January 28, 2007


Jeb Bush Rallies Conservatives at Summit: Non-Candidate Shows Ability to Excite the Party (Zachary A. Goldfarb, 1/28/07, The Washington Post)

"Don't take offense personally if I get mad at Congress," the Republican former Florida governor began. "It's important for us to realize we lost, and there are significant reasons that happened, but it isn't because conservatives were rejected. But it's because we rejected the conservative philosophy in this country."

He added, "If the promise of pork and more programs is the way Republicans think they'll regain the majority, then they've got a problem."

Bush's speech prompted three standing ovations from the audience of hundreds at the National Review Institute's conference at the JW Marriott Hotel, reflecting the widespread concern among conservatives that exorbitant government spending led to the loss of majorities in the House and Senate and concern about whether Republicans would again embrace the traditional principles.

To Ed Gillespie, a prominent lobbyist and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Bush's two terms in Tallahassee -- where he developed a reputation as a tax-cutter and staunch spending hawk -- exemplified conservative politics at its best, and what makes for a compelling presidential candidate.

"For those who are worried if you can put forward a vigorous conservative policy agenda in a state like Florida and still get elected and still be popular: Our keynote speaker left office with approval ratings above 60 percent," Gillespie said.

"If he were former two-term governor Jeb Smith, he might be in Des Moines today," Gillespie said, alluding to presidential hopefuls' campaigning.

VP for four years and then he runs in his own right in '12.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 28, 2007 12:26 PM
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