Jeb Bush Heads to Liberty University in Desperate Search for Evangelical Votes

Election '16

This should be fun! Jeb Bush on Friday will try to bridge the gap between himself and the GOP's evangelical voters, who are being heavily courted by Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, and to some extent, Marco Rubio. Maggie Haberman has the details:

Mr. Bush has struggled with grass-roots evangelicals. In his speech, he is unlikely to wander deep into politics, but instead will focus on religion, according to people planning his speech. The structure will still allow him to discuss his opposition to same-sex marriage, for instance, and his belief in respecting religious rights.

The speech culminates two weeks in which Mr. Bush, who is a deeply religious Catholic convert, has been talking more openly about his faith.

But the speech also gives Mr. Bush another opportunity to demonstrate support for Israel, at a moment when such fidelity is a litmus test with the Republican base. Mr. Bush continues to face questions about his foreign policy team ever since an adviser, James A. Baker, a secretary of state under his father, criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in a speech to a liberal pro-Israel group.

Ah, yes, Jeb was questioned as recently at Tuesday about Baker/Israel flap and, in an apparent effort to calm the controversy, said his chief adviser on the Middle East was ... wait for it ... W! (Aka George W. Bush, in case you think your eyes have betrayed you.)

Anyhoo, we should be in for a treat at Liberty U. By railing against same-sex marriage rights, Jeb can instantaneously alienate young voters (including 61 percent young Republicans and even 43 percent of  young evangelicals).

He can also embrace bigotry by favoring special rights for the religious over the rights of taxpaying LGBT Americans to live a life free from discrimination.

And let's hope he doesn't miss the opportunity to alienate single women on abortion, because Scott Walker has really been giving him a run for his money there.

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