More than 530,000 mail ballots are going out to voters Thursday in Miami-Dade County. Some counties, such as Pinellas, where a record 350,000 mail ballots went out, sent ballots earlier this week.
With ballots already hitting mailboxes, Nov. 3 isn’t as much Election Day as is this weekend and early next week.
Despite President Donald Trump’s calls for in-person voting and criticism of the election process as possible, or in some instances, likely, to be rigged, Florida Republicans have over-performed on vote-by-mail turnout for years, and this year is no exception. That’s especially true considering Trump offered an exception to his caution specifically to Florida voters.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, among other high-ranking state Republicans are casting their ballots by mail and we know who they’re voting for.
Yet we have yet to hear from one of the state’s most prominent Republicans. He may not hold elected office anymore and his name might not come up as much as it once did, but former Gov. Jeb Bush is who history books will likely point to as the most important Florida Republican of this generation.
Consider Bush’s history with Trump. Bush suffered blistering blows from the now-President four years ago. No one can forget the “low energy” digs. Bush tried, over and over, to take the high road and steer clear of Trump’s petulant name-calling. He was, at one time, the heir apparent to the 2016 GOP nomination, but was sidelined by a new and wild kind of candidate.
You know he hasn’t forgotten.
Bush was the epitome of class and decency in 2016. After Tuesday night’s nightmare of a debate, which saw Trump repeatedly talk over not only Democratic opponent Joe Biden, but debate moderator Chris Wallace, the 2020 race is now about common decency — a trait Bush values and Trump views as a weakness.
So what does all that mean?
With hundreds of thousands of votes likely decided this next week, the time is now for Bush to signal his support, even if it’s reluctant, for the former Vice President.
It’s clear he doesn’t like Trump, nor does he want him to have a second term. Take for instance, Bush’s comments today about The Lincoln Project, a group of Republican never-Trumpers who are going hard after the President’s campaign.
“I think their ads are great,” Bush said at a SALT conference Thursday morning. His statement, which included a caveat that he didn’t like The Lincoln Project going after Senate Republicans, showed where Bush’s heart lies.
.@JebBush during a @SALTConference talk this morning with Anthony @Scaramucci, discussing @ProjectLincoln's ads, which are heavily anti-Trump: "I think their ads are great," although he doesn't like them targeting Senate Republicans.
— Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) October 1, 2020
But that’s not enough.
He needs to join Tom Ridge, the former Republican Governor of Pennsylvania and the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving in that role from 2003 until 2005 under former President George W. Bush. Like Florida, Pennsylvania is a crucial swing state for Trump. He did his part.
There’s also former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, another Republican in a key swing state who chose decency over party.
Marc Racicot, the former chair of the Republican National Committee, has also signaled he’s supporting Biden.
Those are just the recent ones. The list of former Republicans backing Biden is long.
Now it’s Bush’s turn.
It seems unlikely he’ll weigh considering his son, George P. Bush‘s political career could take a critical hit. The younger Bush is currently the Texas General Land Office commissioner and has a bright future ahead in politics.
Still, a Bush endorsement would give his loyal supporters, of which there are many, the permission they need to cast a cross-party vote at the top of the ticket. Further, a Bush endorsement could give a moment’s pause for South Florida’s Republican-leaning Cuban-American population before they vote Trump. Bush has a strong relationship with many of them after years of working closely together.
Biden’s campaign slogan, oft-repeated in flowery political ads, the one that reminds voters they are in a battle for “the soul of the nation,” might be cheesy, but it’s spot on.
The past four years have been an antithesis of the America Bush had hoped to cultivate in the White House. The soul of the nation is collegiality even in the face of partisanship; it’s working for all Americans, not just those with an R behind their name. Jeb Bush’s America is not Donald Trump’s America.
Bush has the opportunity this year to be a game-changer. Florida could very well decide the entire election and Jeb Bush has an opportunity to influence how that goes.
So, now’s the time, Jeb!
October 1, 2020 at 3:59 pm
A “kinder, gentler America” is on its’ way whether Jeb speaks or not.
Let Jeb “stand back and stand by” to rebuild the Republican party.
Bryan J Smith
October 1, 2020 at 3:59 pm
Or the Jorgensen-Cohen platform.
Because I cannot bring myself to vote Biden either.
If this was Biden circa 2008, maybe. Back when he was logical. But as Reid warned us over the past dozen years, the radical Progressives were killing off Liberalism, and that’s where we are now.
But even back then, Biden’s ‘criminal justice reform’ history was anything but. Same with Kamala Harris, who’s sole claim to fame that won her over was completely lying about Justice Kavaugh (who was merely quoting a plantiff, who he actually ruled against) — see Politifact.
At this point, there is no honesty or integrity in the candidates of the 2 parties … maybe only VP Pence partially, and that’s not saying much, but I still cannot agree with his platform either.
October 1, 2020 at 4:03 pm
Anyone who still supports trump deserves to be humiliated and used ! The only choice is Biden! Vote Blue! Vote Democrat up and down ballot !
James Robert Miles
October 1, 2020 at 4:06 pm
Jeb Bush tows the “party line’! It would take courage, something Jebby does NOT have to do what his brother “W” has done, which is to say, don’t vote for Trump! Four other former Presidents have also said, don’t vote for Trump! Will Trump’s schills and lemmings, loser and sucker follower’s pay any attention? Don’t count on it because they would rather destroy this country than betray their loser “dear leader”! To them, Trump is like a drug and they have drank the cool aid! They are also NOT patriots!
October 1, 2020 at 5:43 pm
Jeb in fl and George in tx need to do a joint press conference … a full court press.
and they need to co-ordinate it with a dozen campaign extras.
and they can do it – only if they say goodbye to the party of hate, division, hypocrisy, and treason
October 1, 2020 at 5:54 pm
Nobody really cares about what jeb says.
October 1, 2020 at 7:25 pm
Hard to believe that Governor Bush, a devout Catholic and Conservative with an impeccable career would endorse former Vice President Biden in light of his past appeasement of Castro and his history of promoting racist policies and actions (such as being against busing of African American children to integrate schools in the 70s, promoting a law that resulted in the incarceration of tens of thousands of young African American males and eulogizing Southern segregationists) simply because he doesn’t “like” Trump. More than a lot of voters don’t appreciate Trump’s personality but nonetheless do appreciate his having literally created the best economy and the lowest unemployment rate in U.S. history without regard to race, color or creed. But for the China world pandemic which clearly cannot rationally be blamed on Trump or any other world leader except Hsi, Trump would be sailing to a second term. This is true despite the incessant mainstream media’s and establishment political class’ efforts to remove him from office from day one and before. It hasn’t worked yet and likely won’t on November 3rd. Americans and especially Floridians, including Governor Bush, know better.
October 1, 2020 at 8:11 pm
Nice to see you commenting on the site, Syl.
October 1, 2020 at 9:19 pm
Claude Kirk was a pretty major Florida Republican, too. It is easy to forget there was an earlier time when Republicans actually had some integrity.
October 3, 2020 at 1:28 am
The very best Republicans (and former Republicans) have all come out for Joe Biden, and there is quite a list of them. Trump has been an absolute disaster. We cannot take four more years of this.
October 3, 2020 at 2:43 am
October 3, 2020 at 11:17 am
Jeb is nothing but a has-been. Like his older brother, has he ever held a job and accomplished anything on his own?
October 3, 2020 at 10:32 pm
Jeb Bush was popular with Cuban Americans and other Hispanic American groups. Because Jeb Bush had strong ties to Cuban Miami, Bush 43 opposed normalizing relations with Cuba despite being OK with trading with China and Vietnam. Jeb also wanted Elian Gonzalez to say in Miami with his paternal uncle, but Elian was sent back to Cuba to live with his dad. Ros-Lehtinen and Curbelo did not endorse Trump and instead wrote in for Jeb Bush.
October 5, 2020 at 2:52 pm
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