Posted by Curt on 23 December, 2014 at 10:46 am. 9 comments already!


Mark B. Lowe:

The consolidation of the GOP “Establishment” behind Jeb Bush has begun. NBCNews reports:

Jeb Bush Already Winning Over Some Supporters of Christie, Rubio

Some potential supporters of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are already saying they will instead back Jeb Bush if he runs for president, illustrating the new challenge both men face with Bush now likely to be a 2016 candidate.

While the vast number of influential figures in the Republican Party have not yet said who they support, a slew of political operatives and donors in Florida, including former state party chair Van Poole and ex-RNC finance chairman Al Hoffman, all told the Tampa Times over the last week they would choose Bush over Rubio if the two ran against each other. Several of them suggested Rubio should not run, since he would be fighting important political influencers in his own home state.

Meanwhile, Mel Sembler, who was the Republican National Committee’s finance chair from 1997 to 2000 and then served as George W. Bush’s ambassador to Italy, told the Newark Star-Ledger that he was an “admirer” of Christie but will opt for Bush.

The Tampa Times reports about what is happening in Rubio’s own backyard, in Florida:

“It’s nothing against Marco,” said John Thrasher, a former legislator who is now president of Florida State University. “Jeb has built up political capital over the years. It’s not just capital. These are people who have worked with him, understand him, and feel his time is here.”

Rubio, who at 43 is nearly two decades younger than Bush, enjoys loads of enthusiastic supporters among Florida’s deep pool of elite GOP fundraisers, but few, if any, of those top bundlers prefer him over Bush. It’s a simple fact of life for any Republican elected leader in Florida that even eight years after he left the governor’s office, Bush overshadows all.

“I love Marco Rubio. I was his general campaign chairman when he ran for Senate,” said Al Hoffman, a developer and former Republican National Committee finance chairman from North Palm Beach. “Marco is a great guy and has a tremendous future, but I have to support Jeb first.”

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