Will Jeb Bush Make His Last Stand in South Carolina?

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush gives a speech in Ankeny, Iowa, January 12
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush gives a speech in Ankeny, Iowa, January 12 (Gage Skidmore)

Jeb Bush could be making his last stand in South Carolina on Saturday.

The Republican desperately needs to do better in the third voting state than he has so far to convince both donors and voters that he is still a viable presidential candidate.

Bush, the brother and son of former presidents, got just 3 percent support in Iowa’s caucuses earlier this month and 11 percent support in the New Hampshire primary.

He is competing with Marco Rubio, a senator, and John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, for the support of moderately conservative voters who need to coalesce around a single candidate to defeat Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Read more

Republican Governors Team Up on Inexperienced Rubio

Republican presidential candidates John Kasich and Jeb Bush take part in a debate televised by ABC News from Goffstown, New Hampshire, February 6
Republican presidential candidates John Kasich and Jeb Bush take part in a debate televised by ABC News from Goffstown, New Hampshire, February 6 (ABC/Ida Mae Astute)

The three Republican governors seeking their party’s presidential nomination each criticized Marco Rubio this weekend, saying the first-term senator from Florida is not ready to succeed Barack Obama next year. Read more

Republican Criticism of Obama Foreign Policy Hysterical

Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz participate in a debate televised by the Fox Business Network from North Charleston, South Carolina, January 14
Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz participate in a debate televised by the Fox Business Network from North Charleston, South Carolina, January 14 (Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidates kept up their fearmongering in a debate televised by the Fox Business Network on Thursday, accusing Barack Obama, the Democrat they are hoping to replace next year, of deliberately weakening America at a time of global upheaval.

From businessman Donald Trump calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the country for fear of terrorists hiding among refugees to Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, conjuring up an apocalyptic scenario in which terrorists simultaneously deploy cyberattacks and dirty nuclear weapons against America — a kind of “existential threat” Obama would not “recognize,” according to the doctor — the national-security discussion got outright ridiculous at points.

Even candidates who are supposed to be more serious (and less popular) made more than a few incredulous statements. Read more

Republican Criticism of Islamic State Strategy Feckless

Republican senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015
Republican senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

Republican presidential candidates lined up almost unanimously on Tuesday night to condemn Barack Obama’s strategy for defeating the fanatical Islamist group that calls itself the Islamic State.

Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who is ahead in the polls in the first voting state, Iowa, took the Democratic incumbent to task for supposedly letting “political correctness” get in the way of fighting the militants. There is a simple strategy for defeating them, he said during a debate hosted by CNN in Las Vegas: “We win, they lose.”

Which, of course, is not a strategy at all.

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, both from Florida, were more sophisticated in their criticisms, but only a little. Read more

Former Defense Secretary Questions Party’s War Planes

Former defense secretary Robert Gates delivers a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington DC, June 24, 2010
Former defense secretary Robert Gates delivers a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington DC, June 24, 2010 (DoD)

Former defense secretary Robert Gates criticized the war plans of his own party’s presidential candidates on Sunday when he argued that putting tens of thousands of American troops in Syria is “not a near-term solution” to defeating the Islamic State militant group there.

“It would take months and months, even if you decided you wanted to do it, to put the logistics in place, get the troops trained and so on,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press.

Gates, a Republican who served under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, did not single out any one candidate for criticism. But nearly all the Republicans seeking to replace Obama in 2016 have called for more expansive military action against the fanatical Islamist group that claimed responsibility for killing more than 130 people in terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month. Read more

Republicans Wrongly Bet Paris Attacks Will Change Minds

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush makes a speech in Barrington, New Hampshire, August 7
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush makes a speech in Barrington, New Hampshire, August 7 (Michael Vadon)

If Republican presidential candidates are betting last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris will make Americans long for the foreign policies of George W. Bush, they may be making a big mistake.

In recent days, nearly all of the Republicans seeking to succeed Barack Obama, a Democrat, in 2016 have taken the incumbent to task for supposedly faltering in the fight against the Islamic State: a radical Islamist group that claimed responsibility for the attacks in France.

Even the two Floridians considered most worldly and more likely to win the nomination than the bombastic property tycoon Donald Trump — who is currently ahead in the polls — have taken a hard line.

Marco Rubio, a senator, has suggested giving the National Security Agency broader surveillance powers to interdict terror plots. He is also making an issue out of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s refusal to say that the United States are at war with “radical Islam.”

This website previously argued that voters in a general election may well decide that Rubio is too much of a hawk if he must run against Clinton — who is considered a hawk within her own party.

Now Jeb Bush is at it too. Read more

After Lousy Debate, Time for Bush to Worry

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush answers questions from reporters in Hudson, New Hampshire, July 8
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush answers questions from reporters in Hudson, New Hampshire, July 8 (Michael Vadon)

Jeb Bush’s uninspiring performance in Wednesday’s presidential debate is starting to call into question his ability to win the Republican nomination.

It’s not just this one debate. It’s that Bush — the brother and son of two former presidents — has failed to impress in all the televised debates so far. As a result, his poll numbers have barely moved. And as a consequence of that, party actors who are looking for a candidate to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 are wondering if Jeb really is their man. Read more