When you are the front runner for a Presidential election you expect to be under attack but this morning former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is getting some major grief from a very strong conservative that is calling him “unelectable.”
The reason that Bush is under attack is in part because he presented former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a public service award one year after the Benghazi terrorist attacks, one conservative group is charging. For America released a video (see it here) Thursday targeting a broad network of conservative activists, many in early primary states, showing Bush and Clinton praising one another.
Bush, as chairman of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, awarded the group’s Liberty Medal to Clinton during an elaborate ceremony on Independence Mall on Sept. 10, 2013, a day shy of the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead.
At the time, Bush was criticized by conservative commentators, including radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, for giving Clinton the honor so close to the anniversary of the attack.
The tape shows a pleasant and respectful exchange between Gov. Bush and Secretary Clinton at the foundation’s annual get together in Philadelphia. The Foundation has as its members and advisors both former President George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
“I want to say thank you to both Secretary Clinton and to President Clinton, thank you for your service to our country,” Jeb Bush says in the video. “We are united by our love of country and public service.”
Hillary Clinton says, “I want to say a special thank you to Governor Bush … Now this is not the first time a Clinton and a Bush have shared this stage.”
The video release follows Bush’s foreign policy speech in Chicago Wednesday in which he criticized the Obama administration’s foreign policy, asserted that he is his own man and not tied to the policies of his brother or father, but defended the National Security Agency surveillance program under President Barack Obama.
“It’s bad enough that Hillary Clinton will likely use footage from this event against any Republican nominee, but if Jeb Bush is her opponent she will make him look ridiculous,” For America Chairman Brent Bozell said in a statement.
“Anytime Jeb calls Hillary ‘Obama 2.0,’ any criticism he makes of her awful record as secretary of state, any time he shows how much of an extremist she is on the issues, will be completely dismissed when she reminds everyone that he gave her an award for public service,” Bozell said. “As it stands, Jeb has absolutely no credibility to criticize her because he has already anointed her as a great public servant; and he inexplicably did so almost a year to the day of the Benghazi massacre. He will lose, and the public will have to suffer at least another four years of Obama’s policies – and anything worse she has in store for America.”
As for Bush he is unlikely to fight this battle but the ultra conservatives are not big fans of the former governor. Bush wants to show that he is an electable conservative something he feels will help make him more electable in a general election.
For now though he must work his way through a mine field of conservative groups that would rather someone else be the 2016 GOP Nominee. Bush knows he needs to be wary of these groups because of the others in the crowed Republican field one year away from the 2016 primary season.