Tags: Trump Administration | Jeb Bush | Rand Paul | GOP | presidency | midterms

GOP Hopes for Presidential Run Free of Infighting

By    |   Tuesday, 07 October 2014 11:18 AM

As the Republican Party prepares to pivot to the 2016 presidential election after the November midterms, many within its ranks are hoping for a spirit of cooperation even though no early frontrunner has emerged.

The circle-the-wagons hopes come as Democrats see solid support for one candidate, likely Hillary Clinton, while the GOP looks across a crowded field and wonders if it will lead to infighting and fractures that could destroy hopes of a change in White House leadership,
Politico reported.

Several current and former candidates said they hope people plan to play nice, Politico said.

"I think because we’ve been frozen out of the White House for two terms here, I think Republicans by and large are going to be really focused on winning the general election and not wanting to do things to handicap your eventual nominee,” said former vice presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, who has not yet said if he'll throw his own hat into the ring.

His sentiments were echoed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also a possible candidate. "It’s always important for us not to destroy each other — it’d be nice," Christie told Politico. "I think that after eight years in the wilderness, we should all be focused on winning. That would help.

"And I think if we did that, people will conduct themselves" in a positive way.

The upbeat comments came, said Politico, after each of the GOP stars "spent a good chunk" of the past year "savaging each other."

Even veteran candidate Newt Gingrich noted the tenor of early comments, but said being able to defend your position would be crucial for the GOP, especially in a likely fight down the road with Clinton. He favors a robust debate.

“There’s a wing of the Republican party which would like life to be orderly and dominated by the rich,” Gingrich told Politico. “And so they would like to take all of the things that make politics exciting and responding to the popular will and they would like to hide from it.

"The fact is, if you can’t nominate somebody who can win debates and come out of the contest stronger, they wouldn’t have a chance to beat Hillary in the general,” Gingrich said.

As Republican stars currently talk nice in public, the looming party shakeout drives speculation.

In one election handicapping story,
The Washington Post described 2016 for Republicans as "the coming death struggle for the GOP." The fight for power from within, noted The Post, comes after "the eight-year intra-Republican blood bath" that has gone down during Obama's tenure.

The fight will likely hinge on electing a traditional candidate, perhaps someone well-known before the Obama years, versus picking someone whose cache went up during that time — and old versus new guard dilemma. Noted The Post: "This is going to be a primary race defined by a generational split between those who rode the Tea Party to prominence and those who came to public attention before."

Both the Post and The Hill have reported on House Speaker John Boehner's wooing of experienced outsider Jeb Bush, as the lawmaker seems to sidestep congressional nemesis Ted Cruz as well as Rand Paul, both tea party darlings.

Whether Boehner's support for a Bush candidacy holds sway remains to be seen, but the former Florida governor has a record of reform and aligns with policy interests like education, which have taken a backseat in recent years.

Boehner told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News that he's continued his campaign to encourage Jeb to run, the Hill said. Bush's promotion continues even as others within his party — and closer to Washington — have seemed to step up.

“He’s had plenty of opportunities to tell me to stop, and he hasn’t," Boehner said of Bush.

The Republican Party is taking measures to curb future infighting that could diminish it, cutting back on 2016 debates and the time period in which the nominating process will occur, all in an effort to control a runaway process and appearances of the same old infighting that have turned younger voters off.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told Politico he was focused on "limiting the process from a six-month slice-and-dice festival to 60-plus” days.

His party, Priebus said to Politico, is “not going to get ahead by [members]  killing each other.”

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As the Republican Party prepares to pivot to the 2016 presidential election after the November midterms, many within its ranks are hoping for a spirit of cooperation even though no early frontrunner has emerged.
GOP, presidency, midterms
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 11:18 AM
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