Jeb Bush, that is. At the Conservative Political Action Conference where, according to Dana Milbank, writing in the Washington Post, "attendees ... let it be known that, as part of their anti-everythingness, they are also anti-Bush."
The modest size of the Friday-afternoon walkout was of little comfort to Bush, because those who remained behind were hardly more approving of his efforts to establish his conservative bona fides. From the moment he was introduced, boos from all corners of the room mixed with the polite applause. Attendees heckled Bush with shouts of “Common Core!” and “Open borders!” and “Amnesty!” — reminders of Bush’s education and immigration heresies. When Hannity asked Bush about his support for driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and in-state tuition for immigrant children who aren’t citizens, the booing grew fierce. ...Milbank,WaPo
Hannity did his best to puff up Bush with gentle questions (“Why do you love this country?”), and he vouched for Bush’s record as a tax-cutter and proponent of school vouchers. Hannity was almost apologetic in asking Bush the necessary tough questions, gently telling him that “every article I have read talks about you and a divide with the conservative movement.”
“I’ve read about it,” Bush deadpanned.
The two men chose to stand on the stage, awkwardly, as if having an impromptu hallway conversation in front of a couple thousand people. Bush’s attempt to affect a casual manner, by inserting a hand into a pants pocket, didn’t help. He shifted and fidgeted his way through the performance, at one point losing control of his syntax by suggesting that we “put ISIS around a noose.” Asked about securing the border, Bush replied with a jovial “Let’s do it, man!” And when Hannity said he had a final question, Bush blurted out, “Boxers!” ...Milbank,WaPo
The Post's Chris Cillizza disagrees with colleague Milbank about Jeb Bush's speech at CPAC, writing that Bush was "very, very good" and right wing opponents "fizzled."
Bush was energetic -- maybe due at least in part to nervousness in facing a testy crowd -- and informed. He refused to back down -- particularly on immigration -- from positions that he knew would be unpopular with the crowd. He insisted that Republicans were good at opposing things but bad at "being for things." He was composed. He was up to the moment. He looked, in a word, presidential. ...Cillizza,WaPo