The scion of the “Bush Dynasty,” J.E.B.(!) Bush, no doubt assumed that the presidency was his inheritance — all he had to do was run for president. It turns out that J.E.B.(!) Bush is a terrible candidate, and his assumptions are wrong.
After spending the better part of a week doubling down on his idiot brother’s unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq and illegal torture policy, J.E.B.(!) returned to offending key voting blocs.
In recent days this gaffe machine has again offended Latinos and women, two key voting blocs that no candidate can get elected president without. It’s as almost if J.E.B.(!) doesn’t want to be president and is subconsciously sabotaging his own campaign.
Steve Benen reports, Jeb makes ‘anchor babies’ mess even worse:
A few years ago, a center-right group called the Hispanic Leadership Network, hoping to help Republicans win Latino votes, gave GOP officials and candidates some advice: it’s time to change the party’s rhetoric.
“When talking about immigrants: Do use ‘undocumented immigrant’ when referring to those here without documentation,” the group advised. “Don’t use the word ‘illegals’ or ‘aliens.’ Don’t use the term ‘anchor baby.'”
Jeb Bush was not only active in the group, he even helped chair it for a while. Nevertheless, the Republican presidential hopeful ignored the advice last week, and somehow managed to make matters worse late yesterday. MSNBC’s Amanda Sakuma reported:
Bush said that he used the term [“anchor baby”] specifically to refer to fraud — sometimes called “birth tourism” — in a “specific, targeted kind of case” involving mothers who travel to the United States only to win citizenship for their unborn children. “Frankly, it’s more related to Asian people coming into our country, having children in that organized effort taking advantage of a noble concept which is birthright citizenship,” Bush told reporters at a bustling Mexican restaurant just miles from the U.S. border. […]
“And by the way, I think we need to take a step back and chill out a little bit as it relates to the political correctness that somehow you have to be scolded every time you say something,” he said.
Part of the problem here is that Bush simply isn’t telling the truth. We’ve heard the recording — when the Florida Republican used the term “anchor babies” last week, he wasn’t talking about Asians and “birth tourism.” He very specifically referred to Mexico, border enforcement, and “our relationship with our third largest trading partner.”
But just as important is the fact that the GOP candidate, while trying to put out one fire, may well have started another. Using a controversial phrase, seen by many as a slur, is itself problematic, but Bush’s defense yesterday amounted to, “I didn’t mean that group; I meant that other group.”
The percentage of Asian-American voters doubled in the United States between 1996 and 2012. Why Republicans would take steps to alienate them on purpose is a bit of a mystery.
And then there is J.E.B.(!)‘s misogynist views towards women and their right to make their own health care decisions in private consultation with their doctor. Jeb trips over ‘women’s health issues’ yet again:
It was earlier this month when Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush not only went after Planned Parenthood for reasons he couldn’t explain, he also said publicly, “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”
A day later, the former governor said he’d strip the health care organization of funding, but would then “redirect those funds to other women’s health” group. This approach, Bush added, would be “in line with my Florida record.” As it turns out, that wasn’t entirely true.
Any way the GOP candidate could make this just a little worse? Of course there is.
Jeb Bush attacked Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, doubling down on his assertion that the organization should not receive any federal funding because it’s not actually tackling women’s health issues.
“I, for one, don’t think Planned Parenthood ought to get a penny though, and that’s the difference because they’re not actually doing women’s health issues,” the Republican presidential candidate said.
Unprompted, Bush added that Planned Parenthood is “involved in something way, way different than” women’s health issues.
I have no idea what Jeb is talking about, and more to the point, Jeb doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about, either. Going after Planned Parenthood — a group championed for years by Bush’s father and grandfather — is itself odd, and to date, the Florida Republican has struggled to explain why, exactly, he intends to deny the organization public funding.
But for Bush to pretend Planned Parenthood isn’t “actually” working on “women’s health issues” is just bizarre, even for him.
As the Politico report excerpted above makes clear, Planned Parenthood provides “preventive health services, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.” By some measures, as many as one in five American women have have used Planned Parenthood’s health services at least once in their lives.
Does Jeb Bush confused about the meaning of the phrase “women’s health issues”? Or he going after Planned Parenthood despite not having any ideas what the organization does?
Because at this point, I’m afraid the only other alternative is that the Republican candidate knows Planned Parenthood works on a range of women’s health issues, and he’s deliberately telling the public the opposite.
UPDATE: The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker says that Jeb Bush’s false claim that Planned Parenthood is ‘not actually doing women’s health issues’ rates four Pinocchios.
A Bush lying to the American people? It seems to be a family trait.
So how is the J.E.B.(!) gaffe machine playing with voters in the early primary states? He is getting crushed in New Hampshire.
Public Policy Polling released new survey results this morning out of New Hampshire:
1. Donald Trump: 35%
2. John Kasich: 11%
3. Carly Fiorina: 10%
4. Jeb Bush: 7%
4. Scott Walker: 7%
6. Ben Carson: 6%
Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio each have 4% support in the poll, while Rand Paul is now in 10th place with 3%.
If Ohio Governor John Kasich can establish himself as the viable “GOP establishment” candidate to “The Donald” outsider insurgency, J.E.B.(!) Bush is finished.