Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne: Bush Running Is ‘Delicious,’ He Can Be GOP ‘Change Agent’

On Tuesday, former Republican Governor of Florida Jeb Bush announced that he is considering running for president in 2016 and that night liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne predictably had a field day with the announcement. 

Appearing on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on Tuesday night, Dionne proclaimed “the irony here is, it`s almost a delicious irony, is that Jeb Bush, if he runs, maybe a change agent in the Republican Party.”  

Dionne continued his cheerleading of Bush serving as a GOP “change agent” by playing up his disagreements with his own party: 

He’s going to run as someone who’s not opposed to immigration reform. Indeed, he said and enraged a lot of people in the party, that immigrants who come here -- it’s not about illegality. It’s about love. It’s about love for their children. That doesn’t go over well in large parts of the party. He’s actually very conservative, including on education. He supports vouchers. 

But in the Republican Party, if you support the Common Core curriculum now, that’s almost a communist act. So, then, I think Jeb is going to have to run as someone who wants to change the party from where it is now. Now, you can argue he wants to change it back to closer to where it was when his father was president, but nonetheless, I think that is how he`s going to have to run if he does this.

Dionne’s sentiments seem to fall in line with much of the liberal media which has been pushing Jeb Bush to change the GOP. In Saturday’s New York Times, reporter Jonathan Martin insisted that Bush needs to hit “his party’s hard-liners” and how the former Florida Governor “stakes out the middle ground.” Back in October, the “big three” networks began their slanted 2016 coverage by touting problems for Jeb Bush especially in winning over GOP primary voters.

See relevant transcript below. 

MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell

December 16, 2014 

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: So, E.J., this is so far the textbook launch of a campaign.

E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: I`m going to say George just because I want to put my money in the fund. Yes.

O`DONNELL: Yes, thank you. We`ll take --

DIONNE: Yes. No, I think when you think about Clinton versus Bush, time for a change is not the first thing that comes to your mind, but also if you think about brand Clinton in general versus brand Bush, I think brand Clinton polls better, very simply because the country was doing much better from 1989 to 2001 than it did from 2001 to 2009. And I think that’s very much on people`s minds. The irony here is, it’s almost a delicious irony, is that Jeb Bush, if he runs, maybe a change agent in the Republican Party, and you`re seeing that --

O`DONNELL: Yes.

DIONNE: -- in what Rush Limbaugh is saying, because he’s going to run as someone who’s not opposed to immigration reform. Indeed, he said and enraged a lot of people in the party, that immigrants who come here -- it’s not about illegality. It’s about love. It’s about love for their children. That doesn’t go over well in large parts of the party. He’s actually very conservative, including on education. He supports vouchers.

But in the Republican Party, if you support the Common Core curriculum now, that’s almost a communist act. So, then, I think Jeb is going to have to run as someone who wants to change the party from where it is now. Now, you can argue he wants to change it back to closer to where it was when his father was president, but nonetheless, I think that is how he`s going to have to run if he does this.    

Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential MSNBC Other MSNBC The Last Word E.J. Dionne EJ Dionne Lawrence O'Donnell E. J. Dionne Jeb Bush

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