Donors for Bush, Kasich and Christie Are Turning to Clinton More Than to Trump

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In a typical election year, donors whose candidates have dropped out of the race funnel additional contributions to another candidate in the same party.

But this presidential election is different. Of the donors who gave at least $200 to Jeb Bush, Gov. John Kasich, Gov. Chris Christie or Senator Lindsey Graham in the Republican primaries, more of them have also contributed to Mrs. Clinton than to Mr. Trump, according to Federal Election Commission filings through June.

People who give to multiple candidates are a small percentage of Republican donors. Of the donors to Mr. Bush who also gave to one of the current nominees, 303 — more than 2 percent of the total — gave to Mrs. Clinton. Less than 1 percent of them gave money to Mr. Trump, the filings showed.

Those crossover donations are adding up. Mrs. Clinton has received $2.2 million from donors to candidates who dropped out of the Republican presidential primary, about $600,000 more than Mr. Trump has received from such donors, the filings showed.

Donors do not always adhere to their candidate’s lead. Since February, when Mr. Christie endorsed Mr. Trump, 103 of the governor’s donors have given to Mrs. Clinton and 49 have given to Mr. Trump.

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Bush Still Leads Obama in Blame for U.S. Economic Troubles – by Lydia Saad JULY 7, 2016

PRINCETON, N.J. — As Barack Obama’s two-term presidency enters its final months, more Americans still blame George W. Bush than Obama for the nation’s economic ills. When asked how much they blame each president for current economic problems, 64% of Americans say Bush deserves a “great deal” or “moderate amount” of blame, compared with 50% for Obama.

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Both presidents receive slightly less blame in the June 14-23 Gallup poll than they did the last time Gallup asked this question in 2013, but the gap has held steady over the past three years, with Bush blamed more than Obama.

The overall percentage of Americans blaming Bush a great deal or moderate amount has consistently exceeded the percentage blaming Obama throughout Obama’s presidency. However, it was much more lopsided in the first few years after Bush left office — namely in Obama’s honeymoon year (2009), and to a lesser extent in 2010. That, of course, was in the aftermath of the 2008 Wall Street financial crisis that occurred on Bush’s watch, an event that 60% of Americans described at the time as the biggest economic crisis the U.S. had faced in their lifetime.

Currently, a quarter of Americans blame each president “a great deal” for current economic problems. But more blame Bush than Obama “a moderate amount,” leading to the finding that more Americans overall assign significant responsibility to the former president. Just 35% blame Bush “not much” or “not at all,” compared with 50% assigning little or no blame to Obama.

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Rubio’s Iowa path leaves him squeezed on all sides – By SHANE GOLDMACHER 01/08/16 11:23 PM EST

His plan was to deny Cruz unbeatable momentum coming out of the caucuses. But now he’s squeezed by Christie and Bush both.

Marco Rubio speaks to Iowa voters at a town hall meeting at the Kent Corporation headquarters in Muscatine, Iowa on Dec. 17, 2015. | Getty

Marco Rubio speaks to Iowa voters at a town hall meeting at the Kent Corporation headquarters in Muscatine, Iowa on Dec. 17, 2015. | Getty

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Marco Rubio has ceded much of Iowa’s most conservative region and rural regions, banking instead on an aggressive push in Des Moines and the state’s more urban east to ensure Ted Cruz doesn’t walk away from the caucuses with unbeatable momentum.

While others brag about visiting all 99 of Iowa’s counties (Mike Huckabee hit that target last week as Cruz’s bus tour rolled toward it), Rubio is investing little in the western and rural reaches of the state. His travel schedule, ad buys, and his own advisers point to a strategy almost entirely dependent on a far narrower strip of the state.

But this game plan amounts to a high-stakes geographic bet that Rubio can consolidate the more traditional wing of the GOP in the east, even as he’s squeezed there by an emboldened Chris Christie and an organized Jeb Bush campaign. All the while, Donald Trump and his loud and loyal following threaten to wreak havoc on everyone’s carefully plotted maps.

“You hunt where the ducks are,” said Eric Woolsen, a longtime Iowa GOP operative who is currently unaligned. “And if there aren’t many ducks for Marco Rubio in the western part of the state, then he needs to be hunting elsewhere.”

Perhaps nothing reveals Rubio’s Iowa playbook as much as his media-buying strategy.

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Jeb Bush Takes Gloves Off, Attacks Donald Trump Directly – By BETH REINHARD Updated Sept. 1, 2015 11:13 p.m. ET

Online video posted by former Florida governor criticizes opponent’s earlier statements; Trump returns fire

Jeb Bush, who dubbed himself a “joyful tortoise’’ in his pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination, has had enough of the tough-talking hare in the 2016 race.

After weeks of enduring rival Donald Trump’s attacks, Mr. Bush on Tuesday released an Internet video aimed at trying to muscle his way back to the front of the pack and undermine the celebrity businessman’s fitness to be the GOP standard-bearer.

The video uses years-old interviews in which Mr. Trump contradicts his 2016 platform by calling himself “very pro-choice,” proposes raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, says he “probably identifies more as a Democrat,” and praises former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now the Democratic presidential front-runner.

Mr. Bush also assailed Mr. Trump as “not conservative”—in both English and Spanish—during a visit to a Miami school on Tuesday and in a Fox News interview, signaling that his campaign now views the businessman as a legitimate threat who isn’t going to implode without external fire.

Mr. Bush’s decision to engage Mr. Trump carries risks. He quickly drew a retort from Mr. Trump, who has drawn widespread attention by shooting from the hip on social media and in frequent national television appearances.


Jeb Bush’s border security plan, explained – Updated by Dara Lind on August 4, 2015, 2:29 p.m. ET

Three days before the first Republican presidential debate, where Jeb Bush will go head to head with the man who displaced him at the top of the polls for the first time, Bush’s campaign released a proposal for immigration enforcement. This is not a coincidence. Bush and his campaign are trying to protect themselves against attacks from the right on immigration, from Donald Trump and basically every other candidate in the race, over his support for legal status for unauthorized immigrants currently in the US.

But simply opposing “amnesty” doesn’t automatically secure the border. Bush knows how border security actually works better than the Donald Trumps of the world — he literally wrote a book on it — and this proposal, for the most part, is a more sober, realistic plan for preventing unauthorized migration than his opponents are likely to make.

Instead of making promises that the government can’t keep, Bush is focusing on interior enforcement — where the US really could be doing more — instead of border enforcement, where there isn’t much more it can do. The takeaway: If you cared more about preventing unauthorized migration than about looking tough, here’s what you would do.

Bush believes that comprehensive immigration reform is the best way to prevent unauthorized migration

“Comprehensive immigration reform” is a catchphrase for a three-part policy: increased immigration enforcement both at the border and in the interior of the US, to prevent future unauthorized migration; a way for unauthorized immigrants who are already in the US to stay (usually via a path to legal status and ultimately the ability to apply for citizenship); and reforms to legal immigration. The theory behind the policy is that it’s the best way to “secure the border” and end unauthorized migration: it’s a lot easier to preventunauthorized migration than it is to root out 11 million people who’ve been here for years.

That seems to be what Bush is proposing here, too. The end of his campaign’s fact sheet says (emphasis added), “These six proposals, when combined with a rigorous path to earned legal status, would realistically and honestly address the status of the 11 million people here illegally today and protect against future illegal immigration.” It’s not a full-throated endorsement of the comprehensive immigration bill the Senate passed in 2013, but it’s an important note: These proposals aren’t supposed to work in a vacuum.

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The GOP frontrunner? It’s not Jeb Bush – By ELI STOKOLS 4/21/15 5:56 AM EDT

DES MOINES, IA - MARCH 07:  Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush waits to be introduced at the Iowa Ag Summit on March 7, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The event allows the invited speakers, many of whom are potential 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls, to outline their views on agricultural issue.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) -- AP Photo

DES MOINES, IA – MARCH 07: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush waits to be introduced at the Iowa Ag Summit on March 7, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The event allows the invited speakers, many of whom are potential 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls, to outline their views on agricultural issue. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) — AP Photo

With one well-received January speech in Iowa, Scott Walker shot to the top of the polls. After a successful campaign launch, Marco Rubio is slowly gaining ground with donors and with conservatives who see a candidate with an inspiring biography and exceptional skills as a communicator.

Yet it’s Jeb Bush who’s frequently described as the frontrunner in a crowded field of more than a dozen Republican candidates. The reality is that he’s not — at this stage in the nominating contest, no one is.

“The Republican nomination is wide open,” said Ana Navarro, a Miami-based strategist who is close to Bush. “We’ll try many flavors of the month before we settle on one.”

Bush, the former Florida governor who hasn’t held office in 14 years, seemed impressive right out of the gate with his sudden, aggressive moves last November. He sent strong enough signals to box out Mitt Romney, the 2012 nominee who’d been toying with a third run for the White House, began securing commitments from GOP operatives to work on his eventual campaign and from the donors needed to fund it.

Based on the early show of strength, Bush was anointed the “clear Republican frontrunner” last December, referencing a poll showing him leading the field with 23 percent of the overall Republican vote nationwide.

Now, as the field is beginning to take shape and voters are hearing more about other candidates, it’s clear that Bush is sitting right there on the starting line with everyone else: Walker, Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and more than a dozen second-tier candidates less likely to affect the battle for the nomination.

From his position on Common Core to immigration reform to his family name, it’s become abundantly clear Bush has a lot to overcome. For all the substance and thoughtfulness he’s brought to the enterprise to date, many Republicans simply hunger for a younger, fresher face — and more ardently conservative stances from the party’s next standard bearer.

“No voter has ever raced to put a bumper sticker on their car because a candidate has the most money and best organization,” said Kevin Madden, a GOP strategist who advised Mitt Romney in 2012. “They want someone with a bold vision who can provide a new direction and offer a stark contrast to Hillary Clinton.”

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Jeb Bush Takes 2016 Show Into Unfriendly Territory At CPAC – S.V. DÁTE FEBRUARY 27, 2015 4:03 AM ET

For close to a decade, Jeb Bush’s audiences have almost exclusively been people who have paid good money to hear him speak.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush addresses the audience at his last Conservative Political Action Conference appearance in March 2013. Bush is to appear again Friday, as he considers a potential 2016 presidential campaign.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush addresses the audience at his last Conservative Political Action Conference appearance in March 2013. Bush is to appear again Friday, as he considers a potential 2016 presidential campaign. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

That changes today, when he appears at the Conservative Political Action Conference — where potential 2016 presidential rivals are already taking shots at him and some activists are organizing a walk-out.

NYU college student Ivan Teo said he doesn’t consider Bush “one of us,” but does give him credit for at least showing up on hostile turf. “I think him coming here, it’s brave. And I think that it’s great that we have a chance to ask him questions.”

Bush, the former Florida governor and the brother and son of the last two Republican presidents, is the presumed Republican establishment favorite in a venue that historically has not been kind to the party establishment.

In 2011, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul won the CPAC presidential straw poll, while Mitt Romney won the 2012 nomination. In 2007, Romney won the straw poll, while Arizona Sen. John McCain won the GOP nomination the following year.

And while many Republicans with presidential ambitions make CPAC an annual pilgrimage, Bush during his years as governor avoided the gathering as part of his overall strategy of staying away from events that would feed presidential speculation. Bush ended that self-imposed exile in 2013, and got a decidedly indifferent reception. His was the Friday night keynote speech — the “Ronald Reagan Dinner” — and Bush had just recently published his book Immigration Wars, that advocated an overhaul similar to what the Senate wound up passing a few months later.

Bush used the occasion to scold his party for seeming “anti-everything,” but also prescribed the same optimistic message about a “right to rise” that is the theme of his pre-campaign. Just months after the 2012 presidential election, Bush’s speech did not particularly offend his audience as much as fail to interest them at all. Bush spoke for just under 20 minutes, during which time many in the ballroom carried on conversations over dessert and coffee, ducked outside to answer phone calls, or just left entirely.

Before and after that, he was primarily speaking to corporate audiences that had paid him tens of thousands of dollars to hear him. Even in recent appearances in Detroit and Chicago, where he gave speeches as part of his “Right to Rise” political committees, Bush spoke to sympathetic audiences, and then took gentle questions from moderators.

Bush did do a warm-up of sorts Wednesday evening, appearing on conservative talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt’s program, but even there the questioning was mild — primarily about foreign policy and the military.

Neither immigration nor the Common Core education standards, which are reviled by many of the GOP’s most conservative voters, came up in that interview. Both are certain to be asked about Friday, when Bush is questioned for 20 minutes by Fox News host Sean Hannity.

Bush, 62, compiled what was considered a deeply conservative record in his two terms as Florida governor, including tax cuts totaling $14 billion, support of gun rights, the creation of private school voucher programs and the use of public money to persuade women to avoid abortions. But his support for more stringent education standards in Common Core and an immigration overhaul that would not deport all those in this country illegally has angered many conservatives.

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