Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — who’s been sounding the presidential drumbeat more and more — has no place at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference, former Reagan biographer Craig Shirley claims.
“[His] family has made a career of opposing or attacking the true meaning of Reaganism. A Bush speaking at the Reagan dinner is for True Believers mind-boggling,” Shirley, wrote in a column for TownHall.com.
“Maybe when he speaks, Governor Bush can explain why several years ago he advised the GOP to get over Reagan ‘nostalgia.’ More recently, he made the harebrained claim that Reagan could not now win the nomination because the GOP had become too ‘right wing.’
“I beg your pardon, Jeb, but since Reagan, the GOP has nominated two Bushes, a Dole, a McCain and a Romney – all men considerably to the Left of Ronald Reagan,” wrote Shirley, who has written two books on Reagan and was director of communications for the National Conservative Political Action Committee, which helped get the 40th president re-elected in 1984.
He notes the CPAC exists, to a great extent, because of Reagan, who spoke at 13 of the conferences in the 1970s and 1980s.
Shirley says what may roil many conservatives is the Bushes have “habitually” blown off speaking gigs at CPAC, including Jeb, who shunned them when he was governor.
He also says the conference has changed considerably.
“In the old days, the event represented the best intellectual revolutionary elements of the conservative movement,” Shirley says.
Now, “John McCain’s presidential campaign manager from four years ago, Steve Schmidt, has compared [it] … to the ‘Star Wars bar scene.’”
Shirley concludes: “In the final analysis, as a culture and a governing philosophy, Bushism is more akin to Obamaism than it is to Reaganism.”
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