By Lynn R. Mitchell
Conservatives were won over this weekend by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at their annual Red State gathering (see Jeb Bush takes the gloves off at RedState). Many have been wary of him and outwardly expressed it early on at the event:
During the presidential debate on Thursday, conservatives gathered at the RedState watch party vehemently booed Bush. A few even shouted obscenities as he spoke about immigration and Common Core educational standards.
However, those same folks gave him a standing ovation when he spoke with them in Atlanta on Saturday:
But he received a standing ovation from a majority in the audience on Saturday and got loud applause for taking on Trump. Bush said Trump ought to apologize for the pejorative comments he made about Fox News personality Megyn Kelly.
“Do we want to win? Do we want to insult 53 percent of all voters?” Bush said. “What Donald Trump said is wrong. That is not how you win elections. Worse yet, that is not how you bring people together to solve problems.”
Bush proved that, when voters connect directly with him, they have a better understanding of his grasp of issues, his conservative record of governing for eight years in Florida, and his leadership qualities:
Bush did not draw the largest crowd or the most applause of the weekend, but he appeared to turn a crowd that was openly hostile toward him on Thursday into one that gave him a standing ovation on Saturday. Bush’s pitch to activists emphasized his desire to work for the GOP nomination, so as to dissuade conservatives of the notion that he would inherit the position on top of the Republican Party in 2016.
“I can promise you this, if it’s about delivering great speeches, I’m not going to be president probably,” Bush said. “I can do OK; I don’t have a self-esteem problem. … We can’t just keep electing people that give great speeches; 2008 is the living proof of that isn’t it?”