Tags: Trump Administration | GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | Tea Party | republican | jeb | bush

Citing His Positions, Tea Party Makes Jeb Its First Target

By    |   Monday, 15 June 2015 04:03 PM

Jeb Bush's conservative record as governor of Florida doesn't seem to be holding him in good stead with the tea party wing of the party.

As he officially kicks off his campaign for president on Monday, tea party leaders say he's their first target, before Democrat Hillary Clinton, in their effort to get what they view as a true conservative in the White House.

Bush's positions on education and immigration are "a nonstarter with many conservatives," Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler told The Associated Press.

"There are two political dynasties eyeing 2016," said Meckler, who now leads Citizens for Self-Governance. "And before conservatives try to beat Hillary, they first need to beat Bush."

The tea party wing of the GOP doesn't want Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat in the White House, but neither do they want what they call a Republican in Name Only.

Bush racked up what many consider a conservative record as governor from 1999 to 2007. He cut taxes by $19 billion, created 1.3 million jobs, opposed embryonic stem cell research, expressed skepticism on climate change, stopped affirmative action in college admissions and some state contracts, and signed the nation's first stand-your-ground gun law.

But Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, said Monday that Bush "has moved way to the left since he left office a decade ago, on some of the most important issues facing conservatives."

In fact, Bozell added, "He's championed nothing for conservatives since leaving office."

Bush's support of Common Core has him at odds with conservatives.

"He's not bending on that position at all," Meckler told MSNBC in April. "For most people, that's a litmus test. He's just done."

Bush also favors a path to legal status for 11 million people who have entered the country illegally.

Meckler says Bush is "loathed" by the tea party and his name is rarely brought up when presidential candidates are discussed. When his name does get discussed, "that's when the vitriol flows," Meckler said.

Another problem is Bush's last name. Tea party members don't like the dynasty idea, and Bush's father and brother already have served in the Oval Office.

Polls are mixed on whether Bush can beat expected Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but tea party members tend to believe he can't. Besides, many of their own are in the running, including Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

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Jeb Bush's conservative record as governor of Florida doesn't seem to be holding him in good stead with the tea party wing of the party.
republican, jeb, bush
Monday, 15 June 2015 04:03 PM
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