There are remarkably few things upon which conservatives agree with Jeb Bush. Even though the lackluster establishment former candidate touted the appropriate principles of the Republican Party for the most part, his convictions, not his official policies, were always the problem. Would Jeb have stood strong against ISIS, Putin and Iran when he was so routinely humiliated by Donald Trump? Would he have possessed the decisiveness necessary to corral Democrats? Would he have just opened the borders to any illegal immigrant who was willing to come here in violation of our laws?
The answers: No, no and absolutely.
There is one thing, however, upon which all conservatives can get behind Jeb on: Fox News has been pushing for a Marco Rubio win for a very long time.
In a recent interview on Newsmax Prime with former congressman JD Hayworth, Bush claimed that the coverage on Fox News has been remarkably one-sided towards favoring Rubio, the establishment’s preferred candidate. The interview was conducted prior to the South Carolina primary which ultimately forced Bush from the race.
Hayworth asked Bush about the fawning coverage of Fox News for Rubio, questioning,
“A lot of talk about Fox News. Ted Cruz has complained about what he perceives as a pro-Rubio bias, and Donald Trump said today that Fox News is basically ‘in love with’ Marco. We saw Megyn Kelly the other night and a Fox reporter from the Palmetto State promoting Marco saying he was ‘surging’ in the polls and outperforming expectations. Now, some recent trends actually show him down a bit. And it appears you are the guy, at least if you are going off what happened in New Hampshire, you outperformed what was expected. Do you believe Fox is promoting Marco, and why do you think that is as opposed to you and some of the other candidates?
“I don’t know. I think the Washington elites and the folks that kind of are the establishment elite of the of the media in Republican hierarchy, you know, they have had a different standard for Marco than other candidates. That’s okay. Look, I have higher expectations on myself than others do, so that doesn’t bother me a bit. I know this is a test. In order to do well, you have to beat expectations. That only sharpens you for the general election and that only sharpens you to be president. Whatever the conditions are, life’s not always entirely fair. You just have to put on your big boy pants and go to battle, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Bush’s placid answer might also explain why his candidacy ultimately failed. While other candidates like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have been prone to calling-out media bias where they see it, Bush’s answer seems to indicate that he agrees, but is willing to shrug-it-off with a weak sigh.
However, though the meek former Florida governor refused to articulate it, it appears obvious that even Bush has noticed this “different standard” of coverage Fox News has offered Rubio, the newest darling of the establishment GOP.
The questions lobbed to Rubio during Fox-controlled debates have been noticeably easier. The commentary offered by media pundits and hosts alike have been relentlessly pro-Rubio. The latest Fox News debate was jam-packed with an audience hand-picked by establishment shotcallers and, unsurprising, this audience was unreceptive to the bold candor of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but hooted and hollered for everything Rubio had to say (even when it was a flat-out lie).
And yes, despite some missteps that ought to give conservatives pause about his qualifications, Trump was absolutely correct when he noted that Megyn Kelly had it out for him.
To be fair, however, Fox News is going with the establishment. Bush was predicted to be the establishment-backed candidate and if he had succeeded, the coverage would likely be inarguably pro-Bush. Instead, his candidacy imploded like an old Vegas casino in the way of Steve Wynn’s development plans.
Jeb Bush may have been as exciting as a candidate as stale rice cakes and as strong as cooked pasta, but even a broken clock is right twice and a day and Bush is absolutely correct when he noted the “different standard” afforded to Rubio.
The establishment has been picking and choosing the Republican candidates for decades, all insisting that their choices are the only ones who are “electable.” Where has that gotten us?
Does anyone remember having a President Romney? A President McCain? No? There’s a reason for that.