Jeb Bush is still running against conservatives as he made clear yesterday during an interview. It prompted Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer to say Jeb treats conservatives as some kind of “an alien body.”
Jeb Bush was interviewed by Bret Baier yesterday on Special Report and told him that he has to “campaign beyond the base”.
“I think you have to be respectful of conservatives and you have to campaign hard to convince them you’re the right guy to unite the party but there always ought to be an eye on the ball of the next group of people who are actually going to decide who the next president is going to be.”
It’s not as if he’s conservative about much anyway though we are continually told he’s conservative.
Bush made it clear from the beginning that he was a moderate who would run against conservatives, not as one of them. At a Wall Street Journal event earlier this year, he said he would have to be practical in D.C. and you have to be willing to “lose the Primary to win the General without losing your principles.”
What that means is he can’t be a conservative and has to be willing to run against the conservative base. He was willing to throw off the base in other words and he’s still willing to throw off the base.
Bush’s comments in the Baier interview seemed to confuse Charles Krauthammer, a Fox News pundit, who thought for some reason that Bush was going to run as a conservative when he’s actually running away from conservatives.
It’s hard to know how he runs as a conservative with some of his views, especially with his love for Common Core.
George Will, who is anti-Common Core, suggested in February that Bush misunderstands what it is conservatives are complaining about with Common Core.
“…The problem on Common Core is his critics are talking past one another,” Will said. “He [Jeb] thinks people are objecting primarily to the contents of the standards. There is some of that. But most people feel as I do who oppose Common Core. I don’t care if the standards are written by Aristotle, perfected by Shakespeare, approved by Newton, and endorsed by Jefferson. They are wrong because they are the thin end of an enormous federal wedge that will inevitably give you a standard to cause the textbooks to be aligned with the exams, and you will get a national curriculum which is forbidden by law that will come in by stealth and indirection. Mr. Bush keeps saying we need to have standards. I think almost people – everyone seems to agree, fine, we will have 50 state standards and we will see which ones are best. That’s the beauty of federalism.”
Krauthammer was asked about Jeb’s comments referencing conservatives, and he said:
“You know, I don’t understand how somebody as experienced as him could actually say you have to be respectful of conservatives, as if they are some kind of alien body. He respects them, but it’s not him. I thought his idea was to campaign and say, I govern as a conservative.”
“In fact, he did for many years in Florida. I am a conservative. I also want to appeal to independents and others, which is the way he would present himself I think if he had it right. But there’s always a tinge where he plays into the idea that in fact deep down he’s not a conservative and that he’s going to pretend to be or appease them or appeal to them but that’s not who he is…”
“It’s just that it was a just a poor choice of words, to be respectful of. I don’t think it reflects who he is, I don’t think it reflects his record. I think he ought to clean up his rhetoric and understand how do you appeal without even subconsciously alienating people?”
Is this a poor choice of words? He’s said it before.
People need to stop pretending Jeb Bush is a conservative. It’s annoying, especially since he’s running against conservatives in the Primary. If he’s the nominee he will likely lose just as his two predecessors lost and he will lose for the same reasons.