State Republicans said that the big challenge for Bush will be on federal policy: defending what conservatives describe as too soft a stance on issues like immigration and Common Core, the system of reading and math standards for grade students.

“The one we hear on the ground all the time is his efforts to push Common Core,” said Grubbs, the Paul strategist. “That’s the lead problem, but there are others.”
Bush has also argued that the United States should phase out federal subsidies for ethanol, a major benefit to corn-growers in Iowa and other parts of the Midwest.

Ahead of the 2008 election, amid speculation he might get in the race, Bush joked that his position on ethanol was “living proof that I’m not running.” And when Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, kicked off his campaign in Iowa five years ago by calling for an end to the federal subsidy, Bush backed him up.

“I admire truth telling and t-paw sure did it to open his campaign,” he wrote on Twitter at the time.