia than it will be under current policies. Jeb’s brother claimed that the growth-boosting power of his tax cuts would avoid increasing the deficit, and we got eight years of fairly dismal economic performance. Capital gains are taxed at a lower maximum rate — 23.8%, including a 3.8% tax in the Affordable Care Act — than most ordinary income, which carries a top tax rate of 39.6%. As is the case with Bush’s tax plan, Trump could unveil a plan that lowers the highest tax rate, and thereby provides tax relief to the majority of wealthy taxpayers.

Ann Herberger, his longtime top fundraiser, recently moved back to Miami from New York to oversee the efforts, and three fundraising staffers departed. When a reporter visited last week, fewer than a dozen people worked quietly in what looked more like a vast storage area for unused desks, tables and bookshelves than a bustling presidential campaign headquarters. Few analysts see Bush as a leading contender in caucuses traditionally dominated by social conservatives, but those low expectations could be helpful. The video cuts to Trump saying that if a 14% tax on the wealthy today would knock out the debt, “I’d do that all day long.” But in that same interview, Trump went on to say, “Well now we can’t do that because the debt is so big.” Asked why, Trump responded, “Because it wouldn’t work, because it’s too much. Kochel, who ran Romney’s Iowa campaign, has 30 years of political experience in Iowa and knows where to find votes for the state’s arcane caucus elections.

And I think there should be a graduation of some kind, because as you make a certain amount of money, I think you should have to graduate upward.” But that was a response to a question about a flat tax, in which everyone pays the same rate, regardless of income. As Trump noted (at about the 3:25 mark) in the same interview, support for a graduated income tax — as we currently have — “doesn’t mean a raise in taxes. A lot of the other candidates don’t.” On March 1 the primary contest drastically widens as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia vote.

It takes about 1,200 delegates to capture the GOP nomination, and through March 1 each state will deliver delegates proportionally according to how the candidates perform.

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