Jeb Bush is struggling to break beyond single digits in the polls but has yet to stop his free-fall. His desperate attempts, which run the gamut of political tricks, range from pledging that “Jeb Can Fix it” to trying to display a sense of humor (poking fun at himself and dubbing himself the ‘disruptor’, the ‘joyful tortoise’, to a ‘nerdy guy’ who ‘eats nails before breakfast’. That last one is a bid to reestablish his toughness with the Republican base, which seems far more enamored with the carnival-barking, racist tirades of Donald Trump, whom Bush has called “unfit for the serious job of being president.” Bush says ‘they call me Veto Corleone, and Veto Corleone needs to go to Washington D. C.’, a reference to 1972 film The Godfather – because he vetoed 2,500 line items in Florida’s budget when he was governor. What Bush fails to tell his audience is his “2,549 line-item vetoes cut millions of dollars from social programs, health centers, and projects backed by people who crossed him.”
As CNN reports, not even Jeb Bush’s massive corporate war chest. His campaign allies have blanketed the airwaves with almost $30 million in ads. He’s even been forced to slash his staffers’ salaries. The efforts to shake Trump’s “low-energy” tag and prove his toughness have fallen short. As of today’s CNN/ORC, Bush has fallen to 3 percent in the national poll compared with GOP leader Donald Trump, at 36 percent.
Perhaps Jeb’s key problem is not his admittedly low enthusiasm and , but his big mouth that frequently utters thoughtless and offensive nonsense. Jeb has said that the president should be a “person with a heart, a person with a brain and a person with a backbone,” like himself. We already know what his heart is like, from his actions of proudly cutting social programs and eliminating support for healthcare. We can’t say much about his backbone, but as to having brains – this is the same Jeb Bush who to said that “unwed mothers should be publicly shamed.” The same Jeb Bush who had the brains to say of a recent massacre on a college campus in Oregon “stuff happens.” The same Jeb Bush who had the brains to say “people need to work longer hours,” as the solution to the slower-than-desired growth in the U.S. economy. The same Jeb Bush who offered a brains/heart double-punch (and remember he was governor of a state with one of the largest populations of retirees): “Phase out Medicare.” Or the same Jeb Bush, in response the discredited Planned Parenthood video scam who said “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars in funding for women’s health programs.” And let us not forget about the brainpower it took Bush to say to a friendly gathering of people in South Carolina, “Our message is one of hope and aspiration…It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff.”
Jeb’s donors see him as the adult in the room. Their mantra is: “We know that Gov. Bush is the adult in the room and the one with a proven record, but unfortunately the country doesn’t seem to care,” This is certainly true, given the popularity of unqualified grifters like Trump, Carson, and Fiorina. As CNN notes: “Bush has struggled to gain traction and settle on a distinctive message to set him apart from his Republican opponents.” Given the lack of compassion and abundance of heartlessness he has shown, with his policies and practices as the veto governor and the foot-in-the-mouth brainless comments noted earlier, we can easily see why his message has failed to gain traction.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.