Donald Trump continues to lead the GOP in Florida, but a new poll recently released shows Jeb Bush making a sudden and strong comeback, vaulting into second and gaining on The Donald.
Both Bush and Rubio have increased their criticism of Trump in recent weeks, as the always outspoken businessman has continued to bash them and comment on their relationship.
“Jeb’s strategy is predicated on his remaining the front-runner in the “political insider” lane”, said one longtime GOP operative who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the race candidly. So he’s taken to a new tack, one in which he calls Rubio the worst epithet one Republican can call another: Barack Obama. We can not wait another four years. Asked by a reporter how he could break through in an environment that has been favorable to political newcomers, he responded: “We’re going to run a campaign based on what we want to do for this country“.
“He’s smart enough to keep all of his options open”, said Chris Galdieri, assistant professor of politics at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.
“I wish I could tell you that it’s just Democrats“.
“Jeb doesn’t seem to have any energy, no excitement”, said Sid Sack, who retired to The Villages a year ago from Washington state, while waiting for Rubio to show up. Though his support flagged among likely voters who identified as very conservative and total conservatives, Mr. Bush lost the most ground – a 15-point decline- among self-described moderate and liberals, earning 8% from those voters in September compared with 23% in July.
“We must turn the page”. Rubio campaigned to an overflow crowd in a sprawling central Florida development loaded with tens of thousands of relatively new Florida Republicans, the more immediate question was how Bush might escape the shadow of Rubio.
So, appearing on the MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Thursday, Bush suggested Rubio lacks the experience to be president, just like the 2008 Democratic nominee.
Then, he lashed out at Trump. “I’m not convinced yet”.
Trump – whose first campaign appearance in the Granite State in June was a theatrical spectacle featuring beauty contestants, vicious putdowns and even one woman testing the durability of The Donald’s hair – spent much of last night sounding like a politician, talking at length about the details of his tax plan and Syria, despite veering into his expletive-punctuated putdown of his rivals. Meanwhile, a whopping 68 percent said they don’t think it’s necessary for a candidate to have held a few kind of elected office in order to become president. Rubio was tied with Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, at 11 percent. Bush was in fifth place at 7 percent – half the level of support he had in a July poll by the same outlet. Crist secured the endorsement of the National Republican Senatorial Committee so early in the race – 18 months before the election – that it helped Rubio run his entire campaign as the anti-establishment candidate. But I think we need a new voice. This election is about America. “It’s about America’s future, not about any of the individuals running”, Rubio said. Rubio never mentioned Bush by name during his standard stump speech Monday, but he might as well have.
“Look, Jeb doesn’t want to go after Marco”, Rooney said. Members of each camp believe they’re well-positioned to meet the other head-on. “I’m running for president”.