Jeb Bush is no RINO, or Republican In Name Only, writes S.V. Dáte, the author of a 2007 biography on the former Florida governor and potential 2016 presidential contender, in Politico magazine
Dáte covered Bush for eight years as Tallahassee bureau chief of The Palm Beach Post. He writes that Bush's eight-year tenure as governor is misremembered by anyone who says he is not a true conservative.
While he was governor, Bush proved his bona fides as a genuine conservative. His record shows him to be anti-tax and anti-spending and supportive of small-government, law-and-order, gun rights and religion. He ditched Florida's wealth tax, drastically cut cumulative state spending, outsourced government jobs to private vendors, and approved the "Choose Life" license plate, writes Dáte.
The Republican base is mistaken to associate him with the policies of his father George H.W. Bush or brother George W. Bush.
As a matter of principle, Jeb Bush has long been a consistent advocate of higher educational standards in public schools. Common Core was not his idea but he embraces it.
His stance on immigration, however, is "personal," according to Dáte. He met his future wife, Columba Garnica Gallo in Mexico, while he was a student. Bush is fluent in Spanish; his three children are dark complexioned.
"So let's leave aside all the rational arguments Jeb makes on the topic — that immigrants bring vibrancy, specialized skills, even fecundity to this country. The important thing here regarding that nativist element of the Republican base, the one that occasionally strays over into overt racism: If the price of admission to the White House derby is to accept this group as a legitimate voice, then Jeb is not going to be interested in paying it," writes Dáte.
Bush tells reporters that he'll soon make up his mind about a presidential run
"I don't know if I'd be a good candidate or a bad one. I kind of know how a Republican can win," he says. The standard-bearer needs to be uplifting, positive, and practical.
Someone who would rather "lose the primary to win the general" without violating their principles. "It's not an easy task, to be honest with you," he says.
Dáte concludes that "because of the Republican activist base's fixation with Common Core and illegal immigration, Jeb could find himself such a pariah in the early primary states that all the money and all the organization in the world cannot overcome it," according to Politico.
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