Jeb Bush gets the week rolling with another hit on his own party, further distancing himself from the GOP base.
Jeb Bush said today that both Ronald Reagan and his father George H. W. Bush would have had a difficult time getting nominated by today's ultra-conservative Republican Party.
"Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground," Bush said, adding that he views the hyper-partisan moment as "temporary."
"Back to my dad’s time and Ronald Reagan’s time – they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan suport," he said. Reagan "would be criticized for doing the things that he did."
Bush called the present partisan climate "disturbing."
"It’s just a different environment left and right," he said of "this dysfunction."
And Bush also blamed President Obama for much of the conflict.
"His first year could have been a year of enormous accomplishment had he focused on things where there was more common ground," he said, arguing that Obama had made a "purely political calculation" to run a sharply partisan administration.
Sure, he hit Obama, as well, but the coverage of this story will revolve more around the severe criticism of his own party.
That's not an example of bias, it's just a reflection that it's pretty newsworthy when a major figure in a party rips the core of his own party.
When Bill Clinton and Cory Booker slammed Obama, it got more attention than when they hit Romney. Intraparty bickering is always more meaningful than interparty sniping (which is what defines political parties in the first place).
Meanwhile, this is just the latest example of Jeb dissing his party's base (I wrote about it here last week), and digging himself a further hole for 2016 or 2020.
Interestingly enough, Michael Reagan -- the Gipper's conservative son -- has also publicly wondered whether his dad could get nominated in today's GOP.
"If you look at my father and you just knew him as governor -- raised taxes, signed an abortion bill, no-fault divorce, and a few other things -- today, the argument against him would come from the Right; not from the Left.
He would have trouble getting his own nomination, but yet he ended up being the greatest president in our lifetimes.
We need to look at the whole package, the whole picture, everybody, and stop nit-picking ourselves to death."
I think that's patently false (as opposed to the less dogmatic "false"). Who did the GOP nominate in 2000, 2008 and 2012? George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney -- all centrist voices who were distrusted by much of the party's base.