What’s the Republican Presidential Nomination without another Bush running for a presidential bid? Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is determined to set himself apart from his brother’s and father’s legacies by highlighting his own achievements and goals for the White House. Bush attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated in two and a half years in 1971 with Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude honors. Before entering into politics, Bush was an entrepreneur and ventured into many businesses, including establishing water pumps in Nigeria, working for a mobile phone company, and becoming a partner in a real estate firm. Bush also volunteered for his father’s campaigns in the 1980s. In addition, he chaired Dade County’s Republican Party and served as Secretary of Commerce for Governor Bob Martinez’s office in 1986. After running unsuccessfully in the gubernatorial campaign in 1994, Bush was able to win the seat in 1998 and again in 2002.
When Bush first declared his run for Republican Presidential nomination in the summer of 2015, he had major support from GOP voters and had dozens of PACS, such as the Right to Rise that “raised more than $103 million in the first six months of 2015” (CBS News). Bush acquired million dollar donors in his quest for President and became one of the early favorites for the GOP through his stances on defunding Planned Parenthood, tax cuts, making tremendous budget cuts in Florida, and his free market approach.
It has been a mediocre campaign for Bush as he has dropped down in the polls. In the past two debates, Bush has shown some momentum, but has missed opportunities to out maneuver his opponents and highlight his conservative record and achievements.
As the Washington Post stated, it is “a critical time” for Bush as he is now being faced with the possible threat of donors not funding his campaign if he does not show considerable improvements. According to Huffington Post Pollster, Bush is tied for third place with Carly Fiorina, polling at 8.7 percent of GOP voters. Coming off a mediocre debate performance with only a few highlights in the Republican Presidential Debate, Bush made it a priority to highlight some of Donald Trump’s distasteful comments and bring down the media juggernaut.
Bush was a former frontrunner in the Republican races and many GOP donors had their money placed on him to take the Republican bid. Since then, Bush has yet to put on an eventful performance at the debates, and bid donors have withdrawn from funding his campaign. Bush and his staff have stated that they are not worried by the early polls, because the polls “don’t filter out people that aren’t going to vote” but rather “frame the debate for people for that week” (Washington Post).
Furthermore, Bush’s campaign is relying heavily on the large amount of money and donations he receives, especially considering this large amount of money will help him outlast the remainder of the nominees.
The problem is that Bush cannot rely solely on money to push his campaign. He needs to restructure his campaign to appeal and connect to minorities, highlight his achievements and his platform with a lesser connection to his father and brother, stimulate the GOP base with his conservative views, discuss his record as Governor in Florida, and boast his political experiences. These qualities will display his record and show that he is qualified for the position since the top three candidates have not even held office before. Bush can ultimately gain votes through using his experience and his proven conservative record.
The third debate will be held on October 28th and will be a critical opportunity for Bush to improve and show voters that he is ready to represent the Republican Party as Presidential nominee.
-Jordon Lee ’16, Junior Politics/Opinions Editor