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December 2015

Bush campaign cancels Iowa and South Carolina TV ads

JEB BUSH _The Des Moines Register is reporting that Jeb Bush's flailing Iowa campaign is canceling it television ad buys in Iowa. 

From the Register:

Jeb Bush's campaign is canceling its Iowa television advertising buy and shifting money to double staff on the ground in January, the final month before the high-stakes Iowa caucuses.

The news will raise questions about whether the former Florida governor might pull out of Iowa given his fifth-place status here, with just 6 percent support of likely GOP caucusgoers.

That's not the case, Bush campaign manager Danny Diaz told The Des Moines Register.

The number of Iowa paid staffers who make personal contact with voters will be boosted from 11 to more than 20, including its Hispanic outreach director, he said.

. . . Diaz said the campaign is removing $3 million in previously reserved TV time: an Iowa buy of about $1 million and a January buy in South Carolina of about $2 million. It's instead increasing direct voter contact with a total of 60 additional staffers.

Bush's Right to Rise PAC has spent heavily in the early states - especially New Hampshire. So far, polling has suggested that while the Bush campaign and his PAC have far outspent his rivals, the ads have not had the desired impact.

Right to Rise continues to have ads in the early primary and caucus states.

See the Des Moines Register story here.

This comes on the heels of reports today that Bush is essentially closing his Miami headquarters and moving almost all of the staff there to early primary states.

Both moves suggest the campaign is deeply worried and abandoning what it once thought was an winning strategy.

Is it too little too late?



Jeb Bush challenges Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate

Donald trump pixDuring a question and answer session at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, Jeb Bush was asked what he would say to Donald Trump - whose winter palace is a few miles away, if he were there.

Bush, not missing a beat, said, "I'd say, Donald, I'll take you on one-on-one, in a debate. Any time. Any place."

Which of course begs the question - who would fair better in such a debate? 

Bush tried to take on Marco Rubio during one of the presidential debates and it backfired badly. And the former Florida governor has not done much better with Trump.

Still, perhaps Bush would do better if was just him and Trump. 

If nothing else, it would be entertaining.



Jeb Bush explains the art of the Selfie

  Jeb Selfie


While Jeb Bush was asked a number of serious policy questions during his appearance before nearly 900 members and guests today at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, Bush became his most animated when he was asked how the selfie has affected campaigning.

Bush's campaign enjoyed the moment so much that it has been turned Bush's answer into one of the campaign's series of Jeb Unfiltered videos. "The Selfie is now the 11th Amendment of the Bill of Rights," says Bush. ". . .It's a requirement that you take one and I do it with great joy in my heart."

It is actually a very amusing moment for Bush who goes on to describe how selfies should be taken and who is better at taking them.   The other notable thing about his speech was he never uttered the "T" word until he was asked a question about Donald Trump.


Jeb Bush speaks at noon in West Palm Beach

20151228_102728Jeb Bush makes his second Florida stop today in West Palm Beach where he will speak to nearly 900 members and guests of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches.

The non-partisan Forum Club will likely likely lean toward a significant number of Republican members and guests eager to hear the former Florida governor who was once an icon among Florida Republicans.

This morning, Bush visited a Cuban restaurant in Hialeah where he was cheered by a welcoming crowd of supporters. After his speech at the Forum Club, Bush will attend a town hall meeting in Ocala.

Bush continued to berate Donald Trump while in Hialeah. Bush once again called Trump "not a serious candidate"   who gets his foreign policy advise from Sunday talk shows.

Bush's speech in West Palm Beach is just a few miles away from Trump's Palm Beach winter home. A third GOP presidential candidate, Ben Carson lives in West Palm Beach. 

On Tuesday, Bush returns to the campaign trail in New Hampshire where his Right to Rise Pac is spending another $14 million on television ads in the Granite State. Bush has far outspent his opponents in the hope of finishing strong in New Hampshire.

Crowley Political Report will be doing live updates on Bush's speech on Twitter @crowleyreport

Jeb Bush makes three stops in Florida Monday

Jeb hed
Jeb Bush has three events Monday in the Sunshine State where he is likely to receive an enthusiastic welcome from fellow Floridians. The GOP presidential candidate has been struggling to push ahead of front runner Donald Trump. Even in his home state, where Bush was Governor from 1999 to 2007, polls suggest that Bush is doing the better than fourth.

Florida's March 15 primary seems far away as candidates battle in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Political strategists believe Bush must do very well in New Hampshire if he is to have any chance of winning the nomination. 

Bush begins Monday in Hialeah morning stop at Chico's Restaurant. Then Bush travels to West Palm Beach where he will speak to the Forum Club of the Palm Beach. More than 700 tickets have already been sold for luncheon at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. That number is expected to grow higher.

Later that afternoon, Bush will attend a Town Hall at Circle Square Commons in Ocala. Bush will be answering questions from folks at all three events. 

Since the last Republican debate, voters have seen a much more aggressive Bush with his number one target being Trump. Expect that to continue during these three appearances.




Hillary Clinton ad talks about security and economy

Hillary Clinton's campaign is using the Saturday's debate as a launching point for this new ad which is expected to go up in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The ad starts in black and white showing families with Clinton saying: "America is not just electing a president, we're also electing a commander-in-chief. That choice matters because...."

Well see for yourself.


Lindsey Graham video announcing end of presidential campaign

This morning South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham used YouTube to tell supporters that he is no longer a candidate for president. The Republican's campaign never really garnered much support and the biggest question facing him - and a number of other candidates, has been when it would end.

Graham describes his effort as "a problem solvers campaign."


New Jeb Bush video hits Donald Trump on Hillary Clinton

 Clearly Right to Rise, the Jeb Bush PAC, has had a Vulcan mind meld with the Bush campaign. Both are aggressively attacking Donald Trump as if Trump is the only candidate left in the Republican presidential primary.

Surely it is just a coincidence.

This video, the second in as many days, takes snippets of Bush's comments at the last debate, and uses facial reactions from Trump to make Trump look silly.

The topics include Trump being a "chaos candidate," and Trump comments on ISIS, Hillary Clinton, and where he learns about foreign policy. 

Toward the end of the ad, Bush's debate challenge to Trump is repeated: "Donald you are not going to be able to insult you way to the presidency. That's not gonna happen."

Interestingly, today Bush insulted Trump again calling him a "jerk" at a morning appearance in New Hampshire. Bush has also called Trump "unhinged" and as he frequently repeats, "the chaos candidate."

Apparently Bush does believe you can insult your way to the GOP nomination.

Will Bush's effort to focus on Trump pull the billionaire real estate mogul off the top of the polls?



Conservative group goes after Patrick Murphy on ISIS

Better Florida Alliance has a new web video suggesting the Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy is weak on ISIS and too eager for more gun control.

Murphy is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio. Murphy is being challenged in a hot-lead battle with Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson.

Which begs the question - why is a conservative Florida group injecting itself in the Democratic primary? Why is the group attacking Murphy?

Interestingly, as reported by Peter Schorsch in October, the group is led by two folks with connections to Florida Governor Rick Scott - Brian Burgess and Josh Cooper. According to Schorsch, Cooper is executive director of Better Florida Alliance and the Scott supporting Let's Get to Work. Burgess was Scott's communications director.

Burgess told Times/Herald Buzz the ad will run on social media during the Holiday break.

Perhaps the ad is a suggestion that Florida Republicans would rather be up against Grayson than Murphy.

Is the ad fair?



Is the air fair?

First Amendment Foundation and Poynter Institute form partnership

A time when access to public meetings and records is becoming more challenging, the First Amendment Foundation and the Poynter Institute are announcing a new partnership that will strengthen the effort of protecting a citizen's right to public meeting and access.

The announcement is below. (Disclosure: Crowley Political Report is a board member of the First Amendment Foundation.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2015) – The First Amendment Foundation, a 31-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to open government in Florida, announced today that it will add offices and move its administrative management from Tallahassee to The Poynter Institute here. In addition, the two organizations will partner on training and events, including the creation of a new online “Sunshine Certificate” to help educate elected officials on open government laws.

The Foundation will rent space for a staff member at the Poynter campus in St. Petersburg while continuing to maintain an office in Tallahassee. Poynter will provide management services to support the Foundation’s membership, website and financial accounting. The Foundation is the third organization in 2015 to turn to Poynter for management services, following the move to Poynter by the Association of Opinion Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors.

Key training components include: an innovative online “Sunshine” certificate; an annual symposium; regional seminars; and development of a digital version of the 2016 Government-in-the-Sunshine manual.

“I’m thrilled to be working closely with the First Amendment Foundation, which for more than three decades has been a champion for government in the sunshine in the Sunshine State,” said Poynter President Tim Franklin. “In the end, Poynter and the First Amendment Foundation have the same mission, and that’s to improve democracy through public engagement. This is a partnership that will ultimately strengthen both organizations, and make our important work for journalists and citizens even better.”

Dave Wilson, chairman of the Foundation’s board of trustees, said, “The First Amendment Foundation is delighted to have found a strong partner in the Poynter Institute to help further our core mission of preserving open government in Florida through information and education. Keeping our government in the sunshine is important to all Floridians, and this new relationship will leverage the expertise of both organizations so we can spread that message for years to come.”

Continue reading "First Amendment Foundation and Poynter Institute form partnership" »

Jeb Bush video takes on Donald Trump and ISIS

There seems to be a bit of an odd juxtaposition in this new Right to Rise ad for Jeb Bush. The 30 second ad start with a voice over saying , "one candidate tough enough to take on the bully." The screen splits showing  Donald Trump and Bush who says, "Donald, you are not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency. That's not going to happen."

Then the announcer says: "One candidate tough enough to take on ISIS."

Let's pause for a screeching halt here. From Trump to ISIS? Really?

Oh my.

The ad continues with scenes of crowds, bombs dropping, an American flag, and more from Bush.

Clearly the ad is trying to convince voters that Bush is one tough hombre.

It remains interesting that Bush, who has called Trump "unhinged" and the "chaos candidate" believes one cannot "insult your way to the presidency."

Right to Rise ads have largely proven ineffective. After spending more than $30 million on ads, Bush's poll numbers have dropped. 

Will this ad help Bush?



Marco Rubio saying nothing brilliantly in this video

This is Marco Rubio at his video best. Looking earnest. Looking concerned. Looking determined.

And saying - well nothing really. But it sounds very good.

"We will have a foreign policy of moral clarity that is clear whose side we're on. We are on the side of freedom and democracy and those who are willing to fight for their own freedom and democracy.  And our enemies and our adversaries will not dare test us because they will know if they do they will not prevail"

 The ad concludes with this from an announcer:

"Marco Rubio, the one Republican Hillary hopes she never has to run against."

Now let's dissect a bit.

Is there a candidate not "on the side of freedom and democracy?"

Is there a candidate not on the side of those "willing to fight for their own freedom and democracy?"

And this bit: "our enemies and adversaries will dare not test us."

Let's just note that history would suggest otherwise.

So will this ad, done by the Rubio supporting PAC Conservative Solutions,  sway Iowa and New Hampshire voters? 

It may have less impact than Rubio's performance tonight at the Las Vegas debate.

You decide.


Jeb Bush starts Las Vegas debate with a new video

 Jeb bush's new video starts with this question - "What makes us who we are?"

It is a question that Bush has been struggling to answer since he launched his campaign for president. Recent polls suggest that Bush is largely an after thought, if that, for many Republican voters.

Still, Bush clings to the notion that when all is said and done, Republicans will reject Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and all the rest of the GOP field in favor of someone who last held public office 9 years ago.

If Bush is right, it would be one of the biggest comeback stories in modern politics. 

While this ad suggests that Bush is the only one who can take on ISIS, Bush has a more pressing concern at tonight's debate in Las Vegas - proving he can take on Trump and the rest of the field.

Marco Rubio begins new television ad in Iowa and New Hampshire

Marco Rubio's new television ad is dubbed "About."  The ad begins tomorrow in Iowa and New Hampshire.

As he often does, Rubio simply faces the camera and using his best earnest voice speaks to the audience.

"This election is about the essence of America. About all of us who feel out of place in our own country. A government incredibly out of touch and millions with traditional values branded bigots and haters. This is about wages growing slower than the cost of living. A generation drowning in debt, and a president humiliated by Putin, Iran, and Islamic jihadists.

"I'm Marco Rubio. I approve this message because this is about the greatest country in the world and acting like it."


Jeb Bush says he will stand up for the people of Venezuela

Not sure what impact this will have in Iowa or New Hampshire but perhaps it will help Jeb Bush shore up support in Florida. 


Miami, FL – Governor Jeb Bush released the following statement today, regarding the upcoming elections in Venezuela.

“Instead of standing up for democracy, free elections, and the rule of law in Venezuela, President Obama and Secretary Clinton have acquiesced to dictators like Chavez and Maduro whose regime of criminality, corruption, and narcotrafficking threatens Venezuela, the Western Hemisphere, and our own interests.  The eyes of the world this Sunday will be on Venezuela as people seek to overcome the Maduro regime’s campaign of intimidation and criminality to demand their rightful stake in their future.  As President, I will stand with the people of Venezuela and the region as they seek to build a freer and more prosperous future.”


Marco Rubio second behind Donald Trump in new Quinnipiac poll

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It has become almost pointless to continue to note that national polls mean very little because the dynamic of how polls are being used this year make quality far less important than the buzz caused by the never-ending cycle of polls. Clearly this dubious enterprise has been grand for Donald Trump and a nightmare for Jeb Bush who must keep explaining to donors why he is in single digits.

Today's Quinnipiac Poll creates this narrative: nothing Trump does seems to hurt him; Marco Rubio's strength is growing; Bush continues to struggle.

Trump: 27

Rubio: 17

Carson: 16

Cruz: 16

Bush: 5

All others 3 or less.

8 percent undecided.

 "It doesn't seem to matter what he says or who he offends, whether the facts are contested or the 'political correctness' is challenged, Donald Trump seems to be wearing Kevlar," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Dr. Ben Carson, moving to center stage just one month ago, now needs some CPR. The Doctor sinks. The Donald soars. The GOP, 11 months from the election, has to be thinking, 'This could be the guy.'

From November 23 - 30, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,453 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. The survey includes 672 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points and 573 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points.

 Read more about the poll here.

Jeb Bush to speak at Forum Club

Jeb Bush comes to West Palm Beach on December 28 to speak to the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches. This is a non-partisan group that brings national speakers to its luncheons.

Speakers get questions from the audience with the first two questions coming from students who attend nearby high schools or universities. It is not unusual for more than 800 South Florida political, business and community leaders to attend. 

Here's the announcement:



Presidential Contender and

Former Governor Jeb Bush

Monday, Dec. 28th, 2015

Jeb Bush brings his campaign to be President of the United States to the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches on Dec. 28.  This will be his first time addressing the organization since he served as governor.

Even though it is the holidays, we anticipate a large turnout.  Please order your reserved tickets and tables today by calling Administrator Wendy Norris at: (561) 881-9977.

Bush served as governor of Florida from 1999 through 2007, making him the third Republican elected to the state’s highest office and the first Republican in the state’s history to be reelected.

During his two terms, he cut $19 billion in taxes, vetoed more than $2 billion in earmarks and reduced the state government workforce by 13,000.  Among his accomplishments was an overhaul of the state’s education system.

Following his time as governor, Bush returned to the private sector and devoted his time to issues he is passionate about, including educational reform.

In 2013, he authored Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution  with leading constitutional litigator Clint Bolick, outlining a conservative reform strategy to fix the nation’s broken immigration system.


The Forum Club’s Dec. 28 luncheon with former Gov. Jeb Bush will be held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. *Note location. Buffet lines open at11:15 a.m.

PHONE AND MAILING ADDRESS:. Order your reserved tables and tickets today either by calling in your order to Administrator Wendy Norris: (561) 881-9977 or mailing a check to the Forum Club: P.O. Box 14877, North Palm Beach, FL  33408. Tickets cannot be purchased online.  All tickets must be paid by check at the time of the order.  No credit cards.

*NOTE TICKET PRICES: member tickets, $40; guest tickets ordered by members, $50;  applicant tickets, $50; public tickets, $75.    Reserved tables of 10 ordered by a member, $450.  Student tables, $300.