Scarborough: Christie's 'Ship Has Sailed,' Donors Lukewarm on Jeb Bush

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 09:50 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Big money GOP donors are reluctantly leaning toward former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for president in 2016, said talk show host Joe Scarborough.

"The whispers are out there. You hear it among top [Republican National Committee] donors. There is not an excitement. I'll be really honest with you. Nobody's going, 'Oh, we got to get Jeb,'" Scarborough said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday.

Donors are eyeing Bush because they see him as the only nominee who could beat presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Scarborough said, adding that contenders like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz aren't considered viable against the former secretary of state.

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"None of these big donors think Rand Paul is going to win. None of these big donors think Ted Cruz is going to win. None of these big donors think, fill in the blank, you name it," Scarborough said.

As for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Scarborough said he's out of the running due to the tarnish of the "bridge-gate" scandal.

"I haven't talked to one that thinks Chris Christie can [win]. You know what? In the eyes of the big Republican donors, that ship has sailed," he said.

The buzz came following a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition last weekend in Las Vegas, attended by several GOP presidential hopefuls. Potential candidates were particularly looking to catch the eye of casino magnate and big money Republican donor Sheldon Adelson.

Despite the lack of excitement, Bush was a candidate Scarborough said he could support.

"I love Jeb. I'd be thrilled if Jeb were running. But I'm telling you, there's not the excitement out there. They're just kind of just saying, 'We got to get Jeb.' And that really emerged out in Vegas," Scarborough said.

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