Jeb Bush to Meet With Influential Evangelical Leader

Image: Jeb Bush to Meet With Influential Evangelical Leader Jeb Bush, left, and Russell Moore.

Tuesday, 08 Apr 2014 03:49 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is scheduled to meet with Russell Moore, a leading Southern Baptist in the country, as the potential 2016 presidential candidate reaches out to evangelicals, a key GOP demographic.

Moore is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, a group with 16 million members, making it the largest Protestant denomination in the country. He is also a frequent guest on television and speaker at theological conferences, The Washington Post reports.

The two will hold a private meeting at Bush's Miami office, which was initiated by the former Florida governor.

"We'll talk about the concerns of evangelicals," Moore told the Post. "He is a good man, and I am not surprised there is a lot of conversation about him."

Mitt Romney won 78 percent of the evangelical vote in the 2012 presidential election, which was 10 more points than what John McCain received in 2008, making evangelicals an important voting bloc for Republicans.

Moore has said that he does not endorse candidates but will happily offer counsel to any Republican or Democrat candidate.

Immigration reform may be a topic of conversation between the Christian leader and Republican politician.

Moore coauthored an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal in March with Ralph Reed, the Faith & Freedom Coalition head, saying that Congress needs to pass immigration reform because it is the "moral thing to do for the soul of our nation."

Bush is also an outspoken advocate for immigration overhaul and recently said that while those who come into the country illegally may be breaking our laws, they are not felons.

They do it as "an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family," Bush said.

In a Public Policy Polling poll released in mid-March, Bush led the Republican 2016 presidential field and only trailed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by three percentage points.

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