How The Right-Wing Media Geared Up For War With Jeb Bush

Right-wing media figures spent the months leading up to Jeb Bush's decision to actively explore running for president criticizing him as the “dumbest Bush,” a “base pander,” and a candidate who presents problems for the base.

Jeb Bush Announced Intention To “Actively Explore” 2016 Presidential Bid

Jeb Bush Will "Actively Explore" 2016 Presidential Candidacy. On December 16, NBC News reported that Jeb Bush has announced “he will 'actively explore' the possibility of a presidential run in 2016.” [, 12/16/14]

Conservative Media Already Prepared For Battle With “Dumbest” Bush

Mark Levin: “Egomaniac” Jeb Bush Is “A Very Good Moderate Democrat.” On the December 2 edition of his conservative radio show, host Mark Levin called Jeb Bush an “egomaniac” and argued that Bush is not conservative enough, instead calling him “a very good moderate Democrat”: 

LEVIN: Listen to how the guy talks. Does this guy excite you? “Eh, you know, I'm thinking about running for president. I don't know if I'll be a good candidate or a bad candidate” -- Is that the way people talk? Does this guy have a vision? ... Egomaniac.


Stop. We're all in favor of much more uplifting, what is this a play in high school? “Oh, look at this!” No. Be uplifting, be positive, talk about the American dream, talk about how you're going to unleash the economy. Talk about how you're going to promote American sovereignty, talk about how you're going to build the military back up after Obama has hallowed it out. Talk about your foreign policy. We haven't heard a damn thing. Talk about how you're going to address the debt. We haven't heard a damn thing. Be positive. What does that have to do with the substance of your positions. I was asked to comment about him by a good journalist, Paul Bedard, he only printed some of what I said in the Washington Times, I said Jeb Bush is a good moderate Democrat. That's what he is. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Mark Levin Show12/2/14, via The Right Scoop]

Rush Limbaugh: Bush Will “Battle With His Own Party,” Not Democrats. On the December 4 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh criticized Jeb Bush's “centrist positions” on Common Core education standards and immigration, and argued that Bush would “run against his base” if he decides to run for president in 2016:

LIMBAUGH: I had a fascinating headline here in a story at The Hill, The headline is: “Jeb Girds for Battle with Base.” So here is a story about Jeb Bush, and he's contemplating whether or not to seek the presidency of this country in 2016. And this story is about the battle that he's going to have in getting there -- and the battle that he's going to have is the battle with his own party, not with the Democrats.

Wouldn't you think that in a story about a Republican candidate or potential candidate seeking the White House, the story would be girding for battle with the Democrats?  Here's the opening paragraph: “Jeb Bush is steeling,” s-t-e-e-l, getting prepared, "for a fight with the Republican Party conservative base, signaling that he will not bend from his centrist positions on immigration and Common Core education standards in 2016 even if costs him support with grassroots conservatives.


So now what Jeb is saying is that he's gotta go out. In order to get his party's nomination, he's gonna have to figure out a way to win the primaries while running against the base. That's what he told these CEOs. That's what this means. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show12/4/14]

Fox Host Jedediah Bila: “I'm Not A Fan Of Jeb Bush.” On the November 10 edition of Fox News' Hannity, network host Jedediah Bila said that she opposes Jeb Bush because of his support for Common Core education standards:

BILA: I'm not a huge fan of Jeb Bush because of things like Common Core. I think that's a huge issue. I'm a former teacher. I'm a former dean. I cannot stand Common Core. I think that's going to be a big problem for conservatives, moms and dads who are sitting at home and care about these things. Immigration is going to be a key issue. That may be a problem for him, as well. [Fox News, Hannity11/10/14]

Laura Ingraham Hyped “The Problem With Jeb.” On the December 8 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group's The Laura Ingraham Show, Ingraham highlighted CNN's Candy Crowley's skepticism that Jeb Bush's positions on education and immigration were conservative to emphasize that “Candy Crowley even sees the problem with Jeb.” Ingraham argued that Jeb Bush's positions on education and immigration are not sufficiently conservative and pointed to polling suggesting that he would lose to Hillary Clinton if both ran. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show12/8/14]

Limbaugh: Jeb Bush And Republican Party Don't Want To Stop Obama's Immigration Executive Action. On the December 8 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh criticized the Republican party for not attempting to stop President Obama's executive action on immigration by shutting down the government. Limbaugh accused Jeb Bush of not wanting to stop Obama's action. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show12/8/14]

Mark Levin: Jeb Bush Is “The Dumbest Of The Bushes.” On the April 7 edition of his radio show, Mark Levin attacked Jeb Bush, saying “People say Jeb Bush is the brightest Bush. I'm starting to think he's the dumbest of the Bushes. Oh no, not because he's honest. No, because his ideas when it comes to immigration are stupid.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Mark Levin Show4/7/14]