Guest Column: Romney’s Exit Suggests a Battle Between Bush and Rubio

By Hannah Williams

187px-Jeb_Bush_2013_CPAC_by_Gage_Skidmore1Florida’s Republican voters might have a tough time selecting their choice for the 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee. With whom many considered the front-runner for reelection as the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney, stepping aside “to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” two potential candidates with close Florida ties have gained significant ground. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, now considered the heavy favorite to win the nomination, and current Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are being touted as two of the front-runners for the 2016 GOP nomination.

Despite their close connection with the state of Florida, the two potential nominees play out quite differently on paper. Jeb Bush, former Florida Governor from 1999-2007, was raised in Houston, Texas as a member of the affluent and well-known Bush Family; both his father, George H. W. Bush, and his brother, George W. Bush, are former Presidents. Marco Rubio, currently a Senator from Florida, was born in Miami, Florida to two Cuban immigrants.

But it is not only their unique differences in background that contrast these two potential candidates. Former Gov. Bush has long been heralded for his ability to please both party lines while gaining criticism from extreme right and left party fractions who claim him to be too moderate when it comes to defining issues. Sen. Rubio on the other hand is known for strict conservative views on controversial issues, most notably his hard stance on immigration.

Former Gov. Bush has been out of politics and seemingly the attention of the media since the end of his final term as governor. Many political analysts see this as an advantage due to the harsh criticism many GOP leaders have faced the last few election cycles. Sen. Rubio on the other hand has been in the forefront of the media’s attention with his daring yet controversial policy proposals and his charismatic speeches. Some consider the advantage Rubio holds is his notoriety throughout the Unites States as youthful in a party of older candidates as well as a Hispanic leader in a country with an ever-growing and influential Hispanic population.

With Romney stepping out of the way for new leaders to emerge within the Republican Party, it seems very likely Florida will be the state to provide that candidate. After Romney declared he wasn’t running, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio vaulted to the top two spots of the list of potential GOP nominees. Numerous betting sites at reveal favorites in Bush and Rubio with 2/1 and 9/2 odds, respectively, at winning the next Republican primaries.

The irony of the many differences of Bush and Rubio is the well-known friendship the men have built while spending time as leaders of the party. Unfortunately, Florida and the country as a whole will need to pick sides come primary elections because despite their close ties to Florida and the Republican Party, the two friends and leading GOP candidates are more different then similar in most respects.



  1. Mike Coleman · ·

    The Presidential election is a game of who hits 270.
    For the past six presidential elections, count em, six elections, Democrats have held 242 EV’s on their side of the board.

    The likelihood of that total changing between today and 2016 is very small.

    To Republicans this fact means Florida’s 29 EV’s cannot go to the Democrat or they lose again.
    No matter what comes out of the Republicans primary selection process the political strategists on the Republican side wants a Florida based candidate to tip the scales in their direction.

    This means we can expect that TV, Radio and any Internet site Floridians visit will be completely saturated with Republican campaign propaganda and their financial firepower can buy every second of air time and unlimited pay by the click Internet ads.

    Rick Scott showed Florida what 13 million more dollars can do in the final six days of an election, We can only imagine what a multiple of that will do and our mental image of that spending isn’t pretty.

    Democrat’s must make themselves aware of this upcoming onslaught of political money and the bought and paid for 24/7 Republican campaign ad love fest that is going to occur.

    How we will win in spite of this financial blanketing of the air and Internet is to act today to create the conditions for a Democrat to win.

    Today’s gold standard for high voter turnout is Vote By Mail.

    Vote by mail (absentee ballot) voting raises turnout to very high levels.

    In Palm Beach County in 2014 Democratic VBM turnout was over 68% and when the In Person voting of VBM requestors (Absentee Ballots) who exchanged their VBM for an in person ballot the turnout total rises to nearly 73%.

    In 2012 the same county had a 91.3% turnout rate for it’s Democratic VBM recipients.

    Republicans have played the VBM game longer than Democrats with even better results as their turnout was closer to 93% in PBC in 2012.

    If we want to create the conditions to win Florida in 2016, Democrats everywhere have to adapt their thinking and sign up every available Democrat to Vote By Mail.

    Getting 25% of Florida’s Democrats statewide to vote by mail will wipe out a great deal of the impact of the onslaught of Republican campaign dollars and assure Florida’s Democratic turnout will exceed even the 2008 turnout total.

    We have never hit such a high percentage of VBM requests and many people do not understand that a vote by mail vote is counted first rather than last and there are no restrictions to voting by this method.
    All the Voter has to do is ask.

    Funny thing is the people who need to vote by mail the most, those who are under 60 and have busy hectic lives, are the voters who least make use of this form of voting.

    We must educate everyone and we need to start now.

    If we do this and even only get 20% of Florida’s Democrats to vote by mail the Republicans will be in a hole they cannot climb out of with advertising dollars.

    That being said we can expect to get those 242 EV’s from the reliably Blue states plus our 29 EV’s in Florida the total becomes 271.

    That means hello to our next Democratic President.

    If winning in 2016 sounds good to you, remember, Vote By Mail is the tool that we have to counter the money they have.

    Use it and win!


  2. Tampa Bay Demo · ·

    Good read. I like all the guest contributions.


  3. Millie Herrera · ·

    Marco won’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for him to run, ‘cos he won’t make it out of the primary, and if we’re very lucky, he’ll wait long enough to miss his Senate reelection filing deadline and we’ll be rid of him for a while at least.

    But that’s wishful thinking. He’ll stay in the game long enough to get a lot of attention in the national media and build his clout. In the end, he’ll declare that he’s not running for president or ending his candidacy, and run for reelection for his Senate seat.


  4. Rubio isn’t running. He’d be crazy to.


  5. This is a good piece. I dont think Rubio is running for president either..more like Governor of Florida in a few years. It is so sad how the Democrats have no clue.


  6. Bush did a great job for Florida. I would vote for him for his 2 term Presidency.


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