Axelrod: Primaries Present 'Difficult Terrain' for Jeb Bush

Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 11:01 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Republican primaries present "difficult terrain" for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush if he wants to win the GOP nomination for the White House in 2016, Democratic strategist David Axelrod said.

The reasons are the Bush name and ideology, according to President Barack Obama's former senior adviser.

Axelrod described Bush as an "establishment guy" who had taken positions on issues that ran counter to the Republican base. He predicted that, in itself, would present roadblocks to a Republican nomination.

"Jeb Bush has two problems. One is the name Bush, which is still not a popular name in our politics. And the second is that he is an establishment guy. But he's a guy who's been willing to take some stance on Common Core standards, on immigration, that are completely antithetical to the base of his party," Axelrod told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday.

For Bush to make it through the Republican primaries, Axelrod said he would have to make "major, major compromises." He saw Bush as a "strong general election candidate" who would become a "bad general election candidate" if he made compromises to win the GOP nod.

The problem, Axelrod said, presented a "paradox."

"It's very, very difficult terrain for him," he said. "The things that would make you a strong general election candidate make you a difficult primary candidate in the Republican Party."

Axelrod predicted Republicans would "have a hard time winning a national election" until they were able to resolve the divide.

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