Jeb tweets a picture of his mom to Trump


Mom to the rescue! Mrs. Bush is ready to tackle Trump the chump! Yippie! Republican attacks are getting very personal! Jeb Bush tweets picture of his mom to Trump. This picture was not photoshopped. Creative or childish exchange?

Trump makes fun of Jeb Bush for ad ‘where he desperately needed mommy to help him’


Donald Trump said that Jeb Bush “desparately need mommy to help him” after Barbara Bush appeared in a campaign ad (pictured) for her son.

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush trotted out his mother to make thinly veiled attacks on Donald Trump, though the GOP front-runner countered with a “barb” of his own.

Barbara Bush starred in a campaign ad released Friday and praised her son because, “Rather than talking about how popular they are or how great they are, he’s doing it because he sees huge need and it’s not being filled by anybody.”

The former First Lady’s slight did not go unnoticed by the thin-skinned real estate mogul.

Trump has continually needled Bush during his attempt at the White House for being “low energy” and took a playground-style swipe at his rival in response.

The former First Lady had made a thinly veiled attack on Trump when she said other candidates were DONALD TRUMP VIA TWITTER

The former First Lady had made a thinly veiled attack on Trump when she said other candidates were “talking about how popular they are or how great they are.”

“Just watched Jeb’s ad where he desperately needed mommy to help him,” the GOP front-runner tweeted Friday night.

He added that “mom can’t help you with ISIS, the Chinese or with Putin.”

However, the former Florida governor had his own response to questions about his mother’s toughness.

Bush responded by posting a picture of his mother in football pads and eye black, taken during a literacy campaign with Houston Texans' JJ Watt.

Bush responded by posting a picture of his mother in football pads and eye black, taken during a literacy campaign with Houston Texans’ JJ Watt.

“I’d be careful Donald,” he captioned a photo of the Bush matriarch wearing football pads and eye black.

The picture of the now 90-year-old appears to be taken from a snap of her with Houston Texans’ Pro Bowl defensive end JJ Watt.

Watt teamed up with Bush’s foundation for literacy in Houston in 2014 and appeared in an ad encouraging parents to “tackle” the problem by reading to their children.

Follow on Twitter @CKozalBrennan.


Jeb Bush Blames Obama for Rise of Trump


Jeb Bush called Donald Trump “a creature of Barack Obama” in the latest example of the former governor’s ever-present frustration with the billionaire businessman during an interview with NPR.

“But for Barack Obama, Donald Trump’s effect would not be nearly as strong as it is,” Bush said.

The comments come as Bush continues his full assault on Trump over the past several weeks questioning everything from his rival’s seriousness to intellectual prowess. However, Bush expressed optimism to NPR that “the emotion of the here and now” with Trump “will subside.”

“The point is that we’re living in this reality TV political environment, where [Trump] fills the space by saying outrageous things [and] then people based on their emotions will express support for the sentiment, not necessarily the specifics, because there’s none and then he’ll backtrack,” he said. “And he’ll move on to the next thing and he fills the space.”

Related: Bush Campaign Pulls Ads and Shifts Staff Ahead of First Votes

For his own candidacy, Bush downplayed the expectations that he must win some of the early contests for his candidacy to remain viable.

“I don’t think I have to win any of them, because we’re organized in every state,” he said. “The good news is, expectations are low for me, and I’m definitely gonna beat those,” he said. “I feel really good about New Hampshire, to be honest with you. Just — just the way it — it feels.”

 Bush campaign pulls ads, shifts staff ahead of first votes 2:29

On Wednesday Bush’s campaign announced yet another reorganization that will shift staff from its Miami headquarters to early states. The campaign also canceled previously scheduled ad buys in a signal that the campaign could be strapped for cash.

“We have a Super PAC that is advertising on TV at a rate that is comparable to any other campaign if not more and we’re reallocating our resources to voter contact and a ground game that will be second to none,” Bush explained to reporters. “So we’re all in, the schedule will show that we’re all in, the amount of people that are working and all the work that is done to be able now to convert these people into voters in a contested race.”

The absolutely epic trolling letter Jeb Bush’s leadership PAC sent to Donald Trump’s lawyer



Late last week, Donald Trump attorney Alan Garten sent a cease and desist letter to a wealthy Florida businessman named Mike Fernandez. Fernandez had paid for an ad in the Miami Herald that described Trump as a ” narcistic BULLYionaire.” Garten threatened legal action against Fernandez — a letter he also sent to James Robinson, the treasurer of Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise leadership PAC. On Wednesday, Charlie Spies, the D.C. based counsel to Right to Rise, sent an absolutely amazing response letter to Garten. It, in all its glory, is below. I annotated it using GeniusSign up and join me!

Dear Mr. Garten:

On behalf of our client, Right to Rise PAC, Inc. (“RTR”), we write to respond to your December 4th, 2015 letter, in which you state your intentions to “seek immediate legal action” against RTR should it produce and disseminate certain political communications that “directly and personally” attack your client, Donald Trump. Please be aware that RTR is a federal “Leadership PAC” that has never produced, and has no plans to produce, advertisements against your client, or any political candidate for that matter. As a Leadership PAC, RTR was organized to raise money to support conservative candidates through direct contributions. In fact, RTR has made almost $300,000 in contributions since its creation in January 2015. Unlike your client, we only support conservative candidates.

It is possible you are confusing RTR with any number of federal independent expenditure-only committees (i.e. “Super PACs”) that have exercised their First Amendment rights to educate the public about your client’s public statements and stances on important public policy issues. We suggest you consult the Federal Election Commission’s (“FEC”) website ( to familiarize yourself about the differences between Leadership PACs and Super PACs, or perhaps skim through the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC or the D.C. Circuit’s decision in v. FEC.They are both very helpful and might clear up some of your confusion.

In addition, although RTR has no plans to produce any advertisements against your client, we are intrigued (but not surprised) by your continued efforts to silence critics of your client’s campaign by employing litigious threats and bullying. Should your client actually be elected Commander-in-Chief, will you be the one writing the cease and desist letters to Vladimir Putin, or will that be handled by outside counsel? As a candidate for President, your client is a public figure and his campaign should, and will, be fact-checked. The ability to criticize a candidate’s record, policies and matters of public importance lies at the heart of the First Amendment, as courts have repeatedly recognized. If you have the time between bankruptcy filings and editing reality show contracts, we urge you to flip through the Supreme Court’s decision in New York Times v. Sullivan. If your client is so thin-skinned that he cannot handle his critics’ presentation of his own public statements, policies and record to the voting public, and if such communications hurts his feelings, he is welcome to purchase airtime to defend his record. After all, a wall can be built around many things, but not around the First Amendment.

Lastly, in light of your confusion over the difference between Leadership PACs and Super PACs, we have to assume you may also be unaware of the FEC’s prohibition on a federal candidate’s use of corporate resources for campaign purposes. Although your client may think he is above the law and be accustomed to using lawsuits to bail out his failed business deals, the Federal Election Campaign Act and the FEC’s Regulations nonetheless apply to him and his campaign. Perhaps the attached complaint, filed today, will serve as a reminder of your client’s legal obligations under federal election laws. Just as your client is attempting to quickly learn the basics of foreign policy, we wish you personally the best in your attempts to learn election law.

Charles Spies



Yeah, Jeb Bush Is Probably Toast




“You know, I think Jeb Bush is toast,” I told one of my editors after Wednesday night’s debate.

“I kinda do too,” he replied. “I’m just worried because that’s what everyone else seems to think too.”

Yes, we pride ourselves on being skeptical of the conventional wisdom here at FiveThirtyEight. You don’t have to look very far backfor examples of it being wrong, such as how it badly overestimatedthe degree of danger that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was in until a week or two ago. But being skeptical is not the same thing as being a contrarian. There are plenty of times when the conventional wisdom is right. This is probably one of those times.

Bush received poor reviews for his debate performance from political commentators of all stripes (Republican, Democratic, partisan, nonpartisan, reporters, “data journalists”), many of whom also suggested that his campaign might soon be over. The straw poll1 we conducted among FiveThirtyEight writers and editors agreed; Bush’s average grade was a C-, putting him at the bottom of the 10-candidate group.

Marco Rubio A- A C
Ted Cruz B+ A D
Chris Christie B A- D
Carly Fiorina B- A- D
Ben Carson C+ A- D
John Kasich C B- D
Mike Huckabee C B D
Donald Trump C B+ D-
Rand Paul C- B- F
Jeb Bush C- B F

I agree with the group (I gave Bush a C-). Bush lost a probably ill-advised confrontation with Marco Rubio over Rubio’s absences from the Senate. Bush’s closing statement seemed stilted. He was the setup for a Chris Christie applause line about fantasy football. And for much of the debate, he was an afterthought, receiving the second-lowest amount of talk time among the candidates.

None of these things, taken alone or even together, would ordinarily be all that damaging. Bush didn’t make a catastrophic mistake — an “oops” moment. But the media consensus seemed to be that the debate was a potential make-or-break moment for Bush. Even if you were to charitably round up Bush’s performance to a C+ or B-, it probably wasn’t good enough.

Why does the conventional wisdom matter so much for Bush? Two reasons. First, because (as we pointed out before the debate) Bush’s “fundamentals” aren’t all that strong. He entered the debate with middling favorability ratings and polling at about 7 percent nationally. His endorsements have all but dried up: just two since Labor Day and none in the past three weeks, according to our endorsement tracker. His third-quarter fundraising totals were mediocre. This wasn’t a case like that of Hillary Clinton, who even at her worst moments was polling at 45 percent and had the overwhelming support of the Democratic establishment. Bush had a lot of work to do to gain the lead in the first place.

The other reason the conventional wisdom matters for Bush is because Bush is running a conventional campaign. It’s not as though he has all that much grassroots support: Only 3 percent of his fundraising has come from small donors. Instead, Bush needs the support of Republican elites — and favorable media coverage — to signify to reluctant Republican voters that he’s a viable nominee. And he needs their financial backing to win a potential war of attrition.

Instead, before the debate, major Bush donors were fretting openly to reporters (not just swiping at Bush anonymously) that his campaign was in a potential “death spiral.” Those concerns may grow larger and louder now, especially given that Rubio and (in my view at least) Christie had effective debates and are plausible replacements for Bush in the “establishment” lane of the GOP field.

Could Bush ride out the storm? Maybe. But his problem isn’t a mere lack of “momentum”; his candidacy has always been flawed. Instead of being the most electable conservative — the traditional profile of the Republican nominee — Bush has never looked all that electableor all that conservative.

And Republicans have a lot of alternatives. While Rubio has some problems too — his third-quarter fundraising was pretty abysmal, for instance — he fits the profile of the electable conservative. If Rubio were to falter, the Republican establishment would have a few backup options left, such as Christie or John Kasich (or in an emergency, even Mitt Romney). These candidates also have flaws, Christie especially, but they aren’t necessarily more severe than Bush’s.

In the insurgent lane, Ted Cruz, a candidate whose chances were already on the upswing, probably helped himself during the debate. It’s possible that Cruz’s gains will come at Donald Trump’s expense, although I personally thought Trump did fine2 and that if Cruz gains in the polls, it could come from Ben Carson or some other candidate instead.

But whether it’s Cruz or Trump or Carson ahead, the Republican establishment can’t wait that much longer to get its act together. And the most expedient way to do that may be to kick Bush to the curb.

Check out our live blog of Wednesday night’s Republican debate.


  1. The ground rules: We submit our grades anonymously so as to reduce the potential for groupthink; grades are supposed to reflect how much candidates helped or hurt their chances of winning the nomination in the debate. Sixteen of us voted in this edition of the poll. ^
  2. I gave Trump a B, higher than the group average, C. ^


Dear GOP: Washington Hates You Even More Than You Hate Us


It can’t be easy, in a campaign with Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson, to say something that stands out in its craven pandering and utter cluelessness.

So congratulations to Jeb Bush, who yesterday managed both.

“Let’s disrupt Washington,” Bush told Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “Let’s create a little bit of a recession in Washington, D.C., so that we can have economic prosperity outside of Washington.”

Washington, D.C., is filled with hundreds of thousands of actual American citizens, including me. But Jeb Bush can get away with his lighthearted call for economic suffering for a major U.S. city because the “Washington” of Americans’ fevered imaginations is somehow to blame for all their problems. They hate Washington.

Well guess what? We hate you more.

Election after election, districts all over America send their village idiots to Congress to rule over us, to write our laws and to spend trillions of our dollars. Some of the people they elect aren’t qualified to spoon food into their own mouths, let alone serve in Congress.

  • Georgia’s Jody Hice doesn’t think the First Amendment should protect Islamic worship, and he thinks it’s only OK for a women to run for office if she’s “within the authority of her husband.” (He replaced a congressman who called evolution a “lie straight from the pits of hell”; that guy was a doctor.)
  • Steve King of Iowa has said undocumented immigrants crossing over from Mexico have “calves the size of cantaloupes” from carrying so much weed.
  • Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton wrote a letter to Iran’s leaders explaining the Constitution to them, got it wrong, and managed to get 46 of his fellow senators to sign on.

These people are the human equivalent of those email forwards you get from your uncle who only wears one t-shirt, with a crying eagle holding an AR-15 on it. They don’t believe in climate change, and they think President Obama is a communist Kenyan Muslim who wants to destroy America by making sure people have health insurance.

At this moment, Republicans can’t figure out who should be the next speaker of the House, one of the most powerful jobs in the government, because they can’t find someone who will break the government enough. The 40 members of the House Freedom Caucus – the only members of Congress who love freedom, I guess – want someone who will shut down the government unless President Obama orders a nuclear strike on Planned Parenthood clinics across America. (I think I have that right.) And they’re holding the process hostage until they find someone to satisfy their hunger for chaos.

After breaking the government, they’ll go home to their constituents to join their complaints about how government just doesn’t work. It’s that dang Washington, D.C.! If only we could fix it!

And those of us who live here in Washington? We don’t even get to write our own local laws without these yahoos giving us a meaty thumb’s up. Want to spend our own tax dollars on helping poor women pay for abortions? Nope, Jesus told Congress that makes him cry. Want to make marijuana more or less legal because the War on Drugs is destructive and immoral? Sorry, we need to review this Reefer Madness filmstrip first to see if that’s OK.

And, of course, when Congress does vote on our laws, we don’t get a vote.

Republicans like Jeb Bush love to complain about Washington because we make an easy target, but it’s the representatives the rest of America send to our city who are mucking everything up. Oh, are you sick of all the partisan bickering? The influence of big-money lobbyists? The gridlock, the extremism? That’s not Washington; that’s you.

Bush suggests sending the city I live in into a recession. He’s joking, of course. But it’s a nasty joke, one that comes from ignorance and malevolence. And the governing philosophy behind it is very real. Bush – along with his dozen or so fellow candidates – wants to come to Washington to destroy it for the greater good. They think firing my neighbors who work for the federal government will somehow fix the problems back home.

Do me, my neighbors and my city a favor and stop sending these folks here. Washington isn’t responsible for your problems. You’re responsible for ours.




GREENVILLE, S.C. — Jeb Bush invited a firestorm on Friday by saying that “stuff happens” in reference to renewed calls for legislative action after tragedies like the mass shooting in Oregon.

“I had this challenge as governor because we had — look, stuff happens,” he said at a forum in South Carolina. “There’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”

The inelegant phrase immediately set off a wave of criticism from observers suggesting he was playing down the scourge of gun violence and the tragedy on Thursday, in which a gunman killed nine people at a community college in Roseburg, Ore.

Mr Bush, taking questions from the state’s attorney general, Alan Wilson, was speaking about a pattern of proposing legislative responses that he said did not halt the tragedies they were meant to stop.

Asked afterward about the “stuff happens” comment, Mr. Bush said, “it wasn’t a mistake,” and requested that a reporter point out “what I said wrong.”

“Things happen all the time,” Mr. Bush said. “Things. Is that better?”

Asked what he meant, Mr. Bush said he was talking more generally about the tendency to pass laws in response to tragic events.

“Tragedies,” he said. “A child drowned in a pool and the impulse is to pass a law that puts fencing around pools. Well it may not change it. Or you have a car accident and the impulse is to pass a law that deals with that unique event. And the cumulative effect of this is, in some cases, you don’t solve the problem by passing the law, and you’re imposing on large numbers of people burdens that make it harder for our economy to grow, make it harder to protect liberty.”

Mr. Bush said he was not referring specifically to Oregon when he said “stuff happens.”

At the forum at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., Mr. Bush boasted of his pro-gun record as Florida governor, recalling awards he received from the National Rifle Association and noting that he once received a gun from the group’s former president, Charlton Heston.

At a news conference in Washington, President Obama was asked to respond to Mr. Bush’s comments after being read a small portion of them.

“I don’t even think I have to react to that one,” Mr. Obama said, adding, “The American people should hear that.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Bush, Allie Brandenburger, said in an email that Mr. Bush’s critics were “taking shameless advantage of a horrific tragedy.”

“It is sad and beyond craven that liberal Democrats, aided and abetted by some in the national media, would dishonestly take Governor Bush’s comments out of context in a cheap attempt to advance their political agenda in the wake of a tragedy,” she said.


What about American citizens?: Jeb Bush, Donald Trump Unapologetic for ‘Anchor Baby’ Language

Jeb Bush, Donald Trump Unapologetic for ‘Anchor Baby’ Language
Jeb Bush isn’t backing down over his usage of the phrase “anchor babies,” a controversial term both he and fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump have both used.
In one of his testiest exchanges to date, Bush pushed back against reporters today in Keene, NH who asked if he thought the term — referring to the American-born children of undocumented immigrants — was offensive.
A reporter asked Bush if he regretted using the term “anchor babies” on Bill Bennett’s radio show earlier this week, to which he snapped, “You give me a better term and I’ll use it.”
Trump: ‘I’ll Use the Word Anchor Baby’
Donald Trump’s GOP Rivals Blast His Immigration Plan
ABC News’ Tom Llamas asked if the language was “bombastic,” the same kind of talk from Trump Bush had knocked down just moments earlier.
“Look here’s the deal. What I said was it’s commonly referred to that,” Bush said. “That’s what I said, I didn’t use it as my own language…I think that people born in this country ought to be American citizens.”
This follows another heated line of questioning just last night directed at Donald Trump, the current front-runner in the GOP race. After being asked by Llamas if he was aware that the term was offensive, Trump eventually responded, “I’ll use the word anchor baby.”
It all happened as the campaign trail heats up over the topic of immigration. After Trump released his 6-page policy paper, calling in part for a wall to be built and an end to “birthright citizenship”, most of the GOP candidates have been asked to weigh in on their views.
Trump and Bush traded barbs last night, each with dueling town hall meetings in NH, just 20 miles from each other. Trump openly mocked Bush’s small crowds saying, “You know what’s happening to Jeb’s crowd right down the street? They’re sleeping!”
Bush instead pounced on Trump’s liberal record, calling him a “tax-hiking Democrat” adding, “He was a Democrat longer in the last decade than he was a Republican. He’s given more money to Democrats than he’s given to Republicans.”
Bush’s fiercest criticism today came from the other side — his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Her campaign tweeted their response to the debate.

BUSH EQUALS MORE WARS: Jeb Bush: I would have authorized Iraq War

11836661_763328493776534_2804975487038845048_n-1BUSH=MORE WARS
Jeb Bush: I would have authorized Iraq War
Washington (CNN)Jeb Bush said he would have done the same as his brother in deciding to go to war in Iraq if he had been president at the time.
His comments, in an interview with Fox News set to air on Monday night, come in the wake of Bush’s private statement that he relies on his brother, former President George W. Bush, as an adviser on some Middle East affairs.
“I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got,” Bush said in the interview.
RELATED: Jeb Bush says he doesn’t feel like ‘yesterday’s news’
Clinton’s 2003 vote in support of a resolution to green-light the war in Iraq was a key part of the 2008 campaign, then then-Sen. Barack Obama hammered her hawkish stance. It could help Bush blur lines between the two when it comes to his brother’s legacy.
Bush said the United States should have focused more on security in Iraq, but said his brother agrees on that point.
The Bush family and Iraq
The Bush family and Iraq 01:44
“By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W. Bush,” he said. “Yes, I mean, so just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.”
In the same interview, Bush said he thinks he can sell the Republican base on his position on immigration — and he’s hitting opponents who have changed their positions on the issue.
“I get a sense that a lot of people can be persuaded, to be honest with you,” the former Florida governor told Megyn Kelly in a preview of his interview that aired Sunday.
Bush has urged a respectful tone toward undocumented immigrants and has said it should be easier for those immigrants to gain legal status.
That position is anathema to much of the party’s conservative base, which opposes “amnesty” in any form — particularly the executive actions President Barack Obama has taken to allow immigrants who were brought into the United States as children to stay, as well as the undocumented parents of U.S. citizen children. Bush said he would repeal Obama’s unilateral actions.
But the former Florida governor took a shot at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, though not by name, for changing his position on immigration. Walker once supported a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, but has said he’s changed his views — and even recently called for limits on legal immigration.
“Do you want people to just bend with the wind, to mirror people’s sentiment, whoever’s in front of you?” Bush said. “‘Oh yes, I used to be for that, but now I’m for this’ — is that the way we want to elect presidents?”
Bush’s perspective differs from much of the GOP field: He lives in Miami, has a Mexican-born wife and has said his family speaks Spanish at home. His brother, former President George W. Bush, previously supported immigration reform efforts.
Another Florida Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, also supported efforts to ease immigrants’ ability to attain legal status — though he’s since backed off that position as Republicans have grown increasingly critical of Obama’s handling of the issue.
As Republicans shift to the right, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has run as far to the left as possible, saying undocumented immigrants should be allowed to become U.S. citizens and that she’d try to go further than Obama in using her executive authority to aid immigrants.
Though a politically challenging position for Bush in his likely GOP primary campaign, a moderate immigration position would serve him well in a general election campaign as Hispanic voters are the most rapidly growing voting bloc.



Jeb Bush trashed use of private emails at the #GOPDebate but failed to mention, as governor, he too used private email to discuss security, troop deployments. Pow!
As governor, Jeb Bush used e-mail to discuss security, troop deployments
Jeb Bush used his private e-mail account as Florida governor to discuss security and military issues such as troop deployments to the Middle East and the protection of nuclear plants, according to a review of publicly released records.
The e-mails include two series of exchanges involving details of Florida National Guard troop deployments after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the review by The Washington Post found.
Aides to Bush said Saturday that none of the e-mails contained sensitive or classified information, and that many of the events mentioned in them were documented in press accounts, either contemporaneously or later. But security experts say private e-mail systems such as the one used by Bush are more vulnerable to hackers, and that details such as troop movements could be exploited by enemies.
Bush is actively considering a run for president and has sharply criticized likely Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton for her use of a private e-mail account when she served as secretary of state. He called it “baffling” that Clinton didn’t consider the potential security risks of discussing diplomatic and national security issues by using an e-mail account not tied to a government server.An unknown number of the e-mails housed on Bush’s server were redacted or withheld from public release because they contained sensitive security issues, Bush representatives have said. Communications director Tim Miller said general policy was for Bush to discuss sensitive National Guard issues in person with only occasional briefings by e-mail that “wouldn’t contain information that should not be in the public domain.”
“This Democrat opposition research dump of a few innocuous e-mails that Gov. Bush voluntarily posted on a Web site only highlights how large the gap is between him and Clinton in the area of transparency,” Miller said in a statement.


LIAR: Jeb Bush Completely Lied About Meeting With #BlackLivesMatter Activists

11828670_765221606920556_7695824811790577031_nLIAR: Jeb Bush Completely Lied About Meeting With #BlackLivesMatter Activists (lied about his brother winning the Florida’s Presidential Election and now this.)
After former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush patently ignored a question about how he personally related to the issue of racism in this country during a question and answer session for a Las Vegas campaign event, activists disrupted his event, chanting “Black lives matter”.
Perhaps in an effort to explain the way Bush just walked away from the young woman asking the question — blatantly ignoring her — the campaign put out a narrative that the Republican presidential candidate had met “face-to-face” with Black Lives Matter activists prior to the event. This narrative was published in many news stories about the event.
From NBC:
Bush met privately with members of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to the scheduled town hall, according to his campaign, although they would not confirm if the activists who interrupted Bush were the same activists he had met with.
It turns out this hail Mary narrative is not accurate. There was a meeting, but no Black Lives Matter activists were present.
Dana Liebelson at Huffington Post busted the Bush campaign on Friday, writing, “There was a meeting, but no activists from the Black Lives Matter movement participated. Instead, Bush met with a local elected official, a GOP lobbyist and a staffer from an anti-poverty organization.”
In this meeting that did not include any face-to-face with any faction of Black Lives Matter (there are several factions of BLM, as with any movement), the Voting Rights Act and the shooting of a black man got a “lot of non-response”:
The Bush campaign did not comment on whether it stood by its statement that the candidate met with Black Lives Matter advocates. The campaign said that advocates were invited, and couldn’t speak to why people might not want to attend.
The private meeting was about fifteen minutes long, according to those who attended. Goynes-Brown told HuffPost that the meeting did not focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, although attendees did discuss criminal justice issues. Goynes-Brown said she strongly supports the movement, but would not call herself an activist.
Hooks said his organization brought up the Voting Rights Act and a black man, allegedly armed, who was shot in Ferguson recently. “There was as lot of non-response,” Hooks said.
Well, okay, if they were invited but did not attend, why did the campaign claim that Bush had met with BLM activists?
The real issue here is that politicians need to be willing to listen to the actual people they want to represent. Former Governor Bush shouldn’t have just ignored the question about how he related to the problems generated by systemic racism. It was a good question after his vague non-response to the first question, “We have serious problems and these problems have gotten worse in the last few years. Communities, people no longer trust the basic institutions in our society that they need to trust to create, to make things work.”
After that desperate dodge into nothing, Bush pivoted to education. “Education” as a pivot is Republican for pretending to care about everyone. Education will fix everything! Just look at No Child Left Behind.
Bush is hardly the only politician who doesn’t get it. But he missed a real opportunity here to actually listen to people, even if he doesn’t “agree” with them that there is a major problem with systemic racial injustice (this is a fact, hard to disagree with, many people just want to ignore it so they will fob it off as “disagreement”).
Bush made it even worse by misrepresenting the facts. Jeb Bush did not meet with Black Lives Matter activists prior to his Las Vegas campaign event.
Bush can’t answer their questions and he hasn’t come up with a practical and real policy idea to address the problem. Republicans have not shown any willingness to discuss real problems like this for over a decade.
Republicans would rather focus on stories of their own persecution, claiming that their religious freedom is being stolen due to other people getting to choose their beliefs or investigate Planned Parenthood for things that were never even suggested in the “evidence” they’ve put forth. They want to wave some flags, play Clint Eastwood and start another war, not discuss tough domestic problems.
Problems like jobs that don’t pay well, insurmountable income inequality, an inability to retire, lack of equal pay, damaging family leave policies, crippling college debt, disparity of resources between the haves and the have-nots, the murder of three women a day by their partner, racial bias so extreme it’s causing police officers to kill unarmed black men and physically attack a young black girl — these problems are not on the Republican docket.
Don’t ask and they won’t have to tell people that they met with you when they did not.