Bush, Romney, Cruz, Paul, Perry or ?

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Since forming a presidential exploratory committee earlier this month, Jeb Bush is being considered a serious Republican candidate for president. But as George Will astutely pointed out last week, Bush has two significant hurdles; his support for Common Core and immigration reform. Will correctly points out that his support for the latter is far more nuanced than people understand. Bush does not advocate for more immigration through family reunification, which is the agenda of radical immigration activists, but instead for meeting employment needs, and he supports a path to legal status instead of citizenship. However, his support for Common Core is less defensible, attempting to split hairs by claiming that setting standards is much different than setting curriculum, while in reality the former greatly influences the latter, making the distinction almost meaningless.

Of course, the possibility Bush may be too moderate for the GOP now is peculiar considering before G.W. Bush became president, conservatives preferred Jeb over him. Other likely contenders for the 2016 GOP nomination include Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Perry. Since Romney was the nominee in 2012, many believe it is his time to win. Although some are mistrustful of him because of his history as governor of one of the most liberal states in the country, Romney has given assurances over the past few years that he has moved to the right, much like Ronald Reagan did after serving as governor of California. Fed up with eight years of Obama’s inexperience and naivete, voters are more likely to support a candidate who has extensive knowledge and experience. Many who regret voting for Obama now wish they had given Romney a chance instead. Many things Romney predicted would happen if Obama won a second term have proven correct.

A vocal minority of the conservative base prefers Cruz, due to his outspokenness on conservative positions. He is also aided by an increasing concern that Republicans need to put up a minority or woman candidate or risk losing those demographics, costing them the general election. However, there is a significant portion of the GOP who find Cruz’s approach too divisive, needlessly alienating independents and moderates in the general election.

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