Jeb Bush Reflects on Debate Performance: ‘I Gotta Get Better’

1 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Anger Over Debate Fills Iowa Republican Forum.

“Iowans are discerning voters,” Bush told some 2,000 potential caucus-goers at the Iowa GOP’s Growth and Opportunity Forum on Saturday. “They’re informed voters, they’re nice, and they treat you with respect.” It has been a tough week for the man who many expected to be the candidate to beat in the GOP primary. The news came shortly before NBC released the transcript of an interview in which Jeb Bush denied having seen a memo to donors that outlined his campaign’s attack plan against Rubio and was leaked after a debate in which the former Florida governor was widely considered to have been beaten by the serving Florida senator. “I didn’t see it,” Bush said in the interview with Meet the Press, which was scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday. “I didn’t see it. He admitted, readily, that his performance during Wednesday night’s much-maligned CNBC debate left him weakened. “I say this somewhat in jest, at least there was someone who fared worse in the last debate than me: CNBC,” Bush said amidst a sea of supporters clamoring for selfies. “I know I have to get better,” he added. “I don’t have this gigantic ego that says, ‘Well they’re just stupid. I don’t know.” The PowerPoint was presented at a closed-door donor retreat in Houston last week, where Bush gathered with his influential family to assuage skeptics within their vast network of financial backers. In the presentation, which was leaked to some outlets while a 112-page file was acquired in full by the US News and World Report, donors to the Bush campaign were told “Marco is a GOP Obama” and the “press obsession” with the debates did not matter.

Speaking on Halloween, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas accused the CNBC moderators of demanding of each candidate, “Are you more of a ghoul or a goblin?” Mr. Here’s a word that the moderators never mentioned: Obamacare,” he said. “How do you have a debate on the economy and never mention Obamacare?”‘ “But you know what we had plenty of time to talk about fantasy football,” he scoffed, referring to a question towards the end of Wednesday’s debate.

Cruz offered what he called a “radical” proposal: “How about if we say from now on if you have never voted in a Republican primary in your life you don’t get to moderate a Republican primary debate.” The issue stirs many in the Republican base who believe, as Senator Marco Rubio of Florida expressed onstage in Colorado, that Democrats have the “ultimate super PAC” in the form of the mainstream media. On Sunday, representatives of several candidates plan to meet privately in Washington to develop a strategy for pressuring television networks and the Republican National Committee to modify rules for future debates. Instead of voters being able to assess candidates’ positions and discern differences on policy, the format turns into a personality contest, which may explain why Donald Trump and Ben Carson are still leading in the polls. If voters are finally starting to pay attention to Rubio, as his campaign suggests, it is helped by the candidate’s obvious affinity for retail politics. “He’s charismatic,” noted Steven Fox, 58, who came to hear the candidates at the forum. “I saw him in Ankeny about two months ago. He took the time to speak with everyone.” Here in Iowa, Rubio supporters say his stock is rising after he survived an attack during the debate by his onetime mentor Bush, but the candidate is sticking to a tried-and-true script. “We’re doing the same thing that we’ve been doing for the last six months, and that’s just the basics of running a good campaign,” said Iowa state Sen.

Carl Quintanilla’s opening question was, “What is your biggest weakness?” It was a ridiculous way to start the debate — and the questions didn’t get that much better as the evening progressed. Rubio dismissed such criticisms on Friday, repeating his line from the debate that Bush had been convinced “that the way forward is to attack me”. “And that’s fine. Cruz proposed that a future debate be moderated by the right-wing broadcasters Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin. “How about instead of a bunch of attack journalists,” Mr.

Friday, he nabbed a critical endorsement from billionaire donor Paul Singer, who is wealthy and powerful enough to potentially move millions into his camp. Cruz said to loud cheers, “we had real conservatives?” But some other candidates dismissed that notion as misguided, because facing critical questions in a debate is part of auditioning for the job of presidential nominee. “If you can’t handle that stage, you’ve got no chance of handling Hillary Clinton,” said Gov.

The Florida senator walked away with most of the accolades and on Friday earned the backing of Paul Singer, an influential Republican mega-donor who was also being courted by Bush. Ostensibly, the debate will focus on economic issues (which the CNBC one was supposed to do, as well, but didn’t), with Fox hosts Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo along with WSJ Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker. The rules will allow any candidate who polls above 2.5 percent to participate; that is a low bar that serves no one’s interest but the fringe candidates’. The numbers are especially significant for Rubio, who raised just $5.7m in the third quarter and will need substantial resources to remain competitive in a crowded Republican field. Christie said he had no interest in the meeting among other campaigns to debate the debates. “If Ted wants to spend all his time on the rules, let him handle that,” he said. “While he’s doing that, I’ll go out and get some of the votes he might have gotten otherwise.” Gov.

If the bar were raised to 5 percent, we’d have a real chance of seeing an actual debate, though it might mean Chris Christie, John Kasich, Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee would be absent unless their numbers were to improve over the next week. The 44-year-old senator’s fortunes appear to be rapidly changing since the most recent debate, when he was challenged on stage by Bush, the former governor of Florida and a one-time Rubio ally. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who has been relegated to the early-evening debates because of low polling numbers, was one of those who organized the meeting on Sunday. The night was meant to be a critical test for Bush and his struggling campaign, but his underwhelming performance did little to quell concerns among donors.

He wants to see a “free market” in debates, removed from the sanctioning authority of the national committee, and open to all candidates. “I think Republican candidates should be ready, willing and able to answer tough questions,” Mr. But it might force him to make a decision about whether to continue his race, which has sucked up a lot of money that might be better redirected to a candidate who can inspire voters; yes, I’m thinking Marco Rubio. For candidates struggling to get momentum with voters, Wednesday night’s chaotic debate on CNBC has become the newest front in their fight against the much-maligned “establishment,” within the media and their own party. But he also had a disappointing third quarter in terms of money raised and now risks defections among his financial backers to the increasingly viable Rubio, who will embark on several fundraising trips in the coming week as he seeks to capitalize on the momentum coming out of the debate.

Rubio would continue to show his command of issues but have to face tough questions (if moderators are capable of asking them) on his economic policies. As Rubio walked back to his campaign’s booth at the event, he was surrounded by swell of reporters, fans and even professional autograph collectors, who saw an opportunity for profit. I’ll answer whatever questions you have, and if I think they’re stupid questions, like I did the other night, I’ll say it’s a stupid question. Although Rubio’s poll numbers and lean operation in Iowa do not have him registering just yet as a frontrunner, on Saturday, at least, he was received like one.

By increasing the number of debates and vastly expanding the numbers of participants, we’ve diminished the value of debates to those who matter: the voters. He might soon find his main competitor, meanwhile, to be Ted Cruz, another first-term senator who has a formidable following among grassroots conservatives. Rubio, whose clear focus and vision were praised by voters after the debate, stuck to his standard stump speech, describing his humble upbringing as a son of immigrants and his call for a new generation of leadership. “Rubio has the most room to grow,” said Tyler De Haan, the chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party, who was in the audience. “He’s yet to hit his potential.

You’ve got to get hot at the right time.” The event was held at the state fairgrounds, where candidates courted supporters with Halloween-themed booths of carved pumpkins and pails of Tootsie Rolls. Kasich. “You need somebody who is tough enough to do the job and can basically slam their fist down and get things done,” he said. “Be sure to see our Democratic house of horrors before you’re done,” Jeff Kaufmann, the state party chairman, told attendees. “It’s very, very scary.” The darkened maze featured tombstones for “The Constitution” and “Entrepreneurship” and, the final fright, a life-size Hillary Rodham Clinton at a rostrum with the presidential seal.

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