Evolution In Jeb Bush’s Views Or Romney Style Mendacity?

Jeb Bush’s  history of altering his posture on issues, as opposed to actual positions, has become the topic of several newspaper articles on Bush since he entered the 2016 race. AP describes Bush positioning this way:

Jeb Bush called himself a “head-banging conservative” back in 1994 when he ran for governor of Florida on a promise to “club this government into submission.”

He lost.

Four years later, the Republican returned as a compassionate voice for education reform and society’s have-nots.

He won.

It’s a lesson that still shapes Bush’s approach to politics and was evident this past week when he took the latest step toward the 2016 presidential race.

Known for his frequent admonishments that the GOP soften its rhetoric, build consensus and offer an “optimistic” vision, Bush dismisses the critiques of activists who say such warnings are proof that he is too moderate for today’s Republican Party.

Advisers and former aides say Bush, in many ways, is just as conservative now as he was as a 41-year-old first-time candidate who referred to his young staffers as “gladiators.” What has changed is his ability to sell what he believes to voters outside the party’s base.

“He didn’t change his core principles,” said Sally Bradshaw, a Republican strategist who ran Bush’s campaigns and is one of his closest advisers. “He saw a way to bring people along.”

Democrats question any claims of moderation on Bush’s part:

Democrats accused him of political sleight of hand, a charge they resurrected recently when Bush, a longtime opponent of gay marriage, said a court ruling allowing gay marriages in Florida should be respected as “the rule of law.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who served in the Legislature while Bush was governor, said he “pretends to be someone he’s not.”

“There is not a single moderate bone in his body,” said Wasserman-Schultz, who now leads the Democratic National Committee.

Huffington Post argues that Bush is no moderate while The New York Times has a more sympathetic look at what it sees as Bush’s evolving views.

Many will see this as a return to the flip-flopping of Mitt Romney. Those who miss that might be happy to hear that Romney is telling donors he wants to be president. Of course Romney’s mendacity is legendary, and he is probably second to only Richard Nixon in being the most dishonest person to every head a major party ticket, making it difficult to believe anything to come out of Romney’s mouth. Even many of his aides don’t believe the latest statements to come from Romney about being interested in running. However, should Romney deny interest, then Bush better watch out.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment