Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Establishment Candidates Don’t Connect

One reason for Jeb Bush’s poor campaign performance is that he didn’t learn how to prepare for a presidential campaign from the example of Ronald Reagan’s narrow defeat at the 1976 Convention. After Reagan’s loss that year, he traveled the country speaking to small audiences of grassroots voters and fielding their questions. Jeb has failed to address the concerns of average citizens and win their support. The immigration issue has grabbed the attention of the grassroots and made it has made it difficult for Bush to secure the Republican Party nomination with his usual “take no positions” rhetoric. Of Course, Bush will continue to try.

The sudden withdrawal of Scott Walker was the clearest indication that the Establishment is struggling to regain its control of the nomination process. Walker admitted that his early withdrawal was part of an establishment strategy to “clear the field in this race.” Walker insisted that only “candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current frontrunner (Donald Trump)” should be considered. Walker stressed that “Ronald Reagan was good for America because he was an optimist,” and complained that “the debate taking place in the Republican Party today is not focused on that optimistic view of America.”

Every poll shows that the voters, by a margin of nearly 3 to 1, say our country is headed in the “wrong direction.” Those voters don’t want more happy-talk; they’re looking for a candidate who’s willing and able to turn the country around and “make America great again.” When Jeb and other candidates have tried criticizing Trump, polls show that any loss in support for Trump simply goes to another non-Establishment candidate, such as Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina. The Establishment just can’t make their wishy-washy candidates connect with grassroots voters.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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