For once Jeb Bush is saying something liberals want to hear. He thinks that Barack Obama could easily be reelected in 2012, and says that the 2010 midterm election wasn't so much a vote of confidence in the Republican party as it was an expression of people basically being pissed off. In an expansive interview with conservative news site NewsMax, Jeb also calls a certain Tea Party ideal dangerous to national security and says that Charlie Crist has absolutely no future in the Republican party.
"I wouldn't underestimate [Obama's] ability to get re-elected," the former Republican Governor tells the site. "People forget that in an off-election year, you have great volatility in turnout, and we had much higher turnout numbers than Democrats."
In fact, Bush even has some election strategy advice for Obama.
"We should trust people interacting amongst themselves, investing in their own dreams, to far more prosperity than all of this command-and-control environment that exists in Washington," Bush told NewsMax. "If the president would just embrace that idea, which is a very American idea, he could get re-elected probably."
While Bush is clearly advising Obama to take some Republican ideas on the economy, it's refreshing to see a GOP elder talk rationally about 2012 without any soundbites about how Obama is doomed to be a one-term failure.
Bush isn't quite so nice about certain newly elected Tea Party-backed congressmen. Rather than raise the debt ceiling, some Tea Party members would rather temporarily shut down the federal government, a move Bush calls "a little naïve" and dangerous for national security.
Bush also slams Charlie Crist, saying he "abandoned" the GOP and is not welcome back.
As for his protegee, Marco Rubio, Bush says that 2012 might not be too early to see Rubio mentioned as a possible vice-presidential nominee.