Will Bush Family Sitting Out Hurt Trump?

First Read: “On the one hand, this news is not too surprising after Jeb Bush’s loss, and the Bush family influence was extremely limited during the ’16 primary season. On the other hand, it’s going to be difficult for Trump to unify the full Republican Party without the Bush family and Mitt Romney locking hands with their 2016 nominee in Cleveland. And you know what they say about divided houses, right?”

“Also get this: NBC’s Sarah Blackwill discovered that a Bush (either Jeb, Laura, W., Bush 41) has had a speaking role at every Republican convention going back to 1980. Does that streak come to an end this year?”

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  • ProfessorNewshound

    No, the Bushes sitting it out won’t, in and of itself, hurt Trump.

    But it is a canary-in-the-coal mine, just as is Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announcing that he will not back Trump. There will be a significant minority of Republicans who won’t back Trump and that will hurt The Donald. And if Trump can make it a relatively close race, there will be immense pressure on these folks to cave and back Trump. However, given what Trump did to Jeb, the Bushes will not cave.

    • Right. And even if they don’t outright campaign against him, it will mirror a lack of enthusiasm among certain powerful elements of the GOP. Sure, there with be some rowdy newcomers hung-ho about Trump, but there will also be a lot of others sitting this one out.

  • Alki

    Jeb seemed to be sitting out for most of the primary. That didn’t hurt Trump at all.

    • ThatBadOpinionPerson

      That just makes it easier for Trump to run against them as the patrician GOP.
      Dubya created a mess, Jeb lost and now they’ve abandoned us. etc.
      All down hill from Reagan. etc.

    • abctefg


      • Alki

        Thank you. That statement felt unloved and I didn’t want to please clap it. 🙂

  • bcamarda

    Please. Republicans deny the Bushes ever existed. Who could blame them? If you accepted that George W. Bush ever existed, pretty soon you’d have to explain why massive tax cuts lead to economic catastrophe instead of utopia. Next thing you knew, you’d have to explain why you don’t get super-great results from a foreign policy based on the instincts of some dude that has no friggin’ clue about the Middle East and thinks it’s enough to have “common sense” and beat the crap out of everyone who disagrees with him. Pretty soon, you couldn’t convince anyone to vote Republican at all.

    • Alki

      Worth noting they just nominated someone who says their last sitting president ought to have been impeached.

  • BillBuckley

    Well, we all know why Jeb! won’t be invited to give a barn burner, don’t we?


    • nowaRINO

      Maybe he can run the “applause” sign.

  • wildthumb

    This site has become WALL-TO-WALL TRUMP, and for the first time today I’m considering going somewhere else. Have never seen so much obsessive ass-kissing. Disgusting.

    • Buford2k11

      well…If they are going to be “sitting it out” then there won’t be much ass exposed to kiss…

    • moderatesunite

      This isn’t exactly a trump article, it’s about what 2 of the most recent republican presidents will do. several other articles about the senate, electoral college etc. today.

      I agree that some of the constant quotes and media reactions are too much, but he’s now the presumptive nominee of a major party

  • dionysus_finch

    So, what’s the record for most GOP conventions in a row with the most recent President from the party not attending?

    • Lev

      I thought Dubya spoke in ’08, at like 4:30 pm. Safely out of primetime, that is.

      • moderatesunite

        via video call. He didn’t attend the convention itself

      • dionysus_finch

        True, but it was via satellite.

      • cmb

        That was 2012, not 2008.

  • elvis2086

    The Bushes are considered part of the establishment; therefore, their sitting out won’t hurt Trump.

  • TheFreakinGorn

    No one cares what the Bushes think anymore, and no, it will not hurt Trump any worse than he has already hurt himself.

    • abctefg

      >No one cares…

      Really? Are you sure about that?

      • TheFreakinGorn

        Maybe a few people here and there. Based on jeb!’s showing this year, i don’t see that their wing of the party has much influence anymore period.

  • Lev

    Nope. Jeb! revealed just how much pull they have among the public at this point.

  • Alki

    Seriously though, I’m tired of this “will they, won’t they?” nonsense. There are going to be people that jump ship. There are going to be half-hearted endorsements. That’s not what drives Republican victories, though. Fox News is on board, and they’ll beat the dogwhistles of war against Hillary all day. They’ve already started. Let’s not forget how powerful they are.

    • at this point, it looks like basically 80+% of black and brown voters are gonna vote dem. (80% might even be too low a number tbh)

      so really, it’s gonna come down to how many white people will stand up to vote against the candidate who has been openly running on a platform of white supremacist vitriol.

      i am a little nervous, but i mostly have faith that enough will be on the right side of history on this one.

    • cmb

      The Bush/Romney/business class split isn’t as significant electorally as the social conservative split.

      Trump’s going to have to build a new coalition to replace the Reagan coalition he just blew up. His minimum wage announcement puts Speaker Ryan (and the oligarchs) on notice that the Ryan budget and its underlying priorities are out the window.

      Cruz’s endorsement in this context will matter. Someone will have to rebuild a national GOP coalition and IMO it’s not going to be Trump.

      So if Cruz is half the strategist he thinks he is, he will not endorse Trump. But who knows whether short-term greed over-rules Lucifer’s longer term, more uncertain ambitions.

      • Alki

        None of those things sound promising for republicans in 2020

      • Hawkeye

        Looks to me like the GOP rank and file do not want a Christian religious Dominionist. I think that rules out Cruz in the long run. Kasich was one of the god squad and they didn’t want him either.

        • cmb

          I agree. Hopefully, the Christianists can be marginalized and the re-constituted GOP can draw Blue Dogs and corporatists like Cuomo and Emmanuel (and their RW supporters) out of the Democratic Party.

          We need at least two secular parties working on the country’s secular issues. Spiritual issues like “family values should be left in the churches/temples/synagogues/whatevers.

  • fgtayl01

    Jeb doesn’t want to go to Cleveland and have to meet with his donors face to face.

    • embo66

      It’s quite probable a lot of those donors won’t be at the convention, either.

  • RG 5626

    I think Cleavland is going to be pretty interesting. Even without a contested convention, I want to see who they get to make the prime time speeches. If they are stuck with fringe members like Pat Buchanan, then I think that will turn a lot of moderates off. Maybe they can get Chris Christie to once again go to the podium and talk about himself for 45 minutes. If all they can get are B-list speakers, Trump won’t get much of a bump from the convention. Is Sarah Palin still A-list?

    • politicsjunkie

      Sarah Palin is A-List all the way, if A stands for Asshole.

    • Quagmire

      Good point. I tend to think it will be has beens and never were’s who are desperate to get into or back into the national spotlight. Which usually means a lot of inflammatory rhetoric to garner headlines.

  • oldhandatthis

    The Bush family is arguably the most powerful political dynasty today. They are part of the history of the party and are well connected with Republican politicians and donors. I’m guessing but I would expect getting the stink eye for the Bush family makes a surprisingly large number of doors and wallets close.

  • Independent Democrat

    I almost wonder if the Bushies are secretly now supporting HRC. They will never come out public and say that but they hate Trump so where else would they go? (Unless there is a third party option).

    • Calbengoshi

      I doubt that any of the Bush clan will be doing anything to support HRC, if for no other reason than because it would damage severely the political future of George P. Bush, Jeb’s son who currently holds the position of Texas Land Commissioner.

      Instead, I expect that members of the Bush family will do whatever they can to assist any “down ballot” GOP candidate who asks for their help, and I also expect that they will continue to circulate within the inner circles of the GOP their belief that Jeb would have been a better general election candidate than Trump.

  • richo123

    Trumpfest in Cleveland:

    Romney: Out
    McCain: Out
    G. W. Bush: Out
    Bob Dole: In
    H. W. Bush: Out
    Reince Priebus: In
    Paul Ryan: In (the hot seat)


  • southerndemnut

    Depending on what Bob Dole does, given his advanced age, every single living Republican president or presidential candidate of the past may decline to participate in the convention. I am not sure that has ever happened before in US political history, on either side.

  • Hawkeye

    It most certainly will hurt. Trump is starting out behind the eight ball as it is, and needs every possible Republican to be on board. The Bushes will make him crawl first, and that isn’t likely to happen.

  • Since no GOP candidate or spokesperson has even mentioned George W Bush, except Trump, who essentially called him a war criminal (a view seconded by former UN SG Kofi Annan) it’s hard to see how the Bush creatures sitting out the election could do any harm.

  • Pat Flores

    Didn’t Jeb sign the famous pledge to support the nominee…or did that pledge only apply to Trump? I am sorta amazed that no one has mentioned this…

  • DarthYoda

    His attacks on the entire Bush crime family in the run-up to the South Carolina primary was one of Trump’s boldest and best tactics (helping his appeal with independents). And the Bushes will never forget or forgive it.

  • abctefg

    “Also get this”

    Do pundits write like that?

  • mhandrh

    Nothing seems to hurt Trump especially where his supporters are concerned.
    In the end, I don’t think Trump can win, but stranger things have happened.

    • Hawkeye

      It does not pay to over estimate the number of enthusiastic supporters Trump has. That number is very likely the smallest number of any GOP nominee is recent times. That committed core was always the heart of the GOP party, but this year it is fragmented and large parts of it are dispirited. Against that backdrop any additional hold outs can only hurt, since Trump is going into the GE with a much smaller enthusiastic base than previous Republican nominees could count on.

      Had he faced a much smaller field early on, I suspect that he would not have won so many winner take all contests early as the core of his campaign. He is heading for the nomination as a minority candidate coasting in on a series of relatively weak plurality wins where the large numbers of his adversaries split the vote against him, allowing him to slip through. He has played the GOP rules very well.

      Currently he is short on public support, and it looks like quite a lot of regular GOP are going to sit this presidential campaign out or be at best lukewarm. Every defection or refusal to back is going to hurt him big time. He has no extra space to tolerate that.

      • mhandrh

        Yours is a logical analysis, and I hope it proves to come true, but I do get nervous when I see him covered 24/7 on TV, when I see his loud, vocal, strong supporters, and, while I share your reasoning, and don’t think he will win, I so fear the Democrats not recognizing their enemy until it is too late.

        • Hawkeye

          Don’t get me wrong. Donald Trump has to be taken down, hard and all the way. The TV coverage for several of the networks would be just as happy to have the shit running down all over Trump. They are in it for the most part for the spectacle and aside from FOX and its hard core audience the main goal is the spectacle that drives the drama. Donald Trump is SOOO vulnerable.

          Besides there are a whole lot of us hoping to see the Clinton knives come out and slash a bit, more than a bit. And that would dominate the news itself, especially if done with the skill that the Clintons have. The media has been disappointed that Hillary kept the knives sheathed during the primary battles. Give them a reason to turn on Trump and they will have the media extravaganza that they are all praying for.

  • growe

    On one hand, typical elitist arrogance; if we can’t have what we are entitled to have, we won’t support anyone else’s ambitions.

    Little touch of we believe in democracy only when it selects we the entitled.

    But of course Trump is ridiculous and toxic, at least with HW it is probably sincere revulsion at least as much as my kid didn’t get it, why should I get off the couch for this?