Jeb Bush cheered, jeered at conservative confab
OXON HILL: Jeb Bush courted rightwing American voters at a crucial political testing ground Friday, but the presumed Republican presidential frontrunner for 2016 received a mixed reception-including heckles-from wary conservatives. The former Florida governor has work to do to convince some of the Republican Party faithful crowding the annual talk shop known as CPAC at Oxon Hill, close to Washington, where several competing presidential hopefuls are attempting to get core conservatives on side.
It is not necessarily as a member of the controversial Bush dynasty-a hurdle that in itself may be a heavy lift-but rather as an establishment favorite whom some here see as a sellout to billionaire donors and Obama-backed policies like immigration reform and education standards. “I know there is disagreement here,” Bush, 62, told the convention, acknowledging hecklers as he discussed his gently-gently position on immigration. “If I run for president I have to show what’s in my heart. I have to show that I care about people and their future. “It can’t be about the past. It can’t be about my mom and dad, or my brother (presidents George HW and George W).”
When pressed, Bush said he opposes President Barack Obama’s executive overreach shielding millions from deportation. But he stressed that for those living in the shadows, “we should give them a path to legal status where they work, they don’t receive government benefits... and they make a contribution to our society.” It was a hard sell at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where attendees were eyeing their conservative pick for winning the White House. “You suck!” a protester yelled. The Republican Party has repeatedly said it aims to include more minorities under its tent. —AFP