Ballot Box

Jeb Bush: Republicans have to ‘lose the primary to win the general’


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made the case for a more centrist Republican Party on Monday night, saying a nominee should “lose the primary to win the general without violating your principles.”

{mosads}That nominee could be Bush himself. Speaking at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting, Bush said he will make up his mind on a presidential run “in short order,” according to the Journal

He said voters are looking for an “uplifting, much more positive message.”

Bush’s apparent strategy not to try to appeal to the most conservative elements of the party contrasts to some degree with Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, where some questioned whether he tacked too far to the right in the primary, hurting his ability to get back toward the center for the general election. 

Bush laid out policy positions that could be controversial among the conservative base. He is a supporter of the Common Core education standards, which have caused strong backlash from conservatives who view them as impeding local control of education. 

He said he opposed President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, but said Republicans should act on the issue “rather than have their heads explode.”

Economic needs should be the priority when allowing in new immigrants, Bush said, as opposed to uniting families. 

He also called for an end to votes to repeal ObamaCare, in favor of putting forward Republican alternatives. 

“We don’t have to make a point any more as Republicans,” he said. “We have to actually show that we can, in an adult-like way, we can govern, lead.”

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