Bush Says Trump Isn’t a ‘Serious Candidate’

Jeb Bush said that Donald Trump is “uninformed” and “scary,” again questioning the billionaire real estate mogul’s fitness to be commander in chief, according to Politico.

Said Bush: “Look, I just think he’s uninformed. The simple fact is that he’s been wrong on Syria and on the refugees pretty consistently. And no one’s holding him to account. He first said we had no interest in being involved in Syria. And then he said let the Russians take out ISIS. And then he said let ISIS take out Assad. Back and forth it goes. And the net effect of this is in these really serious times he’s not a serious leader.”

Bush said he will still support Trump if he wins the GOP nomination, but admitted the idea of a Trump presidency is “kind of scary.”

Republicans Have a Much Bigger Upside in 2016

Dan Balz: “If Republicans win the presidency in 2016, they would then control nearly everything – the White House, the House, probably the Senate and certainly a majority of governorships.”

“If Democrats hold the White House, they might win the Senate but probably would not have the House and would be in a distinct minority in the states. If they lose the White House, they would be virtually wiped out of power. For Democrats, that means a victory in the general election still would represent only a down payment on the future and a continuing struggle to implement the kind of progressive economic agenda that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have begun to talk about in their campaigns.”

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Is Marco Rubio an Insider or Outsider?

Wall Street Journal: “The underdog narrative helps Mr. Rubio cast himself as a political outsider to a party desperate for change. But it glosses over a basic fact: The 44-year-old Florida senator has spent the bulk of his working life in politics, reared by the party whose leaders he occasionally campaigns against.”

“This tension between Rubio the insider and Rubio the outsider cuts to the heart of his biggest challenge in the Republican primary—positioning himself as a bridge candidate, while some of his rivals specifically target evangelicals and tea-party conservatives and others focus on rallying the establishment.”

GOP Candidates Nearly Silent on Colorado Shootings

“The Republican presidential field, which for much of the year has been full-throated in its denunciations of Planned Parenthood, has been nearly silent about the shooting in Colorado at one of its facilities that left a police officer and two others dead,” the Washington Post reports.

“In contrast, all three of the leading Democratic contenders quickly issued statements in support of Planned Parenthood.”

Yahoo News: “The shooting at Planned Parenthood put GOP 2016 hopefuls in a ‘politically uncomfortable’ position.”

Christie Wins Big Endorsement

Gov. Chris Christie gained some traction with an endorsement from New Hampshire’s Union Leader, traditionally the most respected newspaper voice in the first-in-the-nation primary state, Politico reports.

From the editorial: “Gov. Christie is right for these dangerous times. He has prosecuted terrorists and dealt admirably with major disasters. But the one reason he may be best-suited to lead during these times is because he tells it like it is and isn’t shy about it.”

New York Times: “The newspaper’s endorsement, coming 10 weeks before the first-in-the-nation primary, arrived earlier than it had in the past two election cycles involving crowded Republican primary fields.”

Remaking Illinois

The New York Times looks at how Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) and his wealthy friends are transforming the state and its politics.

“The families remaking Illinois are among a small group around the country who have channeled their extraordinary wealth into political power, taking advantage of regulatory, legal and cultural shifts that have carved new paths for infusing money into campaigns. Economic winners in an age of rising inequality, operating largely out of public view, they are reshaping government with fortunes so large as to defy the ordinary financial scale of politics.”

On Covering Trump

Molly Ball: “It is fun to be here. Even the reporters, to whose perfidy Trump devotes a substantial chunk of his speech, are having fun-you never know what Trump is going to say, and you get a lot of airtime… Despite all the negativity and fear, the energy in this room does not feel dark and aggressive and threatening. It doesn’t feel like a powder keg about to blow, a lynch mob about to rampage. It feels joyous.”

Trump Says GOP Leaders are ‘Horrible’ Negotiators

Donald Trump said that Republicans should have threatened to close the government during recent budget negotiations with President Obama, Business Insider reports.

Said Trump: “They’re horrible poker players. Horrible.”

He added: “By the way, in 50 years from now, nobody is going to know about Boehner or Ryan or any of these guys if the government closes for a little while. They’re going to know about Barack Hussein Obama. That’s who they’re going to know about. That’s who they’re going to know about.”

Rubio Bets GOP Wants a Younger Face

New York Times: “By running a campaign that emphasizes his youth and appeal as a figure of generational change, Mr. Rubio, in essence, is trying to reverse the roles that Democrats and Republicans have played in presidential elections for the last generation. And he is trying to scramble the identity politics that have taken shape within both parties, particularly after a 47-year-old Barack Obama excited young voters in 2008 with his own message that it was time for dramatic change in Washington.”

“It is a difficult line to walk, especially for a politician who is being attacked as precocious, impatient and too busy furthering his presidential ambitions to show up to work in Washington. Mr. Rubio’s challenge is made more daunting by the fact that he is trying to win the nomination of a party that has grown older, whiter and more conservative. Seeking to become the first Hispanic president, he is the youngest person in the Republican field this year.”