As Ed Kilgore noted on Friday, Jeb Bush’s campaign is facing tough times right now. It has been widely reported that the Bush family and Jeb’s major donors are getting together in Houston this weekend and its not entirely clear whether their time will be spent rallying the troops or answering some very difficult questions.
In light of all that, I’m not sure Jeb helped himself today with some extremely revealing remarks he made at a rally in South Carolina. As tweeted by Jake Tapper, here’s what he said:
If this is an election about how we’re going to fight to get nothing done, I don’t want any part of it. I don’t want to be elected president to sit around and see gridlock just become so dominant that people are literally in decline in their lives. That is not my motivation. I’ve got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around being miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them. That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that.
In some ways, that might be one of the most honest things Jeb has said this campaign. But letting folks know that he has other cool things he’d rather be doing than fighting for the nomination reeks of the kind of entitlement folks have come to expect from the Republican establishment.
It appears that the entire Bush clan really doesn’t know what to make of this Republican Party they have long assumed was their creation. In an article by Jonathan Martin and Matt Flengenheimer about Bush, Sr. and his circle of friends/advisors, we get this telling quote:
“I have no feeling for the electorate anymore,” said John H. Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor who helped the elder Mr. Bush win the 1988 primary there and went on to serve as his White House chief of staff. “It is not responding the way it used to. Their priorities are so different that if I tried to analyze it I’d be making it up.”
One has to wonder just where Mr. Sununu has been these last 7 years. Oh yeah, he’s been busy doing stuff like suggesting that President Obama’s trip to Kenya was merely at attempt to incite the birthers. And NOW he wants to scratch his head and wonder how his party went off the rails after a nativist like Donald Trump? Really?
Overall I get that folks like Bush, Sr. and many of his team are probably shocked at the GOP’s response to Jeb’s presidential campaign. But the truth is, they would be in much better shape right now if they had stood up to all this nonsense a long time ago (like before Jeb decided to run for president). At least then it wouldn’t have come off so self-serving and entitled.