While asserting recently that he "is not a candidate" for the Republican presidential nomination, Jeb Bush continues to add staff to his super PAC and hold preliminary discussions with veteran GOP strategists.
According to The Washington Post,
talks have been held between Bush's super PAC, Right to Rise, and pollster Neil Newhouse, campaign lawyer Charles Spies and advertising strategist Larry McCarthy.
As a private citizen who has not officially declared his intention to run, Bush remains involved with the management of the super PAC. If he declares his candidacy, the super PAC and his political campaign would have to end all collaboration.
Newhouse, a co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, would be a natural fit with Bush, having served as a pollster for his Florida gubernatorial campaigns, and has national experience working on Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.
However, notes the Post, Romney's campaign was widely criticized for not accurately gauging President Barack Obama's support, and overstating the closeness of the 2012 campaign.
Newhouse did accurately predict that Republicans would gain the majority in 2014, but noted in an October 2014 op-ed that success in the midterms
"will not necessarily portend success in 2016" and that "the Republican Party hasn’t managed to string together three successful elections since the 2000-2002-2004 political cycles."
McCarthy also has an extensive resume having worked for Karl Rove's PAC American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity, as well as on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign.
Another veteran of the McConnell campaign, Scott Jennings, recently joined Right to Rise as a senior adviser, according to The Lexington Herald-Leader.
Jennings was an adviser to President George W. Bush and, according to the Herald-Leader, would be "in line for a senior role on the campaign, most likely as national political director, if Jeb Bush goes ahead with a run for the White House."
"Bush has a strong record of cutting taxes, protecting life and finding ways to reform government with solid conservative ideas," said Jennings in an email to the paper.
Last week, the National Review reported
on plans to bring Justin Muzinich on to serve as national policy director. Muzinich is vice chairman of Muzinich & Co., a New York City investment firm, and has spent most of his career working in finance on Wall Street.
He and Mitt Romney’s former Iowa strategist, David Kochel, are seen as more "unconventional" hires with more private sector than campaign experience, National Review reports.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.