Bill Kristol: ‘No way’ Jeb Bush is 2016 nominee
By: Tal Kopan
April 8, 2014 07:55 AM EDT
Bill Kristol is willing to put money — a lot of it — on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush not becoming the Republican presidential nominee in 2016.
“I think there’s no way there will be a Bush-Clinton race in 2016,” the conservative commentator said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday. “I will buy all of you dinner. … This could be expensive in New York, I guess. I’m willing to go out on a limb.”
Kristol said Republican primary voters will not choose someone in 2016 “who was last in office a decade ago,” like the former Republican governor.
“He’s a good man; he hasn’t been involved in any of the fights of the [President Barack] Obama years,” Kristol said. “Republicans are kind of worked up about Obamacare, about the federal policy failures, that like someone who is either engaged in those fights in Washington or a governor who’s governed successfully in real time. i.e., now, so a Scott Walker or a Mike Pence, or a Ted Cruz or a Marco Rubio or a Paul Ryan.”
The “Weekly Standard” editor said not only would the governors and lawmakers he mentioned be more appealing to primary voters, they’d also be a better candidate than Bush against the Democratic frontrunner, former Secretary State Hillary Clinton.
“If it’s Bush against Clinton, it’s two people who have been around an awful long time, two people who sort of inherited the mantle,” Kristol said. “And then Hillary gets to say, ‘I’m the first woman president.’ And Jeb gets to say, ‘I’m the third Bush president.’ That’s not a good match-up for Republicans. Whereas … all those guys get to say ‘generational change, conservative reform agenda, get away from the failures of the Obama years,’ which Secretary Clinton was part of. I think that’s a much better message for Republicans.”