Monday, April 7, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 4.7.14: Can the Republican Party of today handle Jeb Bush?

Posted By on Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 8:48 AM

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Jeb Bush's warning to his fellow Republicans that they should avoid "harsh political rhetoric" when talking about immigration made national news on Sunday.

"Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony; it’s an act of love,” the former Florida governor said. “It’s a different kind of crime. There should be a price paid. It shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to provide for their families.”

The comments are nothing new from Bush, who is married to a Latina and, like his brother George W., has a warm spot in his heart for Hispanics.

However, we all know such sentiments aren't shared by many in the Grand Ole' Party.

The conventional wisdom has it that if Jeb wants to run for president in two years, his biggest battle wouldn't be against Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, but getting through the gauntlet of a Republican primary season. And his attitude toward illegal immigration would seem to pose a problem with the base, as Marco Rubio's support for immigration reform in the Senate exposed last summer.

But going into the 2016 election cycle, a serious question has to be: Must all Republican presidential hopefuls eschew the position on immigration proposed by the Republican National Commitee in its infamous "autopsy" report from 2013? The document called for rallying behind immigration reform, saying it was crucial for the party to advance with the Hispanic voting base, a growing portion of the electorate that ran away from Mitt Romney's"self-deportation" position in 2012.

Bush also said in his comments at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas that the Republican Party had to decide if they were about winning elections, "not making a point." Whether the party as a whole is willing to commit to that, and not the hari-kari Ted Cruz style of politics, is one of the big questions that will be posed over the next couple of years inside the GOP.

While watching the end of John King's CNN program Inside Politics yesterday, we were perplexed about the "breaking news" that the DCCC wants Alex Sink to run again in CD13 this fall. Perplexed because while there have definitely been some critics of Sink's candidacy, the Democratic D.C. establishment isn't one of them.

And in case you missed it, there is a big battle this legislative session for Florida lawmakers to re-start that tax incentive plan to woo film productions into the Sunshine State. On Friday the newly revamped Tampa/Hillsborough County Film Commission had its big coming-out party, but without those incentives, there may not be much to talk about in the future...

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