With Hillary Clinton winning the Nevada Caucuses and Donald Trump winning the South Carolina Primary — plus Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio tying for second place in South Carolina — former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for president. In the state that assured the presidencies of his father and brother, with his mother and brother campaigning for him, Jeb Bush has gone down in defeat.
Significant in Bush’s speech was the absence of the name of Donald Trump. Bush congratulated his competitors who remained in the race, but he didn’t mention any of them by name, most importantly the man who won the primary by 12 points, Donald Trump.
When Bush officially announced his candidacy last year, Trump soon followed and began pounding Bush on immigration. For the early part of this political season, Trump always brought up the 9/11 attacks happening on George W. Bush’s watch as president. No other candidates went there, but Trump used it to remind most Americans who was president when the World Trade Center came down. In the past few weeks the real estate mogul went straight after the former president on the issue, tying Jeb to his brother’s failed policy in Iraq as well as the attacks of 9/11.
It backfired a little on Trump in South Carolina, where he accused George W. Bush of lying about the Iraq war, even though W is still very popular. In the end it didn’t matter, he still won by 12 points and collected 50 delegates – all of them.
When Trump gave his speech minutes after Bush, he thanked his family and then gave South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley a slap when he thanked the state Lieutenant Governor, Henry McMaster — he likes McMaster better.
After his wife and daughter spoke, Trump congratulated Cruz and Rubio and then whipped up his supporters with more calls for the wall on the border with Mexico. “And who will pay for the wall,” he asked? The crowd roared, “Mexico!”
He finished with his usual bromides about how he would win with the military and win in all the trade deals with Mexico, Vietnam and especially China — to the great approval of his audience.
He then promised to abolish Obamacare, save the Second Amendment and vowed to abolish Common Core, the educational initiative, with more roaring approval.
Notable point about his speech — he never mentioned Jeb Bush.
After Trump spoke, Marco Rubio took his stage — with his family and Gov. Haley — and congratulated the winner and then gave glowing praise to Bush as a father, husband and governor of Florida. Even though he was 12 points behind the winner, Rubio gave a speech as if he had won it.
The brother and son of former presidents had a lot of big money donors backing him. The question will be: who do they support next? Trump claims he doesn’t need their money and Bush never got enough support from the voters to make a difference when they decide to back other candidates. So the issue of where the donors will go is still up in the air. Do they even like who is still in the race?
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On the Democratic side, Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders thanked their supporters; Clinton for winning the caucuses and Sanders for keeping it close when, six months ago, he was 40 points behind the former secretary of state.
They will move on to Texas and South Carolina. Many expect Secretary Clinton to start pulling away from her challenger at this point, but the pundits have been wrong quite a lot in this election season.
Let it sink in: Jeb Bush has dropped out of the race for president. The Bush dynasty is over — at least for now.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.