The GOP was shocked when Donald Trump sundered the Republican Party over the summer by tapping into the anti-establishment movement he quickly rose to the number one spot in the polls. But what may be more shocking than that is Jeb Bush is unwittingly advancing Trump’s campaign.
Trump and Jeb are two opponent who attack each other every chance they get, so it may be shocking when I suggest that Jeb’s campaign isn’t hurting Trump’s candidacy. On the contrary, it makes him stronger when Jeb attacks other candidates.
While the candidates were busy scrapping amongst themselves, Trump secured second place. Jeb’s attacks against candidates such as Marco Rubio and others during the debate in Iowa failed to improve his campaign. Jeb only placed sixth in Iowa. He couldn’t even beat Rand Paul, yet the Kentucky senator dropped out of the race two days after the fact. But Jeb kept trucking on.
As Trump took second in the Iowa caucus, Jeb made Trump’s campaign easier for him by attacking Rubio in the debate and spending millions on attack ads against the junior senator. These attacks are just creating problems for the establishment candidates, who can’t gather enough support to properly fight against the Trump.
After losing Iowa, Jeb decided to double down and spend even more to win New Hampshire, where he spent $1,150 to $1,200 for every vote he received, according to Huffington Post. Conservatives in New Hampshire have been quite favorable to the Bush family over the years. George H.W. Bush won in ‘88 and ‘92 while his son took the state in 2004. He even got his mother, Barbara Bush, to stump for him in the state, and he still lost.
I can understand why Jeb wanted to try so hard in New Hampshire, but I don’t know what he’s hoping to accomplish going forward, especially after spending ludicrous amounts of money on a lackluster performance in both states.
Jeb continues to spend a small fortune in a state that his brother, George W., won in 2000 and 2004, so when the GOP sideshow rolled up to South Carolina, Jeb asked his brother to join him on the trail. I don’t think that good ol’ Texas love is enough to win the state this time around. Here’s the thing: I think that all that energy will pull votes from Cruz, Rubio and John Kasich, making Trump’s hand stronger in South Carolina. And even if Jeb did finish first or second in South Carolina, it’s unlikely that he’d win any other state as he’s doing poorly in the latest GOP polls.
Because Jeb believes that Trump’s behaviour is unbecoming of a future president, and because his own prospects look bleak, Jeb should withdraw and back a viable candidate – though they might not want his endorsement just yet with all the mudslinging going on.
If Jeb was a card in Trump’s poker hand, he’d be a “blocker”- Texas Hold’em jargon for when you’re holding a card that your opponent needs to win. In this race Donald Trump may be the joker, but he’s happy holding Jeb as a blocker card.