Jeb Bush has officially dropped out of the presidential election race in 2016. But now that he’s on the sideline, will he back his nemesis, Donald Trump, despite earlier reports that he would rescind his pledge to support him?
As reported by the New York Times, Jeb Bush officially suspended his presidential campaign after a poor showing in South Carolina. But according to the article, the problems Bush faced started far earlier than that.
“No single candidacy this year fell so monumentally short of its original expectations. It began with an aura of inevitability that masked deep problems, from Mr. Bush himself, a clunky candidate in a field of gifted performers, to the rightward drift of the Republican Party since Mr. Bush’s time as a consensus conservative in Florida.”
In fact, the Washington Post pointed out in a recent op-ed piece, that it was this drift from center to far right that plagued Jeb’s chances from the get-go, a point only further proven with the rise of Donald Trump.
“What no one in Bush world, especially Bush himself, seemed to grasp was how much the Republican Party had changed in the decade since he’d left the Florida governor’s office,” reporter Chris Cillizza argues.
“The presidency of Barack Obama had radicalized the GOP, making its base not only more conservative but more prone to embrace extreme rhetoric to counter the frustration and fury that Obama and his policies had generated in them. The Republican base no longer wanted politicians who could offer up alternative policy solutions to undo what Obama had done. They wanted someone who would blow everything up. Enter Donald Trump.”
And indeed, it was Trump who set his eyes on the perceived front runner from the get-go, embarrassing Jeb Bush in many campaign debates including one such debate where he even straight out called Jeb Bush weak to his face.
Which is why it is understandable that Bush might want to rescind his pledge to support Trump, if the Donald were to secure the nomination, as reported months earlier by Reuters.
“Behind the scenes, top aides have looked into whether Bush would still qualify to be on the ballots in all 50 states because some states require a loyalty pledge in order to be on the ballot.”
With the qualification issue now taken care of by the simple fact that Jeb Bush has suspended his campaign, there are many pundits who now speculate whether or not Bush would support his nemesis or rally behind the parties’ perceived hopeful in Marco Rubio. However, as pointed out by Slate, that may not be as clear cut an option either.
“Trump wasn’t the only one who had a hand in Jeb’s defeat. Rubio, Bush’s former protégé, decimated him on the debate stage this past fall, creating the “Jeb is doomed” narrative that eventually became a reality.”
Still, it appears unlikely that Jeb would resort to supporting Trump until the reality that he will be the Republican nominee in the 2016 election comes to pass.
Trump meanwhile, has already weighed in on Bush dropping out of the race, as reported by Business Insider and is seemingly taking the high road.
“Jeb fought very hard,” the billionaire businessman said. “It wasn’t his time. That’s all.”
Trump’s statements are a far cry from his barrage of attacks on Jeb throughout the campaign and debates where he labeled Jeb as “weak” and an “embarrassment” to his family name.
Still, with Jeb Bush out of the way, the Republican nomination is quickly coming more into focus, with Donald Trump leading the way.
What do you think? Will Donald Trump secure the nomination now that Jeb Bush has ended his campaign?
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]