Jeb Bush, the younger brother of George W. Bush, is being considered by many within and without the GOP as a possible contender for the GOP nomination in 2016. However, Jeb Bush’s core political beliefs will run afoul of many conservatives and possibly the Tea Party. Washington Post columnist George F. Will writes a recent op-ed on why the GOP would be wise to seriously consider the candidacy of Jeb Bush in 2016.
Will notes that Bush has two strikes against him: He believes in immigration reform that invariably will contain amnesty for the 12 million illegals currently living in this country. Thus far, the GOP party base stymied immigration reform in 2006 when the party controlled both chambers of the legislative branch and the executive office. They have been successful at thwarting immigration reform when Democrats similarly controlled both federal government. It will be tough sell for the party to swallow Bush’s immigration stance. Likewise, Bush favors education reform which the party base would rather see the government have less involvement in.
However, Jeb Bush brings with him a much needed inroad with the Hispanic vote at a time when President Obama has lost the momentum with Hispanics. During both of Jeb Bush’s successful runs for governor of Florida, he pulled in over 60% of this Hispanic vote. Those numbers are unprecedented for a GOP candidate. Jeb Bush is married to a Hispanic woman and is fluent in Spanish. President Obama’s popularity among Hispanic voters has dropped by 23 points since the botched roll out of his health care site.
A combination of Bush’s appeal to Hispanics and his moderate political views give him a shot a cracking into the 18 “Blue Wall” states that have reliably voted Democrat in the past several presidential elections. It is the Blue Wall and Hispanic vote that cost Romney the 2012 presidential election.