Bush, who got standing ovations at both ends of his talk, took on a question about the ubiquitous “selfie,” saying it’s “now the 11th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. It’s inspired by our framers and founders, apparently. It’s a requirement that you take one. And I do it with great joy in my heart.”
He gave a tutorial, showing that a diagonal angle is better than a horizontal one, and that high is better than low because “you look skinnier.”
For what it’s worth, Bush isn’t the only candidate rocking the selfie on the campaign trail. As supporters have more access to social media than in any presidential campaign before, candidates have latched onto the concept.
Remember when Florida’s March 15 winner-take-all primary was supposed to gift-wrap 99 delegates for former Gov. Jeb Bush or, perhaps, Sen. Marco Rubio?
A new Associated Industries of Florida poll shows part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump continuing to hold a wide lead in the Sunshine State. And surging Texas Sen. Ted Cruz places second, albeit in a virtual tie with Rubio.
The AIF poll shows Trump getting 29 percent support from Florida Republican voters, with Cruz at 18 percent and Rubio at 17 percent. Given the poll’s 3.5 percent margin of error, Cruz and Rubio are virtually tied. Bush is fourth at 10 percent.
Republican voters view all the leading candidates favorably, but Trump and Bush have the highest negatives — 34 percent for Trump and 36 percent for Bush.
A moving van at VGTI Florida’s lab served as a stark reminder of the risky nature of Florida taxpayers’ $1.5 billion bet on biotech, a wager that was Jeb Bush’s signature economic policy.
Bush announced in October 2003 that he would pay Scripps $310 million to open a Florida lab. Palm Beach County sweetened the pot with $269 million.
Then a popular and powerful second-term governor whose brother was in the White House, Bush envisioned a biotech bonanza — 50,000 jobs in 15 years, demand for millions of square feet of biotech space in northern Palm Beach County, a flood of donations from Palm Beach’s wealthy philanthropists.
Probably Sen. Marco Rubio’s greatest liability in a Republican presidential primary is his past support for a 2013 immigration reform bill that included a pathway to citizenship for millions of people who are now in the country illegally.
Cruz, vying for many of the same voters who cheer Donald Trump’s harsh immigration rhetoric, has cast himself as a hard-liner on immigration and declared Wednesday that “I have never supported legalization and I do not intend to support legalization.”
But Cruz’s own Senate YouTube channel argues otherwise.
Cruz was indeed a prominent critic of the Gang of Eight bill that Rubio championed in 2013 and forcefully opposed a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But Cruz, in Senate Judiciary Committee comments from May 2013, also argued for expanding legal immigration and temporary visas for high-skilled immigrants and for offering a chance for legal status “for the 11 million who are currently in the shadows.”
As Cruz described an amendment of his (around the 3:40 mark): “If this amendment is adopted to the current bill, the effect would be that those 11 million under this current bill would still be still be eligible for RPI (Registered Provisional Immigrant) status. They would still be eligible for legal status and indeed under the terms of the bill they would be eligible for LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident) status as well so that they are out of the shadows, which the proponents of this bill repeatedly point to as their principle objective.”
Cruz campaign spokesman Rick Tyler said Cruz offered the legalization-but-not-citizenship amendment as a “poison pill,” knowing it wouldn’t pass and seeking to demonstrate that immigration reform supporters was citizenship.
Even if Cruz’s amendment had passed, Tyler said, Cruz “would have voted against” the overall immigration bill. “But that’s not what happened and he knew what was going to happen.”
A few takeaways from tonight’s Republican presidential debate on CNN…
• Trump-Cruz lovefest: In a race that has consistently defied conventional wisdom, the conventional wisdom held that there would be fireworks between front runner Donald Trump and surging Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Of course it didn’t happen. Part-time Palm Beacher Trump called Cruz “a little bit of a maniac” a few days ago, but said on the debate stage that Cruz “has a wonderful temperament.” Cruz — angling for Trump supporters — wouldn’t echo his private criticism of Trump’s judgment and didn’t pile on Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, saying “I understand” what motivated his proposal. Cruz said he supports a wall along the Mexican border, adding jokingly that “I’ll get Donald Trump to pay for it.”
• Rubio vs. Cruz (and Paul): Sen. Marco Rubio clashed with Cruz over surveillance and immigration. Rubio accused Cruz of making America weaker by not supporting the National Security Agency bulk metadata collection program. But Rubio was put on the defensive by Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul, who both criticized Rubio for supporting the “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill in 2013 — likely scoring points on an issue where Rubio has angered many Republican base voters.
• FeistyBush bothers Trump: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, plummeting in the polls and famously ridiculed as “low-energy” by Trump, showed signs of life — and an ability to get under Trump’s skin. Bush was the only candidate to consistently take on the front runner, saying Trump isn’t a “serious” candidate and calling him “a chaos candidate. And he’d be a chaos president.”
Bush interrupted Trump at one point, leading Trump to angrily ask “Are you talking or am I talking?”
“A little of your own medicine there,” Bush said.
Later, after Trump complained he was being treated unfairly by CNN, Bush said: “If you think this is tough and you’re not being treated fairly, imagine what it’s going to be like dealing with Putin.”
“Oh, you’re a tough guy, Jeb,” Trump shot back mockingly.
Bush: “You’re never going to be president of the United States by insulting your way to the presidency.”
Trump: “Let’s see, I’m at 42 and you’re at 3. So, so far I’m doing better.”
• Paging Dr. Carson: Retired neurosurgeon and West Palm Beach resident Ben Carson complained about not getting enough speaking time early in the debate, which won’t help assuage doubts about whether he’d be a strong commander in chief. Carson was later asked if he’d be “ruthless” enough to lead a war effort. Carson said he’d be “tough, resolute and understanding what the problems are.”
Later, Carson said, “I don’t do a lot of talking. I do a lot of doing…Look and see what I’ve done and that speaks volumes about strength.”
• Trump on independent bid: Asked if he might mount a third-party bid for president if he doesn’t get the Republican nomination, Trump said “I am totally committed to the Republican Party.”
• Christie — executive, former prosecutor: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in a bid to show he’d be tough on terrorism, mentioned several times that he’s a former federal prosecutor. He also highlighted that he has experience as an executive — unlike first-term Sens. Rubio, Cruz and Paul. After the three senators argued over the meaning of votes they have taken, Christie dismissed them as “people who have never had to make a consequential decision.”
• Paul argues non-interventionism: Sen. Paul differed with many of his rivals throughout the night on foreign policy, saying U.S. pursuit of regime change “has not worked. Out of regime change you get chaos” and the rise of radical Islam. He accused Christie of advocating “World War 3” and accused Trump of being opposed to the First Amendment and the Geneva Conventions.