Update: 5:50pm on Friday 6th of march 2015
Although former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has the most funding of any Republican candidate, many potential voters are wary of the nepotistic candidate being too closely associated with the Washington Elite. Since 2009 much of the Republican success has come from grass root candidates who were relatively unknown in Washington, and many potential voters believe a legacy candidate like Jeb Bush would go against the last 6 years of Republican reform. Strengthening this claim, 19 of 21 of Jeb Bush’s foreign policy advisors worked with George H. Bush, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Jeb Bush’s controversial support of Immigration and Common Core is also causing many Republican to question the validity of his campaign.
A chorus of boos erupted while Jeb Bush spoke on immigration reform and other issues in a question and answer session during last week’s CPAC. While Bush still leads many GOP presidential polls, critics say he is out of sync with many conservatives because he supports Common Core K-12 education standards and an immigration fix that includes legalizing the millions of people who are illegally living in the United States. William Temple, a member of the Golden Isle Tea Party, had organized a walkout when the presidential hopeful began speaking , stating that the party doesn’t need another Bush in office and said that the party should listen to the grassroots activists that helped fuel their gains in the 2014 election. Although not many members of the audience were videoed walking out, many were heard booing.
The Jeering of Jeb Bush did not end when the presidential hopeful left the stage. Throughout the CPAC event, whenever Jeb Bush’s name was mentioned, select members of the audience were heard expressing their vocal disapproval. Many other speakers also expressed negative opinions of the current GOP frontrunner. Asked about the Jeb Bush fund-raising machine, Gov. Chris Christie accused Jeb of being the choice of the “Washington Elite.” Donald Trump went on to say, “Jeb Bush is in favor of Common Core, he’s weak on immigration. I don’t see him winning.” Both jabs received cheers from a portion of the CPAC audience. Nearly every speaker had at least one jab to throw at the former Florida Governor.
Jeb Bush went on to finish last in the CPAC straw poll, 5th overall. With 21 months to go before the 2016 election, there is still a world of time before any actual votes are cast. With no major gaffe or blunder, Bush showed he was able to stand up to a confrontational, booing crowd, refusing to back away from his prior positions. Although the CPAC vote didn’t go Jeb Bush’s way, the fact that every other candidate can’t stop talking about him speaks to his strength as a candidate.