Jeb Bush paints Ted Cruz as two-faced

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Can Jeb revive his campaign?.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican voters view Donald Trump as their strongest general election candidate, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that highlights the sharp contrast between the party’s voters and its top professionals regarding the billionaire businessman’s ultimate political strength.If Jeb Bush’s donors were not panicky beforehand, a spate of alarming headlines (“Why Jeb Bush’s Staff Shake-Up Is So Alarming”; “The Demise of Jeb Bush”; “eb Bush Orders Across-the-Board Pay Cuts for Struggling Campaign”; “Jeb Bush backers fret over sluggish campaign”) that followed his 40 percent cutback in staff and the latest batch of media conventional wisdom will likely shake even the most stalwart supporters.Ben Carson, suddenly in the political spotlight as he surges into the lead in Iowa polls, Sunday defended his more controversial statements and his low key style. “I will tell you, in terms of energy, I’m not sure that there’s anybody else running who has spent 18 or 20 hours intently operating on somebody,” the retired neurosurgeon told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “As a teenager, I would go after people with rocks, and bricks, and baseball bats, and hammers.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos Sunday, Trump insisted, “Don’t forget, in my book written in 2000, I was the one that predicted Osama bin Laden was trouble and you better do something about him.” (RELATED: Trump Faults Bush For Not Stopping 9/11: ‘The World Trade Center Came Down On His Time’) George Stephanopoulos: Finally, Jeb Bush’s adviser telling the Washington Post, that in the debate this week he’s going to position himself who can fix a broken Washington and focus on national security. On Friday, as Hillary Clinton was basking in the reaction to her marathon appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, her communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, told reporters that the hour between nine and ten o’clock on Thursday night, after the hearing finally finished, was the campaign’s best fund-raising hour yet. Seven in 10 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say Trump could win in November 2016 if he is nominated, and that’s the most who say so of any candidate.

The Bush team is certainly presenting a confident front. “We are making changes today to ensure Jeb is best positioned to win the nomination and general election,” said communications director Tim Miller via email. “Jeb is the one candidate with a proven conservative record, bold ideas and the strong leadership needed to fix the problems America faces.” He added, “We are moving our resources into the states to ensure that voters in primary and caucus states are introduced to his record and vision for the future.” On Saturday Bush dismissed reported difficulties with his campaign: “Blah, blah, blah.” As Bush gathered family and top donors for a confab on Sunday and Monday, they face a real possibility that the headlines will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. And also on Friday, A.F.S.C.M.E., the largest public-sector union in the country, announced that it was endorsing Clinton for the Presidency—an important win in her tussle with Senator Bernie Sanders for the backing of organized labor. By comparison, 6 in 10 say the same for retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who, like Trump, has tapped into the powerful wave of antiestablishment anger defining the early phases of the 2016 contest. “It’s the lifelong establishment politicians on both sides that rub me the wrong way,” said registered Republican Joe Selig, a 60-year-old carpenter from Vallejo, California. “I think Trump is more electable. Carson has opened up wide leads among Republicans in Iowa in polls released last week by Quinnipiac University and Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register.

He and real estate mogul Donald Trump will be at center stage Wednesday when Republicans debate in Boulder, Colorado. “I think Ben Carson is a very low energy person. It’s well known that the Bush campaign has been spending heavily, and there have been persistent rumors that, with the candidate trailing badly in the polls, its fund-raising efforts had stalled. We need strength these days.” Trump and Carson are considered among the least electable general election candidates by the Republican Party’s professionals, those who are in the business of helping candidates run campaigns and win elections.

Trump insisted Carson’s SuperPAC, the 2016 Committee, is a big reason he’s doing well in Iowa. “He’s got people all over Iowa from his PAC, and they are running – Ben doesn’t even go to Iowa that much. The GOP’s most conservative voters – a group that is older and whiter than the nation as a whole – wield extraordinary influence in picking the nominee. A new poll from Iowa, which was released on Thursday, showed the former Florida governor garnering just five per cent of the votes among likely Republican voters. Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals during his announcement speech; while Carson said he would not support a Muslim presidential candidate. “Republicans think (Democrat) Hillary (Rodham Clinton) is weaker than she is.

They are wrong,” said GOP operative Katie Packer, who was deputy campaign manager for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney. “They think we don’t need to win more women or more Hispanics to win. After all, Iowa is sui generis, an evangelical bastion (as it was in 2008 when Mike Huckabee won and in 2012 when Rick Santorum did); it is quite another thing if Rubio demonstrates strength not only among conservatives and moderates, but also with very conservative voters, evangelicals and tea party supporters. Jeb Bush, who has embraced a welcoming tone with Hispanics, tops the field of experienced political leaders on the question of electability, running about even with Carson and slightly behind Trump. As a candidate who must win over serious, mainstream conservatives Bush has put out a series of well-regarded policy statements, including an alternative to Obamacare. Carson and Trump are the candidates most likely to receive positive ratings from Republican voters, with 65 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of Carson and 58 percent saying the same of Trump.

Republicans are somewhat less excited about Bush, with 48 percent giving him a favorable rating. “If he weren’t a Bush, I wouldn’t even know his name,” said Republican Leslie Millican, a 34-year-old housewife from Magnolia, Arkansas. “I like the other Bushes. In part, Bush’s weak numbers reflect the fact he has run a weak campaign—one dogged by his tendency to mangle the English language, or, at least, to use it carelessly. His rivals will say that is because he is a weak, inarticulate candidate in a field of alpha candidates who are more forceful and succinct in their delivery. Since then, the list of phrases he has been forced to clarify or disavow is long and embarrassing: “People need to work longer hours”; “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars on women’s health-care issues”; “anchor babies”; “stuff happens.” On the basis of what we’ve seen so far, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Bush simply isn’t a good communicator. He can sound self-pitying, as he did again on Saturday. “If this election is about how we’re going to fight to get nothing done, then … I don’t want any part of it.

That’s my answer: blah, blah, blah.” If Bush were wowing the world with innovative and substantive policy proposals, his verbal shortcomings could perhaps be overlooked. That is not my motivation,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, being miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them.

In 2000, his brother George ran on the platform of “compassionate Conservatism,” which was his way of distinguishing himself from Newt Gingrich and other Republican bomb throwers. By an overwhelming 77 percent to 22 percent margin, Republican registered voters and leaners say they prefer an outsider candidate who will change how things are done, rather than someone with experience in Washington who can get things done. To a large extent, his current predicament is the result of the strategy Bush employed when he entered the race in December. “Shock and awe” in fundraising was matched for a time with demands for “exclusivity,” meaning donors and advisers could not help other campaigns. None of the things she has proposed is particularly radical, but taken together, they amount to a concerted effort to tackle wage stagnation and boost the middle class.

Perhaps that helps explain why Democrats prefer experience over outsider status, 67 percent to 32 percent, and experience in office over private sector experience 66 percent to 33 percent. It was not enough to be at 5 percent or 10 percent; if he wasn’t holding at 20 percent, leading and even lapping the field, he was “weak,” “slipping” or “getting bypassed.” Few strategists would have given up the chance to bigfoot the entire field, but Bush is now suffering the consequences of the big entry strategy. About all that has done is win him the enmity of conservative pundits and talk-show hosts, who accuse him of promoting an “amnesty.” And on this issue, most Republican voters agree with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

However, another poor performance like his first outing or even a mixed one as in the second, when Trump at times spoke over him and took the floor away from Jeb, would be a serious blow. But in the age we live in perception is critical and the amplification one sees in social media, 24-7 coverage and a plethora of outlets makes even transient phenomena seem irreversible. In its eagerness to promote someone whom it considered electable, the G.O.P. establishment sought to play down the dynastic aspect of Bush’s candidacy, portraying Jeb as very different from his elder brother: more thoughtful, more conservative, more articulate. Indeed, it now appears that Barbara Bush, Jeb’s mother, spoke for many Republicans when she said, in April, 2013, “There are other people out there that are very qualified, and we’ve had enough Bushes.” The Clinton campaign raises dynastic issues of its own, but there are important differences. As evidenced by the Adams, the Harrisons, and the Roosevelts, the idea of having two Presidents from the same family isn’t alien to the American tradition.

Some left-leaning Democrats may regard Bill Clinton’s Administration as a neo-liberal sellout, but most associate it with peace, prosperity, and the ability to outlast Republican attacks. When the pressure was on this past week, at the first Democratic debate and then at the Benghazi hearing, Clinton rose to the occasion and gave her campaign a huge boost. Now, it’s Bush’s turn. “Jeb really needs a knockout performance—it needs to be all him with nobody even close,” a New Hampshire Republican told Politico. “Otherwise those fumes he’s on are going to evaporate even quicker.”

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