If Jeb Bush is not nominated, will he pledge to support the GOP candidate?



A question came up at last night's debate over whether Donald Trump would support the GOP nominee if it weren't him. But the same question could easily be asked about Jeb Bush. Because when there is a primary and a conservative candidate gets nominated over an establishment one, very often establishment GOP types don't support the nominee or actively support the Democrat.

That's what happened in Virginia when conservative Ken Cuccinelli got nominated over the establishment candidate.

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling never did endorse Cuccinelli, and was outed as a traitor to the Republican Party when it was revealed he lobbied the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s PAC board to endorse McAuliffe over Cuccinelli.

Similarly, the national leadership of the Republican Party engaged in a summer-long whispering campaign against Ken Cuccinelli that more or less mirrored the Democrat’s charge that Cuccinelli is an “extremist” and the organizations controlled by national Republicans gave only nominal support to Cuccinelli.

Sean Davis, co-founder of thefederalist.com and a former adviser to conservative Senator Tom Coburn and Texas Governor Rick Perry, claimed in an election night tweet that the RNC spent more than three times more in the 2009 race in Virginia compared to this year’s Virginia governor’s race. Principled limited government constitutional conservative author and talk show host Mark Levin claims the RNC didn’t even spend $3 million compared to the $9 million spent in 2009.

As a result, the Democrat won.

In Alaska in 2010, when conservative Joe Miller was nominated for the Senate, liberal Republican Lisa Murkowski refused to accept it and ran as a write-in candidate, beating him. When conservatives run and lose, they are expected to immediately endorse the liberal Republican nominee. But when the situation is reversed, the liberal Republican often tries to sabotage the conservative nominee.

Which makes me wonder what Jeb Bush would do if he loses the nomination and a real conservative like Ted Cruz or Ben Carson or Bobby Jindal gets nominated (sorry, I can only think of three!). I know Jeb would give lip service to supporting the nominee, but would he help Ben Carson raise money from his Chamber of Commerce friends? Would he go out and campaign for Ted Cruz? Would he defend Bobby Jindal in Spanish on Telemundo?

I'm guessing not. He'd disappear until the election, and only after the election would we find out that all his corporatist friends donated to Hillary.

Which is why I find it hysterical that Trump is being asked about his faithfulness to the nominee and not Bush. As for Trump's position on a third party run, it doesn't really bother me. Given how unfaithful the GOP has been to its core voters, lying to get elected then doing the opposite in office, what level of hypocrisy does the Republican party have to expect anyone to be faithful to it?

(Abridged version originally published in AT)



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