Jeb Bush: President Trump needs a GOP primary challenger

Failed 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush thinks President Trump needs a challenger in the 2020 Republican primary, in case you were wondering what’s on Jeb!’s mind these days. I’m joking. No one is wondering about that. Nonetheless, Bush was interviewed by Obama alum, now CNN contributor David Axelrod recently and let his choice of challenger be known. He’s leaning toward Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. The interview will air on CNN Saturday.

“I think someone should run. Just because Republicans ought to be given a choice,” said Bush, who also served as the governor of Florida, in an interview with David Axelrod that will air Saturday on “The Axe Files.” He added that beating Trump in 2020 will be difficult for anyone because “he has a strong, loyal base” and “it’s hard to beat a sitting president.”

“But to have a conversation about what it is to be a conservative I think is important,” he added. “And our country needs to have competing ideologies that people — that are dynamic, that focus on the world we’re in and the world we’re moving towards rather than revert back to a nostalgic time.”

Let’s remember that Jeb! is the guy who went down in flames during his 2016 GOP presidential primary bid after amassing and spending over $100M in campaign funding. His Right to Rise super PAC failed to position Bush to win any early primary contests, even after Barbara Bush campaigned with him in New Hampshire, maneuvering through the snow with the help of her walker. George W. made an appearance with him in South Carolina yet the writing was on the wall and he was quickly out of the race.

Jeb! spoke at Governor Hogan’s inauguration last January and clearly is a fan of the moderate to liberal Republican in blue state Maryland. Some in Establishment Republican circles are really trying to make a challenge to Trump by Hogan a thing. I’m not surprised that Jeb! is helping lead the charge. He thinks Hogan has a real opening and should take it. Hogan isn’t shutting any doors but remains coy about running in 2020.

“People are talking to me about it,” he said at the time. “I’m flattered people are saying that and including me in those discussions. My focus, my plan right now is to stay here for four years and do the best job I can in Maryland, but I’ve said, ‘You never say never.’ Who knows what’s going to happen.”

The Bush-era in Republican politics is over but Jeb! remains stuck in the past. How convenient that Bush sat for an interview with David Axelrod to talk about eliminating President Trump in 2020. Bush is the ultimate NeverTrumper who criticizes President Trump on personality and character instead of actual policy. The reason President Trump has such strong support from Republicans in general, not just support from the base that Jeb! references is because he has promoted and accomplished strong conservative policy success. Many Republicans may not particularly like Trump’s rhetoric but appreciate his judicial nominations and success in lowering taxes and lessening over-regulation. It is hard to deny that Trump has successfully brought back industry and employment is at all time highs across the board. What exactly about all this does Jeb! think needs challenging in the Republican primary?

Jeb! is as tone deaf as he ever was and frankly, he is one example of how Republicans got Donald Trump as a candidate in the first place. Bush may want to forge on in his globalist dreams of the world but American voters chose otherwise. Trump, crudely at times, stands up and fights which is what disaffected voters were longing for in 2016. A candidate like Hogan is just going back to past failed Republican candidates. I don’t think he’ll try to challenge Trump in 2020. He may, however, be enjoying the attention and raising his profile while he contemplates a run in 2024. That seems more likely.