On the first day of December of last year, Jeb Bush made a comment at The Wall Street CEO Council meeting that reverberates more than half a year later.
Arguing for a more centrist GOP, Bush said a nominee should “lose the primary to win the general without violating your principles.” It was a bold statement, indicating that the former Florida governor wouldn’t be pandering to the base to win the nomination.
The comment has angered some Republicans, who thought it a bit condescending. (Just read some comments on the Free Republic website when that story broke.)
And the latest entrant to the burgeoning presidential field, Bobby Jindal, jabbed Bush with that line when he declared his candidacy on Wednesday afternoon.
“You’ve heard Jeb Bush saying we need to be able to lose the primary to win the general election. We’re going to help him do that,” the Louisiana governor cracked in Kenner, La.
Jindal said he’d translate that comment for the masses.
“What Jeb Bush is saying is, is that we need to hide our conservative ideals,” he said. “But the truth is, if we go down that road again, we will lose again.”
Numerous polls throughout the year have indicated that Bush’s biggest vulnerability is with conservative voters who comprise the Republican primary electorate.
In March, some 42 percent of Republican primary voters told a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that they couldn’t see themselves supporting Bush for the GOP presidential nomination, compared with 49 percent who said they could.
But after a rusty start on the campaign trail, Bush appears to have received a bump in some national polls since officially declaring his candidacy last week in Miami.
A Fox News poll released on Wednesday shows Bush leading the pack nationally with 15 percent support. That’s six percentage points higher than Scott Walker at 9 percent. Marco Rubio is at 8 percent in the poll.