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Korobov: Is Jeb Bush a RINO?

BY MICHAEL KOROBOV | MAY 14, 2015 5:00 AM

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Considering we are over a year away from the 2016 presidential election, it is astounding how early presidential candidates have to start being … “presidential.” Some of us political junkies, including myself, even resort to checking Real Clear Politics for a detailed list of every national poll, hoping to get a glimpse into who is popular that particular week. Of course, in the end, we are left with more questions than answers.

Undoubtedly, it is nearly impossible to be a political junkie and not realize that Jeb Bush is performing very impressively in fundraising and early polling. Just last week, an NBC/WSJ national poll showed him coming out on top of the Republican pack by 5 percentage points. In an unprecedented move, while other candidates are doing everything they can to obtain campaign funds, Bush did something different. He told wealthy donors to refrain from donating more than $1 million for the time being. 

Bush hasn’t officially declared his candidacy, although with his success in the early presidential campaign season, he would be a fool not to run. In fact, this Wednesday, he accidentally slipped up and told MSNBC that “I’m running for president in 2016.” I guess it gets hard to constantly beat around the bush, pun intended.

On the other side of the aisle, the most notable possible contender at this point seems to be Hilary Clinton. She was 50 percent ahead in a PPP poll this week compared to the other Democratic options.

After Bush’s interview with Fox’s Megyn Kelly this past Sunday, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe Bush chose his party affiliation incorrectly. His positions seem to be uncomfortably similar to Clinton all across the board.

Despite a CBS poll last year that showed that three-fourths of the country now views the Iraq War as a mistake, Bush reminds us that not only would he have authorized the war, but “so would have Hillary Clinton.” When questioned about this he responded that he meant that he would have authorized it with the information at hand. However, while Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and other presidential candidates have called the war a mistake, Bush refuses to do so.

A report last month revealed that ISIS is operating a base just a few miles from the Texas border with plans to smuggle in terrorists into the United States. Just as this news doesn’t seem to warrant action from Clinton, Bush’s stance on illegal immigration shows that he, too, is not concerned. He stated in 2013 that, “it’s not possible in a free country to completely control the border without us losing our freedoms and liberties.”

On taxes, Bush and Clinton again have similar positions. Bush refuses to sign the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” which would state that he wouldn’t be allowed to raise taxes during his presidency. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz have all signed the pledge. By not signing, he’s admitting that raising taxes is on the table. Similarly, Clinton has stated that rich people “do not contribute to the growth of their own countries”. Translation: increase taxes.

The Fox interview has resulted in Bush’s poll numbers slipping slightly. He was in third place in a PPP poll this Wednesday. If Bush continues to promote positions that are similar, if not identical, with the Democrats, I predict his popularity will drop further.


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