Analysis: Bush like angry puppy nipping at Trump’s heels
Published 27/08/2015 | 02:30
What in the world has happened to Jeb Bush? The man with a powerful last name - who the Republican Party thought could leap into the 2016 nomination with a single bound - looks more like a puny contender than a political Superman.
According to a Rasmussen poll, 57pc of Republican voters believe that Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee. A mere two months ago, Trump ranked near the bottom of the 12 declared GOP candidates at the time. He now leads the field of 17 candidates.
Jeb's got the money and political dynasty but he doesn't have the message. His biggest problem is he thinks he's entitled to the nomination.
"I mean, look - for the populist, conservative voters, Trump symbolises everything wrong with the Republican Party - the country-club Republican Party of Jeb Bush," commented Roger Stone, a former Trump advisor.
"The notion that he was going to go to Washington to fight the pampered elite...Jeb, you are the pampered elite."
As Trump spoke to a crowd of 20,000 in Mobile, Alabama, last weekend, Bush's super PAC, Right to Rise, paid a plane to fly a banner over the University of South Carolina Stadium that read: "Trump for higher taxes, Jeb 4 Prez."
In politics, like sports, winners don't chase losers, they keep winning. Bush is always nipping at Trump's heels, like a candidate on the ropes - or more congruently, like an angry puppy. If Jeb's not tweeting about Trump, Jeb's angry at Trump and virulently attacking Trump.
"His massive inconsistencies aside, @realDonaldTrump's immigration plan is not conservative and does not reflect our nation's values." Yeah...
At a recent campaign event in New Hampshire, Bush again castigated Trump. This time for not being conservative enough. "There's a big difference between Donald Trump and me. I'm a proven conservative with a record. He isn't," Bush exclaimed.
That's quite a paradoxical assertion from Bush, since his critics have consistently and persistently accused him of being a Rino - Republican in name only - especially on immigration. Trump's immigration plan is more conservative than Bush's. Trump has unequivocally stated - on paper no less - that he will secure the US borders, end sanctuary cities and deport illegal immigrants.
Bush, on the other hand, said that he supports amnesty, which is anathema to conservatives. In 2014, Bush said this about illegal immigration: "But the way I look at this - and I'm going to say this, and it'll be on tape and so be it ... Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime, that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families."
This doesn't sound like a record of a "proven conservative". Most Republican members in Congress spent most of 2014 fighting against Democrats' efforts to pass a bill granting amnesty to illegals.
Expressing more pent-up anger at Trump, Bush lectured reporters in New Hampshire like a worn-down university professor.
"You don't win when you're the large, you know, dog in the room, where it's all about you. You win when you connect with people about their aspirations, not about how great you are, how rich you are, or how this you are or how that you are," Bush sanctimoniously chided.
Ironically for Jeb, that's exactly what Trump is doing: connecting with voters.
Two black women have become a viral sensation in America, producing videos on WeBeSisters.com, showing their unfiltered support for Trump. They encouraged Trump to bust the truth open about illegal immigration like "a piñata".
"If we commit a crime in this country, we gon' go to jail for it. So why is it, they can commit a crime by crossing that border illegal and once they do that we give 'em shelter?" the sisters opined in their latest engaging video.
Their commentary makes sense, like Trump's ideas. Bush is focused on getting elected. Trump is focused on offering solutions to America's problems. After nearly eight years of Obama dragging America down economically, Americans want more than politics as usual, and this is driving the old, out-of-touch GOP crazy.
Bush announced he would run for president only it if he could do it "joyfully". Where's that perspicacious, joyful campaign? Bush would be wise to start talking more about his ideas and less about his competitor(s). (© Daily Telegraph London)