Tags: GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | Mitt Romney | Tea Party | mitt romney | 2016 | presidency

Conservatives Attack Romney, Jeb Bush as Too 'Establishment'

Thursday, 15 January 2015 11:57 AM

Conservatives have come out firing against moderate Republicans Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney as the pair step up their possible campaigns for the presidential nomination in 2016.

Bush and Romney faced an onslaught of attacks as their potential rivals, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, outgoing Texas. Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, launched their own initial White House operations.

Conservatives called Bush and Romney "establishment-friendly candidates" who have lost touch with the party’s grass-roots movement, preventing them from becoming the GOP nominee, The Washington Post reported.

Romney was, in particular, singled out for criticism because he’s already run twice for the GOP nomination, and lost to President Barack Obama in 2012.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the libertarian who is expected to enter the large GOP field for 2016, told Politico, "I think he could have been a good leader of the country. But I think many people are going to say, 'He’s had his chance.'"

Calling Romney old news, Walker said the former Massachusetts governor could split the party if he ran against presumed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. "I think the best way to counter something from the past is with something new," Walker said.

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating told The New York Times, "People say (Romney) is a very fine man, but he had his chance."

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 vice presidential nominee, also took a swipe at Romney on "Inside Edition," Politico reports, even though she campaigned for him in 2012, saying "We need new energy. We need new blood. We need new ideas."

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal, also said, "He had his chance, he mishandled it, you know? I thought Romney was a terrible candidate."

And in an editorial, the Journal said, "The question the former Massachusetts Governor will have to answer is why he would be a better candidate than he was in 2012. The answer is not obvious."

Conservative radio Steve Deace told the Post that the GOP must eventually settle on one good conservative candidate among all the White House hopefuls, who could also include Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

"Some conservatives think Romney is self-delusional, but that doesn’t mean we should sit back," Deace said. "Are we going to split our vote again? It’s time for us to find someone and say, 'This is our son with whom we are well pleased.'"

With Bush and Romney said to be on the verge of officially jumping into the race, conservative candidates are stepping up their own possible campaign plans. Especially, they're focused on creating super PACs to raise money from mega-donors to fill their coffers ahead of a crowded race next year.

While attempting to position themselves as potential presidential nominee material, Walker and neurosurgeon Ben Carson were scheduled to speak Thursday at a Republican National Committee meeting in San Diego.

Perry was due to speak there on Friday, while Romney had agreed to address the gathering that night, according to the Post.

Santorum, who won 11 primaries and caucuses in his failed 2012 campaign, contacted leading donors and advisers this week to meet with him over the weekend to lay out a strategy for a possible 2016 run.

And former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who has previously attempted to become the GOP nominee, called on evangelical leaders and donors in what is being seen as his move to join the race, the Post said.

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Conservatives have come out firing against moderate Republicans Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney as the pair step up their possible campaigns for the presidential nomination in 2016.
mitt romney, 2016, presidency, jeb bush, tea party, gop
Thursday, 15 January 2015 11:57 AM
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