As part of Community Conversations, we asked the following question to readers on social media and the Public Insight Network recently: Can Jeb Bush still make a comeback to become the Republican presidential nominee? Thanks for all of your responses. Below is a sampling of your comments, some of which were edited for length and clarity. Learn more about the Public Insight Network and comment on previous discussions at MiamiHerald.com/community and select Community Conversations.
The only way Jeb can become the Republican presidential nominee is if the Republicans have a brokered convention, and in desperation, the delegates turn to him. Jeb has one great advantage: 100 percent name recognition. Jeb has one great disadvantage: 100 percent name recognition.
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Roger Merritt, Miami Beach
Yes he can. Jeb Bush will remain calm and prove he’s the right candidate. The American people can’t hold him accountable for what his brother and father were accused of. Just like not holding Hillary Clinton accountable for the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Jeb Bush knows politics more than anyone running. That’s why.
Gregory Pitts, Davie
Jeb can probably make a comeback as soon as the rest of the Republican Party gets over its love affair with the radicalized candidates. The “bombastic” ones may have the best chances for the Republican nomination, but a more rational nominee is needed for the general election. Right now they are trying to say and do whatever they need to to get the votes from the GOP base. As the primaries progress, they’ll realize that extremism is a major liability. The winner will be someone who is able to reach across the aisle to get results. Those who feel it’s “my way, or the highway” will be shown the highway. I think that he can become a viable candidate when and if the party decides to dump the radicals and extremists. Still a race between him and Rubio, Christie, Kasich and Fiorina.
Charles Peters, Miami
He finally seemed strong and “Presidential” in that Dec. 15 debate. If he can keep that up and become stronger in espousing his opinions and vision for the country, I believe he could be a contender.
Ellen Wacher, Hollywood
Probably not. He delayed too long getting into the race while he raised a bucket of money. He should have been first in and might have kept others from entering. He is finally developing some muscle, but it may be too little too late.
Betty King, Miami Beach
Yes, I hope so. He has the experience, as a former governor, is level-headed, educated and not a hysteric like Trump. Unfortunately Trump says what most of the American people are thinking and the politicians cannot say to maintain “political correctness.” I want a President that thinks before opening his mouth and this nonsense of “low energy” is ridiculous, that has no importance in [Jeb’s] ability to lead.
Maria Figueras, Miami
It is highly unlikely. Based on his debate performances, he comes across as whiny and inarticulate. If his name wasn’t Bush, he would be at the “kiddie table” for the debates.
Geri Wegner, Pinecrest
I don’t think the Republican nominee has been defined by any stretch of the imagination. If there is anything consistent about presidential campaigns, it is that the pre-caucus/pre-primary polls do not reflect who actually grabs the nomination. Last election cycle, around this time, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich where leading in the polls yet their candidacies went up in flames in due time and establishment candidates emerged as the most electable choices. For Jeb Bush it should be less about making a comeback in the polls and more about employing a persistent and consistent winning strategy.
Carlos Avila, Miami
I’ve never been a Bush fan, so I decided to YouTube him from a few years ago. After watching a few seconds of a some interviews from about 2011, I’ve decided that he’s not ready. He never will be. To be the President of the United States, you have to have an unending fire inside. Your conversations need to take control, even if you don’t intend for them to. Your body language needs to be firm. Your answers need to be strong. What I see, and saw, in Jeb was nice. Problem is, nothing more. So, without some extremely serious retooling, or Meryl Streep becoming his acting coach, I don’t see him pulling it off.
Jay Pellis, Coral Springs
Doubtful — Trump has so effectively eviscerated him in public for all his weaknesses, which are so unbecoming of the Commander in Chief. Jeb is simply not very assertive by nature and this does not stack up well against the Trump’s incessant put downs.
Bill Chambers, Miami
He’s finished as a Republican presidential candidate. As evidenced by [Tuesday] night’s debate, he gave it his best shot to try and usurp Trump and he came out on the losing end. Trump correctly pointed out that Bush’s campaign is diminishing and he’s sliding closer and closer to the undercard debate arena, while Trump continues in an upward path. The reason Trump is so popular is exactly the reason why Bush’s campaign has faltered. Voters want fresh blood and are willing to take a chance on someone who can provide a vision for America that many long for. Obama’s abysmal performance as a strong president is the reason why Bush, Clinton, Christie, and others are not popular with the mainstream American voters.
Bruce Lamberto, North Miami Beach