Joan Stoykovich Nelson

Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee
George W. Bush Presidential Center
Republican National Committee
American Legion Auxiliary
Fox News Contributor
Tulsa Republican Club
Heritage Foundation
John Birch Society
Freedom Alliance

 WASHINGTON D.C. RED STATES BOARDWALK

GOP CHAIRMAN RIENCE PREIBUS
JEB BUSH PRESIDENT 2016 THE BEGINNING 
 

 BOEHNER SAYS HE’S NUDGED JEB BUSH ON PRESIDENCY

House Speaker John Boehner speaks Monday May 12, 2014 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio. Boehner was in town for a conversation with Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith while on a fundraising trip in Texas. Boehner said that he’s “nudged” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016. San Antonio Express-News, John Davenport, Pool/Associated Press –

With various potential GOP candidates jockeying two years out, the top Republican in Congress delivered the strongest hints about his preference for the White House while cautioning that the talk was a bit premature.

“Jeb Bush is my friend. I think he’d make a great president. I’ve nudged him for some time,” Boehner told the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas have been mentioned as possible presidential candidates along with a number of GOP governors.

In this year’s elections, Republicans are expected to keep control of the House and have a legitimate shot at seizing the majority in the Senate. Boehner said he expects to keep his leadership position in 2015 but stopped short of committing to serving out a full 13th term in Congress.

“I have a very good relationship with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” Boehner said. “Even in my party, even with some people with whom we have disagreement almost every day, I have a good relationship with them as well.

But given a chance to end speculation that he may not complete another full two-year term, Boehner said he couldn’t predict what might happen.

“I’m going to be 65 years old in November. I never thought I’d live to be 60. So I’m living on borrowed time,” the Ohio Republican said.

Boehner has provoked discontent among some conservatives over his actions during last year’s government shutdown, his backing for raising the nation’s borrowing authority and his support for moving ahead on immigration overhaul. He drew a primary challenge in his Ohio district against two tea party candidates but easily beat both last week and now faces a token Democratic opponent in November.

Boehner also briefly discussed a new special select committee that will conduct the eighth investigation of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, died in the assault.

Republicans have accused the Obama administration of misleading the American people about the attacks.

Boehner named seven Republicans to the panel last week, but Democrats are divided about whether to participate in the probe they consider an election-year stunt. Democrats have five seats to fill.

Boehner said the investigation will move ahead with or without Democrats.

“I promised Ms. Pelosi that if she appoints members to this, they will be treated fairly,” Boehner said. “We’ve been having a discussion over the last four or five days about how witnesses would be handled, how documents would be handled. We’re trying to come to some understanding, up front, of what I mean by fairness.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

House Speaker John Boehner speaks Monday May 12, 2014 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio. Boehner was in town for a conversation with Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith while on a fundraising trip in Texas. Boehner said that he’s “nudged” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016. San Antonio Express-News, John Davenport, Pool/Associated Press – 

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/boehner-nudging-jeb-bush-to-seek-presidency/2014/05/12/3fa7dd1e-da12-11e3-a837-8835df6c12c4_story.html

                                                                                                                                         

  Jeb Bush Moving Closer to 2016 Run

 Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will speak for the first time at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, a clear sign that he is mulling a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

The American Conservative Union, which sponsors the conference, announced Tuesday that Bush will address the group, set for March 14-16 in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington. Bush has been invited by the group to speak at CPAC several times, but this will be his first appearance.

“We are pleased to announce that my friend Gov. Jeb Bush will be a featured speaker at CPAC 2013,” ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said in a statement.

“We look forward to welcoming him to the CPAC stage for the first time in March.”

 Bush served as Florida governor for two terms and since leaving office in 2006 has been vocal about the Republican Party’s need to reach out to minorities. He’s also been critical of the Republican Party’s failure to embrace comprehensive immigration reform and made education policy a key priority during his time leading Florida.

News that Bush will take the stage at the conference comes as The National Review reports that Bush this week is meeting in Washington with a number of cabinet members of his brother, former President George W. Bush. When asked to comment directly on the rumors the meeting was tied to a forthcoming run, Bush would only say the meeting was about education policy.

Bush was one of the nation’s first governors to push through comprehensive education reform. Florida’s plan has since been modeled by 36 states.

 http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/bush-presidential-run-2016/2013/02/05/id/488978?s=al&promo_code=1255D-1

Barbara Bush warming to idea of Jeb Bush in 2016?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is "the most qualified person in the country" to run for president in 2016 -- that, according to his mother Barbara Bush.

In an exclusive interview to mark 25 years of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, the former first lady sat down with "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy in her Houston, Texas home.

Asked if the American people should brace themselves for a presidential contest between "Hillary and Jeb," Bush appeared to soften her 2013 stance that the nation has "had enough Bushes."

"I read 'The Bully Pulpit' by Doris Kearns Goodwin and she points out that in 1700 there were only three families, so maybe it's OK," she said. 

"It just seemed to me ridiculous in a country this size that we didn't have other families. I mean we've got great governors and other people. I just don't understand it," Bush said.

"Maybe Jeb's given all he should give, because he's worked awfully hard for a long time," she added.

 http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/05/barbara-bush-warming-to-idea-jeb-bush-in-2016/?intcmp=trending

 Sheldon Adelson plans VIP dinner for Jeb Bush at GOP gathering in Vegas

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush will get top billing when he and other potential 2016 presidential candidates join billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson for an exclusive Republican gathering next week in Las Vegas.

Bush, who is quietly exploring a run for the White House, will be the featured speaker at an exclusive VIP dinner on Thursday hosted by Adelson and his wife, Miriam, at his company’s private airplane hangar at Las Vegas Macarran International Airport, according to a draft itinerary obtained by The Washington Post.  The Adelsons’ dinner for Bush will kick off the Republican Jewish Coalition’s four-day spring leadership meeting, during which politicians and major GOP donors will mingle at golf and poker tournaments, as well as in political strategy sessions.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former U.N. ambassador John Bolton will address the group during its meeting on Saturday morning, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich is to speak at a luncheon that day. The gathering is being held at the Venetian Resort and Hotel, a glamorous property built by Las Vegas Sands Corp., the casino and hospitality company that Adelson runs.

For potential presidential candidates, getting to know Adelson is critical. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Adelson established himself as perhaps the most influential Republican fundraiser by spending tens of millions of dollars to fund super PACs. He first supported former House speaker Newt Gingrich, but later backed the eventual nominee, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and even traveled to Israel with Romney ahead of the Republican National Convention.

Adelson sits on the RJC’s board along with a number of other prominent Republican fundraisers and operatives, including private equity executive Lewis Eisenberg, former party chairman Ken Mehlman, lobbyist Wayne Berman and former ambassador Sam Fox.

At next week’s gathering, former vice president Dick Cheney will address the gala dinner on Saturday evening, where he will be introduced by Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.). Cheney will also participate in a private discussion and photo opportunity session that afternoon with RJC’s leaders, as will Walker and Kasich.

A number of member of Congress and other Republican leaders also are scheduled to speak. Rep. Sean Duffy (Wis.), a rising star in the Republican Party, will host a “late night dessert reception” for young leaders after the Cheney dinner.

Rep. Cory Gardner, another GOP star, who recently announced he would challenge Sen. Mark Udall (D) in Colorado this year, will moderate a breakfast session on Sunday titled, “Debating the Lessons of 2012 and the Current Path Forward for the GOP.” And Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, will lead a strategy workshop on “Talking the Talk – How to Sell our Ideas to Impact and Influence Others.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/22/sheldon-adelson-plans-vip-dinner-for-jeb-bush-at-gop-gathering-in-vegas/

Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton Take on Common Core Standards

Their presidential plans may be uncertain but one thing is clear: Jeb Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton keep bumping into each other.

Bush and Clinton were appearing Monday at an education conference in suburban Dallas organized by Bush, the former Florida governor who is the son and brother of U.S. presidents.

Clinton and Bush are both weighing presidential bids, and the conference offers a bipartisan twist for the two dominant political families of the late 20th century.

It was at least the third time in the past year that Bush and Clinton were crossing paths. Both attended the April 2013 dedication of the presidential library of George W. Bush in Dallas. In September, Bush, who is chairman of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, presented Clinton with the Liberty Medal, an event which allowed both to offer plenty of presidential-themed banter.

Bush said while he and the former first lady "come from different political parties, and we disagree about a lot of things," they agreed on the wisdom of the American people, "especially those in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina," traditionally the first contests in the presidential primaries.

Tongue-in-cheek, Bush asked Clinton not to wear her medal in Des Moines, Iowa, the home base for many aspiring presidents competing in the state's caucuses.

Mrs. Clinton reminded the audience that both her husband and George H.W. Bush had received the medal in 2006; she and Jeb Bush were "keeping up a family tradition." Clinton told the Philadelphia audience that her husband had recently returned from one of his "annual play dates" in Kennebunkport, Maine, at the Bush family compound.

The two families have produced three presidents since the 1988 election, a streak broken by President Barack Obama's election in 2008.

Rivals in 1992, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush have developed a bond during their post-presidency; they've become so close that former first lady Barbara Bush said in a 2012 interview that her sons call Bill Clinton their "brother by another mother."

At the Globalization of Higher Education conference, which Bush organized with former Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt of North Carolina, Clinton and Bush will join education experts in discussing ways to improve access and affordability for prospective college students and to help young people acquire job skills.

During a speech Saturday at the Clinton Global Initiative University in Arizona, Mrs. Clinton noted that 6 million young people age 16 to 24 are neither employed nor in school. She cited the need for a higher education system that would promote those pursuing college degrees and vocational training alike.

"There are a lot of important jobs to be done that may not require a college degree but require a respect for the dignity of the work that is being done," she said.

 Bush has been a leading advocate for education reform since serving as governor. He overhauled his state's educational system, tying teacher raises to student performance and boosting educational standards.

Bush has been a vocal supporter of Common Core standards, which specify what math and reading skills students should achieve in each grade. Some conservatives have criticized the standards as a federal intrusion into local classrooms. 
 

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/jeb-bush-hillary-common-core/2014/03/24/id/561225#ixzz37P5TXU1E

 

Cardinal Timothy Dolan: 'I Like Jeb Bush A Lot'

 Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, says he can't say whether he would vote for Republican Jeb Bush for president, but he certainly likes what Bush would bring to the table.

"I like Jeb Bush a lot. Whether I'd be for him for a presidential candidate or not, I don't know personally. But I sure admire him," Dolan said Sunday on "Face the Nation."

Dolan singled out Bush's background on immigration and education in particular. Bush has come under fire from some fellow Republicans for saying many illegal immigrants come into the United States for work as an "act of love" in order to provide for their families.

Despite Dolan's noncommittal words on support for a Bush candidacy, he did say he would like to see the former Florida governor toss his hat in the ring.

"I sure think he'd bring something. He'd be good," he said.

Turning to social issues, Dolan said that he sticks by the traditional definition of marriage: a man and a woman who stay together for life for the purpose of bringing for children.

He would, however, fight for the civil rights of people who in same-sex relationships or others who are "unable to live up to that," he said. He pointed out the rights such people should have for insurance and housing.

"Do I believe that society could be affected negatively if we tamper with the definition of marriage? Yeah," Dolan added. "And that's not just as a man of faith, that's just, as I like to think, a loyal American."

Guest host Nora O'Donnell pointed out that his view is out of step with the majority of Americans, including Republicans.

"You know what, we're used to being out of step," Dolan responded. "Like immigration, capital punishment."

The church's job is to teach what is sees as the truth, even when most people are against them, he said.

 http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/cardinal-dolan-likes-jeb-bush/2014/04/20/id/566606/?ns_mail_uid=80841506&ns_mail_job=1565411_04202014&promo_code=3ndcypvi

Jeb Bush Leads GOP Contenders Against Hillary Clinton

 Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the strongest potential GOP contender against the likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to a new poll.

The Public Policy Polling survey shows that Bush only trails Clinton by a margin of 3  points, 47-44 percent while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is close behind with a 4-point deficit, 46 percent to 42 percent.

Clinton, who has not yet decided whether she will run, leads Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky by 47-42 percent and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin by 48-43 percent.

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The former secretary of state is well clear of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by an 8-point gap, 48-40 percent, and she has an 11-point margin over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 51-40 percent.

"At this point, the contrast for 2016 is pretty stark, Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement. "If Hillary Clinton runs, Democrats are favored to keep control of the White House. If she doesn’t run, voters are more inclined to vote for the GOP nominee."

When it comes to who is the most favored of the potential Republican candidates for president, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the field with 18 percent support compared to 15 percent for Bush, 14 percent for both Christie and Paul, and 11 percent for Cruz.

Rubio received 6 percent while Ryan and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had 5 percent each, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had 4 percent.

The survey was conducted among 1,152 registered voters from March 6 to 9 and has an overall margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

 http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/2016-presidential-Hillary-Clinton-Jeb-Bush/2014/03/14/id/559650/

Jeb Bush: Hillary and I Must Overcome Last Names if We Run

 Both Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton will have to "overcome" the political weight of their respective family names should they decide to make a run for the White House in 2016, Bush said Monday.

Bush, whose father, George H.W. Bush, and brother, George W. Bush, both occupied the White House, says he’ll make up his mind on whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination by the end of 2014.

Clinton, former first lady in the administration of her husband Bill Clinton and secretary of state in the first term of the Obama administration, has also indicated she’ll follow that approximate timeline for an announcement.

But Bush, former two-term governor of Florida, said Monday there’s lots to think about, CNN reported

As featured speaker at the Long Island Association’s biannual lunch, a well-known stopping point for past and future presidents, CNN reported Bush acknowledged that his mother, Barbara Bush, has made no secret of her wish that he not follow his father and brother into the White House because "there are other families" who should be given a shot.

"It’s an issue, for sure," he told the luncheon crowd.

Recalling how a plane ride seat-mate talked about having a Bush, a Clinton and then another Bush in the White House – and that there’s now the prospect of yet another Clinton or Bush – the ex-governor remarked: "I get the point," CNN reported.

"It's something that, if I run, I would have to overcome that. And so will Hillary, by the way. Let's keep the same standards for everybody," he said.

For now, Bush said he's "old school" and thinks "one election should end before the next one starts."

"I intend to campaign for a lot of candidates for my team and I hope we can be victorious, and I'd rather focus on that right now," he said of the coming midterms, noting that much work needs to be done for Republicans to woo the voters they need to win.

"I think we've become a little more harsh than we need to be, so the first step would be to tone it down a bit, chill out," Bush said, adding: "We shouldn't be sending signals that turn them off from the get-go."

 http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Jeb-Bush-2016-presidential-election/2014/02/24/id/554511/

Former President George W. Bush: 'I Hope Jeb Runs'

 If former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush decides on a White House run, his older brother advised him on Thursday to "give me a call."

"I hope Jeb runs," former President George W. Bush told CNN's "The Lead With Jake Tapper" in an interview. "He would be a great president.

"I have no clue of what's on his mind — and we'll talk when he's ready," Bush said.

  Jeb Bush, 61, is considered a leading contender for the 2016 Republican presidential race. He has not decided on whether he would seek the White House. Bush served as Florida governor from 1999 to 2007.

George Bush, 67, served two terms as president, from 2001 to 2009. He also was Texas governor from 1995 to 2000.

In recent months, however, Jeb Bush has been actively traveling the country, making speeches and endorsing candidates in various state elections.

On Thursday, Bush endorsed North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis in the crowded GOP Senate primary — a day after announcing his support for California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, who served under the elder Bush in the Treasury Department.

And last month, Bush spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition's spring gathering in Las Vegas. The event was hosted by conservative casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who gave more than $100 million to Republican presidential candidates in 2012.

Adelson is hoping to back a 2016 Republican presidential candidate with broad electoral appeal.

Referencing his brother's activities, George Bush told Tapper, "I notice that he's moving around the country a bit."

When Tapper noted that Jeb Bush was "doing well in polls," the former president responded: "That's fine. They don't mean anything for him. I guarantee you, he's not looking at a poll to decide whether or not he wants to run.

"It's an internal thing," Bush continued. "He's checking his core. As he has said publicly, 'I'm thinking about my family.'

"He knows full well what a run for the presidency can do on family. He's seen his dad and his brother run for president."

George Bush said he has not discussed a White House run with his younger brother. "It's hard for people to believe.

"I hope he runs," the former president said. "So, hey, Jeb, if you need some advice, give me a call."
 http://www.newsmax.com/US/jeb-bush-george-wbush-run-president/2014/05/01/id/569004/?ns_mail_uid=80841506&ns_mail_job=1567458_05022014&promo_code=ev8npiep

Image: Jeb Stokes 2016 Fire With Fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Branstad

 Jeb Bush will host a fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad on May 22, a move that could signal his intention to run for president in 2016.

The former Florida governor has not confirmed that he is looking toward the White House, but the Coral Gables, Fl., event would be his first step into the ring should he decide to run.

Bush was last in Iowa in October 2012 for a speech at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce. He said last month that he would make up his mind on his 2016 plans by the end of this year.

"It turns out that not running has generated more interest than if I said I was running," Bush said.

Branstad was impressed with how Bush was able to beef up Florida's economy during his time as governor from 1999 to 2007.

"We are thankful a national leader like Gov. Jeb Bush is hosting this fundraiser for our campaign," Branstad campaign manager Jake Ketzner told the Des Moines Register.  "Given Gov. Bush's popularity and unmatched record as governor of Florida, we believe this will be a very successful fundraiser, and the governor is excited to attend."

Two other potential GOP nominees for president in 2016 — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Texas Gov. Rick Perry — are also slated to host fundraisers and events for Branstad this month.

An Iowa poll in December asked voters about 10 potential Republican candidates for the next presidential election. Bush was tied with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Christie, with a favorability rating of 51 percent among Republican voters. Wisconsin Sen. Paul Ryan led the way with a 73 percent favorable rating, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (66 percent), former Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. and Sen. Rick Santorum (58 percent), and Perry (55 percent).

In the wake of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal that left Christie's image tarnished, wealthy GOP donors are slowly moving from Christie and to Bush.

"They love the Bush family," said Barry Wynn, former chairman of the Republican Party in South Carolina as well as a George W. Bush fundraiser. "They love the whole package, and they feel Jeb is just a part of the package."

The Washington Post reported in March that "powerful insiders and financiers" were urging Bush to run for president.

"He's the most desired candidate out there," GOP fundraiser Brian Ballard told the Post. "Everybody that I know is excited about it."

Bush has stayed in the national spotlight, endorsing GOP candidates for office and speaking out about issues like immigration reform.

 http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Jeb-Bush-Terry-Branstad-fundraiser-president/2014/05/06/id/569895/

 Tim Pawlenty: Jeb Bush Can Win GOP Nomination in 2016

 Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush can win the GOP nomination for president in 2016 as an establishment Republican candidate, but it won't be easy making it through the primaries, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said.

Despite influence from the more conservative factions of the party, Pawlenty said Bush could capture the nomination just as other GOP establishment candidates had done, most recently Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2008 and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012.

"Well, the classic question is, can an 'established candidate' get through an increasingly conservative Republican party?" Pawlenty told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday.

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 "Jeb [Bush] can do that, but it's not going to be uncontested in so many runs. And there's a bunch of people who are going to get in the race and have something to say about it," he added.

The Republican Party had "shifted," Pawlenty said, and explained it wasn't so much the tea party, but the "libertarian wing" that could present problems for Bush.

Pawlenty, a Republican, said he supported "rational and comprehensive immigration reform." However, he predicted lawmakers aren't "going to get it done this year."

As for the economy, if Republicans wanted to show they embrace middle-class issues, Pawlenty suggested they "support reasonable increases in the minimum wage."

"If you're going to talk the talk about being for the middle class and the working person, if we have a minimum wage, it should be reasonably adjusted from time to time," he said.

On international affairs, Pawlenty described the policies of President Barack Obama as "a bit adrift." He said the president couldn't "run it by polls" concerning decisions on foreign policy and defense.

"The president's going to have to put the first principle first, which is you've got to keep the nation safe. And you've got to let the polls decide whether that was right from a historical perspective," he said.

Pawlenty suggested the United States needed to "dial up the heat" in confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said weakness on the world stage on issues regarding Syria and Iran could have "cascading effects."

"If they give a bully weakness, and you show them weakness, they'll take it," he said.

 http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Jeb-Bush-Tim-Pawlenty-president/2014/04/30/id/568627/#

 Bush, Ryan focus on poverty while courting donors

NEW YORK — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan courted some of Wall Street’s most powerful political benefactors on Monday, insisting that love, friendship and “traditional marriage” can combat poverty better than government programs.

The prospective Republican presidential contenders were featured guests at an award ceremony hosted by the Manhattan Institute, a right-leaning think tank led by high-profile Republican donor Paul Singer. Like others gathered in the midtown Manhattan ballroom Monday night, Singer already has begun sizing up the evolving 2016 field after helping to pump millions of dollars into the last presidential race.

Bush and Ryan offered a decidedly softer tone on the nation’s problems than some of their more conservative Republican colleagues.

Having toured the country in recent months focusing on the nation’s poor, Ryan declared that “the best way to turn from a vicious cycle of despair and learned hopelessness to a virtuous cycle of hope and flourishing is by embracing the attributes of friendship, accountability and love.”

“That’s how you fight poverty,” Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 vice presidential nominee, told a crowd of roughly 750 dressed in tuxedos and gowns.

Bush, the son of one president and brother of another, called for more welcoming immigration policies, while offering his own poverty prescription: “A loving family taking care of their children in a traditional marriage will create the chance to break out of poverty far better, far better than any of the government programs that we can create.”

They were largely cheered by the donors who mainly represent the pragmatic wing of the Republican Party, a group that includes many Wall Street executives frustrated by Washington gridlock driven, in part, by the GOP’s more ideological members.

With the loosening of campaign finance laws in recent years, such donors have emerged as major players in party politics on both sides.

“Many of ... Gov. Bush’s achievements should be replicated across the country,” Singer told the black-tie audience that raised $1.8 million for the Manhattan Institute during the evening event. He later described Ryan as “one of the most thoughtful and resolute members of Congress.”

Neither man has declared his 2016 intentions, although a growing number of donors have encouraged Bush to run in the months since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s traffic scandal erupted. Ryan is popular among the donor class as well, although some are skeptical he will trade his increasing influence on Capitol Hill for a presidential bid.

Both men are stoking speculations about their futures, however.

Ryan already has visited early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire this year. On Tuesday, he was set to attend a fundraising reception hosted by Singer and Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets and a national finance chairman for Mitt Romney’s last presidential bid.

Bush has intensified his political travel in recent months as well.

He is set to host a Florida fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad later in the month after recently headlining a private reception inside conservative mega-donor Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas airport hangar.

Other Republican leaders have noticed. Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told Texas business leaders that he has “nudged” Bush to seek the White House.

“Jeb Bush is my friend. I think he’d make a great president. I’ve nudged him for some time,” Boehner told the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bush-ryan-focus-on-poverty-while-courting-donors/2014/05/12/23f28ee2-da45-11e3-a837-8835df6c12c4_story.html

 BOEHNER SAYS HE’S NUDGED JEB BUSH ON PRESIDENCY

House Speaker John Boehner speaks Monday May 12, 2014 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio. Boehner was in town for a conversation with Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith while on a fundraising trip in Texas. Boehner said that he’s “nudged” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016. San Antonio Express-News, John Davenport, Pool/Associated Press –

With various potential GOP candidates jockeying two years out, the top Republican in Congress delivered the strongest hints about his preference for the White House while cautioning that the talk was a bit premature.

“Jeb Bush is my friend. I think he’d make a great president. I’ve nudged him for some time,” Boehner told the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas have been mentioned as possible presidential candidates along with a number of GOP governors.

In this year’s elections, Republicans are expected to keep control of the House and have a legitimate shot at seizing the majority in the Senate. Boehner said he expects to keep his leadership position in 2015 but stopped short of committing to serving out a full 13th term in Congress.

“I have a very good relationship with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” Boehner said. “Even in my party, even with some people with whom we have disagreement almost every day, I have a good relationship with them as well.

But given a chance to end speculation that he may not complete another full two-year term, Boehner said he couldn’t predict what might happen.

“I’m going to be 65 years old in November. I never thought I’d live to be 60. So I’m living on borrowed time,” the Ohio Republican said.

Boehner has provoked discontent among some conservatives over his actions during last year’s government shutdown, his backing for raising the nation’s borrowing authority and his support for moving ahead on immigration overhaul. He drew a primary challenge in his Ohio district against two tea party candidates but easily beat both last week and now faces a token Democratic opponent in November.

Boehner also briefly discussed a new special select committee that will conduct the eighth investigation of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, died in the assault.

Republicans have accused the Obama administration of misleading the American people about the attacks.

Boehner named seven Republicans to the panel last week, but Democrats are divided about whether to participate in the probe they consider an election-year stunt. Democrats have five seats to fill.

Boehner said the investigation will move ahead with or without Democrats.

“I promised Ms. Pelosi that if she appoints members to this, they will be treated fairly,” Boehner said. “We’ve been having a discussion over the last four or five days about how witnesses would be handled, how documents would be handled. We’re trying to come to some understanding, up front, of what I mean by fairness.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

House Speaker John Boehner speaks Monday May 12, 2014 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio. Boehner was in town for a conversation with Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith while on a fundraising trip in Texas. Boehner said that he’s “nudged” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016. San Antonio Express-News, John Davenport, Pool/Associated Press – 

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/boehner-nudging-jeb-bush-to-seek-presidency/2014/05/12/3fa7dd1e-da12-11e3-a837-8835df6c12c4_story.html

An animated Jeb Bush impresses New York audience

 NEW YORK -- Jeb Bush gave an impassioned speech before New York's top political donors, casting immigration reform as a way to grow the economy, warning of a declining American Dream and pressing back on Common Core critics.

"I believe high, lofty expectations are a huge part of making sure that children learn," Bush said at a Manhattan Institute dinner at Cipriani, across from Grand Central Station. "And whether they are Common Core state standards or higher standards in general, we cannot pull back and dilute and dumb down our standards."

Bush began his speech sounding like Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential rival, warning of country in decline.

"The American Dream is slowly being replaced by something economists call 'stickiness at the ends.' Those born wealthy will stay there and those who are poor will do the same. And those in the middle, the group that has defined who we are as a nation for two centuries, are shrinking and they are feeling the squeeze. Today for the first time over the longest period of time, a majority of Americans believe that their children will have less opportunity than what they had. If our people are not rising, our nation will not rise."

But Bush said taking more from the successful and "doling out the proceeds to the less successful" will not work. He called for lower taxes, better education and supporting families, "in a traditional way," in order to prevent childhood poverty.

Immigration reform was a recurring theme of the night, with several speakers calling for action, including mega-donor Paul Singer. Bush, who has been hammered over his "act of love" comment, was bullish.

"For the life of me I have a hard time understanding why people are fearful of our own heritage, our own history. ... The rules are you come to this country, you pursue your dreams, you create value for yourself and your families and others and great things happen to you and to our country. Why would we ignore that at time when we need to restart and rejuvenate our economy? It makes no sense to me."

He did not dive into the policy of reform. But Bush was animated, if a bit rushed in his delivery.

Rudy Giuliani, who introduced Bush, said the former Florida governor was elected with 61 percent of the Hispanic vote. "Wow," Giuliani said. "It just could be that our party could win an emerging group and get a big vote and change the nature of politics. Oh well, I hope we can."

"There's a lot of speculation that he may run for president," Giuliani said. "He's got a very, very high problem to overcome: He's got a record of success."

Bush made a flat 2016 joke, saying he was ready to announce ... That he would chair Giuliani's 2017 challenge to liberal New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

More than 700 people attended the dinner, among them some of the wealtiest donors in the country. Post-speech reaction suggested it was a success for Bush, though a few attendees brought up the Bush fatigue factor.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 15, 2014 12:57pm]

 http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/an-animated-jeb-bush-impresses-new-york-audience/2179500

  JEB BUSH IS A FORMIDABLE 2016 CANDIDATE

Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 09:11 am

OK, OK. To the Bush family, and particularly to former two-term Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: Don’t worry. Let me start, up front, by saying: I would never vote for Jeb Bush for president. He is way too conservative for me.

Now that that’s over with, I think Bush is a really good guy — a good person, good father, good husband, good brother (to my Yale College friend, two-term President George W. Bush), and good son to his great, great dad, former President George H.W. Bush.

Jeb Bush’s positions on two issues, in my view, make him formidable against a Democratic presidential candidate in 2016: education reform and immigration policy.

On education, Bush has become authentically one of the leading education reformers in the nation today, a source of new ideas about improving public schools that he largely implemented as Florida governor and would be expected to fight for as president.

I like, especially, his Florida program of grading schools A-F, based on student test scores, creating incentives for schools receiving higher grades (more state aid, higher teacher salaries) and the reverse for lower grades. (I do worry about “teaching for testing” though.)

Bush has also shown courage on the immigration reform issue. He has made himself a target of the far-right fringe of the Republican Party base that, at least to date, has disproportionately influenced the Republican presidential nomination process.

Of course he supports increased border enforcement, like most Americans. But he also allows for a pathway to legal residence and perhaps citizenship (he has been ambiguous about the latter), but only if the illegal resident earns the right to such status over a period of years, such as by paying back taxes, satisfying work requirements, achieving English literacy, and maybe completing a public service requirement.

Those who describe such a program as “amnesty,” defined as an automatic grant of legal citizenship without any burdens or requirements to earn that status, are flat-out wrong.

Also, Bush was attacked by the far right when this past spring he said that some immigrants come to the United States illegally, suffering great risks and hardships, out of an “act of love” to help their families.

Arizona’s conservative junior senator, Jeff Flake, who hails from a state that has been more adversely affected by its porous border with Mexico than most other states, defended Bush’s expression.

“Truth is, I agree with Jeb and I applaud him for having the guts to say it . . . Sure, some come with the intent to do harm or simply to take advantage of our generosity, but many come to find work to feed their families,” Flake said.

In 1998 and 2002, Bush was elected and re-elected as governor of Florida carrying about 60 percent of the Latino vote. In 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who lost by a substantial margin to President Obama, said he believed in “self-deportation” as his main approach to immigration reform.

Romney carried less than one-fourth of the Latino vote nationally vs. Obama’s 75 percent; in the swing states, such as Colorado and New Mexico, the gap made up the margin of difference.

Those who care about enacting the conservative agenda know they can’t do so without winning the presidency and that won’t happen without a more moderate GOP national platform on immigration reform to cut into this Latino vote gap significantly.

Then there are the far-right “Righteous Republicans,” who seem to prefer what they define as ideological purity over victory and real change. They were doing a lot of high-fiving last week after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was defeated in a party primary by an unknown professor who opposed any form of immigration reform, which they immediately claimed was the reason for the upset. (Actually it was more complicated than that, but don’t tell them.)

http://www.newsmax.com/LannyDavis/Jeb-Bush-will-be-A-Formidable-2016-Candidate-/2014/06/19/id/578005#ixzz37MT3cyYM

 Influential Republicans working to draft Jeb Bush into 2016 presidential race

Many of the Republican Party’s most powerful insiders and financiers have begun a behind-the-scenes campaign to draft former Florida governor Jeb Bush into the 2016 presidential race, courting him and his intimates and starting talks on fundraising strategy.

Concerned that the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal has damaged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s political standing and alarmed by the steady rise of Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), prominent donors, conservative leaders and longtime operatives say they consider Bush the GOP’s brightest hope to win back the White House.

Bush’s advisers insist that he is not actively exploring a candidacy and will not make a decision until at least the end of this year. But over the past few weeks, Bush has traveled the country delivering policy speeches, campaigning for Republicans ahead of the fall midterm elections, honing messages on income inequality and foreign policy, and cultivating ties with wealthy benefactors — all signals that he is considering a run.

Many if not most of 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s major donors are reaching out to Bush and his confidants with phone calls, e-mails and invitations to meet, according to interviews with 30 senior Republicans. One bundler estimated that the “vast majority” of Romney’s top 100 donors would back Bush in a competitive nomination fight.

“He’s the most desired candidate out there,” said another bundler, Brian Ballard, who sat on the national finance committees for Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008. “Everybody that I know is excited about it.”

But Bush, 61, would have serious vulnerabilities as a candidate. Out of public office for seven years, he has struggled in some appearances and has had difficulty navigating the Republican Party’s fault lines on immigration and other issues. A Bush candidacy also would test whether the nation still has a hangover from the George W. Bush administration.

On Thursday night, Bush was feted here at a VIP dinner held by Sheldon Adelson inside the billionaire casino magnate’s airplane hangar. When one donor told Bush, “I hope you run for president in 2016,” the crowd of about 60 guests burst into applause, said a donor in attendance.

Bush also met privately with Adelson. One person with knowledge of the conversation said that the former governor was “very laid back and comfortable” and that they did not discuss the 2016 campaign.

Bush has been nurturing donor relationships for years. Earlier this month, he headlined a fundraiser for Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie at former ambassador Al Hoffman’s home in North Palm Beach, Fla. Private-equity manager Lewis M. Eisenberg and former ambassador Ned Siegel were among the heavy hitters in attendance.

And in July, investor Scott Kapnick threw a book party for Bush at his Manhattan apartment. About 100 leading GOP donors showed up.

Such events are a reminder that Bush, the son and brother of past presidents, could quickly activate a large national fundraising network if he runs.

He would enter a wide-open contest for the GOP nomination with other advantages, as well: deep ties to his party’s establishment and evangelical wings, and a reputation as a reform-minded policy wonk. Fluent in Spanish, Bush has credibility within the Hispanic community that could help broaden his coalition. He also has the gravitas many Republicans say is required to compete with former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democrats’ leading potential contender.

“Jeb has the capacity to bring the party together,” said Fred Malek, a top Republican official who said he has been in regular contact with Bush.

For now, Bush’s 2016 deliberations are limited to casual e-mails and chats with Sally Bradshaw, his longtime political counselor in Florida, and strategist Mike Murphy. He also is in contact with fundraiser Jack Oliver.

Bush’s small travel entourage sometimes includes Josh Venable, a vice president at Bush’s education foundation who serves on the side as Bush’sliaison with big donors, and Kristy Campbell, a former Romney aide who is Bush’s spokeswoman.

Bush often writes gracious thank-you notes to those urging him to run but takes care never to indicate whether he is moving toward a campaign.

“He is not in the middle of a formal process,” Bradshaw said. “He is methodical, he is thoughtful, and he’ll make a decision by the end of the year or the first quarter of next year.”

Bush declined a request for an interview.

People close to him said a major concern about running is navigating today’s messy spectacle of Twitter wars and super PAC attacks. In January, Bush said, “The decision will be based on ‘Can I do it joyfully,’ because I think we need to have candidates lift our spirits.”

This year, Bush has campaigned for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and other Republicans. He also cut a television ad supporting David Jolly (R), who recently won a special congressional election in Florida.

In early May, Bush plans to headline a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Fla., featuring many of his long-standing patrons, to support South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).

Bush takes pains not to be seen contacting key Republicans from early-primary states, but in October, he asked a staff member for the cellphone number of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.). He called Ayotte to commend her for standing up to their party’s conservative bloc during the federal government shutdown, people familiar with the conversation said.

Last month, Bush spoke in Southern California about income inequality, arguing that the problem is a lack of mobility and not the gulf between rich and poor. “This nation is experiencing a crisis of opportunity,” he said, according to his prepared remarks.

Mark DeMoss, a former adviser to Romney who is well connected with evangelicals, said that he would help Bush — but that if Bush doesn’t run, he will sit out the 2016 campaign.

“I think he is a talented, credible, thinking leader,” DeMoss said. “The question is, how much appetite is there in the Republican Party and in the general electorate for that?”

In the past, Bush has decided against seeking national office. His wife, Columba, who was born in Mexico, shies away from the limelight.

Bush ran his last campaign in 2002, and during last year’s rollout of his book, “Immigration Wars,” his inconsistent position on a path to legalization revealed that he is politically rusty.

“It’d be a little odd to nominate someone who was last in office in 2006, who hasn’t been politically involved at all, in any significant way, in the Obama years,” said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine.

Bush’s vocal support for immigration reform and Common Core education standards — lightning-rod issues for tea party activists — could dog him in the GOP primaries.

He has taken small steps to assert his conservative bona fides. Last spring, Bush hosted a dozen high-profile conservatives, including writers for the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, at a dinner at Washington’s Willard InterContinental Hotel, where he defended Common Core standards.

And unlike Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — two Republicans who agreed to expand Medicaid under President Obama’s health-care law — Bush has spoken out against doing so.

In any campaign, Bush would have to grapple with the legacy of his brother George W. Bush and his unpopular wars. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that almost half of all Americans surveyed say they “definitely would not” vote for Jeb Bush for president.

“The ‘Bush fatigue’ question is always there,” said former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour (R). “If his name was Jeb Brown instead of Jeb Bush, he’d be the front-runner.”

Bush has not spoken much about foreign affairs, but at Thursday’s speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition, he articulated a muscular if generic conservative foreign policy, participants said.

Bush is in regular touch with foreign policy thinkers such as former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who said in an interview that he would be “delighted” if Bush ran — although Kissinger said he also likes Christie.

“He would be outstanding,” Kissinger said of Bush. “He is someone who is experienced, moderate and thoughtful.”

Romney invited Bush to attend his upcoming June donor policy conclave in Park City, Utah. Bush declined because of a scheduling conflict, according to an aide. Christie and Paul were at Romney’s summit last year.

Although Christie intended to try to round up early support from Romney’s donor base, most of those bundlers have deeper roots with Bush. Former ambassador Mel Sembler, one of Romney’s national finance co-chairmen, has known Bush for decades. “He is a quality candidate, an excellent leader,” Sembler said.

Strategists for other prospective candidates said they are growing nervous about Bush and fear that he could lock up the donor class. “He would take some of the oxygen out of the air,” said David Carney, an ally of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).

A Bush candidacy also would pose a threat to Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), whose donor and political circles overlap with those of the former governor. Bush blessed Rubio’s rise to the state House speakership, but their affiliation has since faded. Florida Republicans familiar with Rubio’s thinking said he is moving forward with a campaign, betting that Bush will not run.

Former New Jersey governor Thomas H. Kean, who mentored a young Christie, acknowledged that Bush could block Christie’s path as the establishment favorite.

“The Bush family has an enormous number of friends who would be liable to go back to a place where they have been before,” Kean said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/influential-republicans-working-to-draft-jeb-bush-into-2016-presidential-race/2014/03/29/11e33b06-b5f2-11e3-8cb6-284052554d74_story.html

Image: Jeb Bush to Host Big Ticket RNC Fundraiser in Cincinnati

Jeb Bush to Host Big Ticket RNC Fundraiser in Cincinnati

 Former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush is scheduled to headline a fundraiser for the Republican National Committee with ticket prices running tens of thousands of dollars.

On Monday, the potential 2016 presidential candidate will attend the Queen City Club in Cincinnati for a fundraiser with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and RNC chairman Reince Priebus, the Cincinnati Business Courier reported.

Ticket prices start at $1,000, with other contribution levels at $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $32,400, and $64,800, according to the Courier.

For $10,000, a donor would get two tickets to a dinner and a photo opportunity. For $32,400, a couple can participate in a roundtable discussion and gets the chance to have their photo taken with Bush.

Co-chairs for the event include major business executives such as Western & Southern CEO John Barrett and his wife, Eileen; Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini and his wife, Susie; St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt and his wife, Kathy; and Cintas founder Dick Farmer and his wife, Joyce, among others, according to the newspaper.

 http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2014/06/want-to-schmooze-with-jeb-bush-here-s-how-much-it.html