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Has Jeb Bush Privately 'Evolved' on Gay Marriage?

Bush

With the race for the White House in 2016 already underway, various exploratory committees are hard at work vying for the biggest slice of the campaign fundraiser pie in this crazy post-Citizens United political landscape we find ourselves in. Heavyweight contender Jeb Bush has been doing quite well in this regard, and is reportedly aiming to raise $100 million before he formally enters the race sometime later this year. Helping the former Florida governor reach this goal are a number of donors with left-leaning sensibilities on social issues, a reality that isn't sitting well with the party's "anti" crowd.

Naturally, the influx of these donors has raised questions about were exactly Bush stands on certain divisive social issues. Like President Obama, we've seen Bush tweak his public stance on issues like gay marriage in order to make himself a more palatable candidate for the electorate to swallow. Following marriage equality's arrival in Florida last month, for example, Bush issued a calculated statement saying:

"We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law. I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue – including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty."

And while the statement is far from a ringing endorsement on LGBT equality, it's still light years ahead of his dismissal of "sodomy" rights back in the 1990s. It's clear Bush is positioning himself as the moderate of the 2016 GOP pack - a strategy that appears to be working in his favor financially.

Donors, however, seem increasingly convinced that Bush (again like Obama circa 2008) is even more evolved on the issue of LGBT rights privately than he is publicly. 

Buzzfeed reports:

But inside Bush’s orbit, some believe his personal feelings on the subject may have evolved beyond his on-the-record statements. Three Republican supporters who have recently spoken with Bush as he’s blitzed the GOP fundraising circuit told BuzzFeed News they came away with the impression that on the question of marriage equality, he was supportive at best and agnostic at worst.

“He wants to do the respectful, human thing,” said one of the Republicans, a donor who requested anonymity to comment on private conversations.

If, as many observers expect, the Supreme Court rules this June to extend marriage rights to all same-sex couples nationwide, some of Bush’s pro-gay donors are hoping he will use the moment to fully pivot toward an embrace of marriage equality — turning himself into the first serious pro-gay GOP presidential candidate.

“His thinking appears to have evolved,” said David Aufhauser, a former senior Treasury official who co-hosted a fundraiser for Bush earlier this month in Virginia. Aufhauser, well known in GOP circles for his gay rights advocacy, stressed that he doesn’t speak for Bush, but contended that the candidate would benefit from opening up about how he now views the marriage issue. 

If Bush does decide to open up more about the marriage issue in the future, it will likely be with the help of his soon-to-be communications director Tim Miller, an openly gay man

What do you think? 


Mike Huckabee Compares Being Gay to 'Lifestyle Choices' Like Drinking and Swearing: VIDEO

Huckabee

Former Arkansas Governor and GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee made an appearance on CNN's State of the Union this morning where Dana Bash asked him about the conflict between his religious beliefs regarding homosexuality (he has called it "an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle") and the "gay friends" he claims to have.

Said Huckabee:

"People can be my friends who have lifestyles that are not necessarily my lifestyle. I don't shut people out of my circle or out of my life because they have a different point of view. I don't drink alcohol, but gosh -- a lot of my friends, maybe most of them, do. You know, I don't use profanity, but believe me, I've got a lot of friends who do. Some people really like classical music and ballet and opera -- it's not my cup of tea."

Huckabee then made a few remarks propping up the far-right's new signature meme - that it is not gay people who are being disenfranchised when businesses refuse to serve them, it's the religious business owners who are the victims:

"I'd like to think that there's room in America for people who have different points of view without screaming and shouting and wanting to shut their businesses down. What worries me in this new environment we're in, it's not just that someone might disagree. They don't want to argue with me, even take a different point of view. They want to close someone's business down. Put them in an economic position of disenfranchisement."

Finally, Huckabee said his point of view is never changing:

"For me, as it was for President Obama in 2008, this is not just a political issue. It is a biblical issue. And as a biblical issue -- unless I get a new version of the scriptures, it's really not my place to say, okay, I'm just going to evolve. It's like asking someone who's Jewish to start serving bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli. We don't want to do that. I mean, we're not going to do that. Or like asking a Muslim to serve up something that is offensive to him, or to have dogs in his backyard. We're so sensitive to make sure we don't offend certain religions, but then we act like Christians can't have the convictions that they've had for 2,000 years."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mike Huckabee Compares Being Gay to 'Lifestyle Choices' Like Drinking and Swearing: VIDEO" »


Mitt Romney Will Not Run For President in 2016

Following a phone call with supporters Friday, perennial candidate Mitt Romney announced he would not pursue a third bid for the White House in 2016.

RomneyPolitical Wire reports:

“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee.”

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

The Washington Post adds:

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee had been publicly weighing another run at the White House for three weeks now after telling a group of former campaign donors in New York on Jan. 9 that he still wanted to be president.

Romney’s 2016 dalliance invited an onslaught of criticism from some Republican leaders and conservative commentators, but in recent conversations with intimates Romney has sounded eager still to step back into the political ring.

The New York Times notes that by not pursuing a third bid, Romney "frees up scores of donors and operatives who had been awaiting his decision, and creates space for other potential center-right candidates such as Jeb Bush.”


Rachel Maddow Is Chomping at the Bit for the 2016 'Total Mess' Election - VIDEO

Maddow

Rachel Maddow stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman last night and shared her thoughts on the 2016 presidential election, the assorted nuts trying for the GOP nomination, the coronation of Hillary Clinton, and why she couldn't be happier things are a "total mess" on both sides of the aisle. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Is Chomping at the Bit for the 2016 'Total Mess' Election - VIDEO" »


Jon Stewart Tosses the Sarah Palin Word Salad at the Iowa Wingnut Summit: VIDEO

Stewart

Jon Stewart took a look at Rep. Steve King's Iowa wingnut summit which took place over the weekend. The summit attracted such conservative names as Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, and Ted Cruz, who showed he was meant to be there by exclaiming to the crowd:

"Hoo Diddly, I'm conservative!"

Mike Huckabee was, apparently, hungry:

"There are two things you should never see. You should never see a law or a sausage made. I have seen both. And I still eat sausage. If you're gonna have some sausage you gotta kill some pigs. And folks there are a lot of people in America who want the sausage they just don't want to kill the pigs. We need to do some pig killing — to get to the sausage."

And Sarah Palin was the conference's true star. If you haven't already seen her speech, it's something to behold.

Said Stewart:

"You know, that's the kind of talk you hear right before the pharmacist says 'ma'am you've gotta leave the Walgreens.'

Watch Stewart go to town, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jon Stewart Tosses the Sarah Palin Word Salad at the Iowa Wingnut Summit: VIDEO" »


An Inside Look at Hillary Clinton's 2016 Campaign and Her Potential Vice Presidential Shortlist

ClintonAccording a cryptic Politico article, Hillary Clinton is all but done making her handpicked decisions for her potential Presidential cabinet.

Though most of the notable decisions have purportedly been made, the pick for Clinton’s communications director has yet to be decided. Current White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri, writes Politico’s Mike Allen, is being strongly considered, but Clinton remains insistent upon plotting out her campaign in “her way” according to sources close to her.

Politico also has the scoop on the Clinton team's shortlist for Vice President:

The Clinton team knows it can’t campaign with the swagger of a presumptive nominee because the air of inevitability was so damaging last time around. That said, some advisers are already privately talking up potential running mates, with Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado and Tim Kaine of Virginia dominating the early speculation.

Some advisers expect a push for diversity on the ticket. So the shortlist also is expected to include Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and perhaps California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is running for U.S. Senate.

Read the full article here

Who do you want to see on the ticket?


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