Bill Kristol: I Don’t See Why Jeb Bush Is The Front-Runner

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
Font Size:

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol does not understand why the media is already lining up to name Jeb Bush the Republican presidential front-runner for 2016.

Kristol told radio host Laura Ingraham Wednesday that Bush is “wildly overrated” as a challenger to Hillary Clinton and asked, “Where’s he been in the [recent political] fights?”

Kristol’s comments are somewhat surprising, considering the neoconservative pundit’s well-documented (though often exaggerated) closeness to the previous George W. Bush White House. So why no Kristol excitement for Jeb?

“I was just reacting to a couple of recent polls that had Jeb in the middle of the GOP presidential pack, and doing no better than others vs Hillary,” Kristol told The Daily Caller. “And he’s been out of office for a decade. So I don’t see why people are dubbing him the front-runner. Well, I do see, but I think it’s a knee-jerk ‘he’s a Bush and can raise a ton of money’ judgment, which I think will only go so far.”

“But of course if Jeb runs and articulates a powerful and persuasive vision and agenda, then he could be formidable,” Kristol continued. “I just don’t see much evidence yet, a priority, that his chances should be judged as significantly better than several other candidates.”

Kristol has recently been more outspoken in his criticism of President Obama’s immigration reform plans, which appear to share the objectives that Jeb Bush is outlining for his own immigration policy.

It’s a second-term issue that will largely decide Jeb Bush’s political future. If Republicans put up a strong unified fight against Obama’s executive amnesty plan, Bush will be on the wrong side of the issue in his party leading up to the 2016 election. If Republicans cave and help Obama pass an immigration bill through Congress, then Bush’s major promised reform will already be the law of the land by the time voters head to the polls.

Follow Patrick on Twitter