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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Jeb Bush complains that the political media have not treated Donald Trump as a serious candidate. They have not dissected Trump’s eclectic stances, which, a new Bush ad contends, show the populist as a fake conservative.

OK. Labor Day is over. Let’s get serious.

Start with that new Bush ad, titled “The Real Donald Trump.”

The ad opens with Trump on TV saying: “I lived in New York City, in Manhattan, all my life, OK? So, you know, my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa.”

Trump is from New York. Who knew? That’s the home of rich, snotty liberals. Ergo, Trump must be a liberal, or so the serious Bush implies.

When it comes time to raise substantial piles of campaign cash, Jeb seems to like New Yorkers just fine. Indeed, he is a frequent flier to the Manhattan till. Last winter, private equity magnate Henry Kravis threw a fundraiser for Jeb at his Park Avenue spread. The price of admission — $100,000 a ticket — raised eyebrows even on Wall Street.

Oh, yes, we’re supposed to talk about Trump’s policy positions.

The Bush ad has Trump saying years ago that the 25 percent tax rate for high-income people should be “raised substantially.” Do note that Ronald Reagan’s tax reforms left the top marginal rate at 28 percent — and after closing numerous loopholes. Also, capital gains were then taxed as ordinary income, meaning the rate for the wealthiest taxpayers was 28 percent. (The top rate is now 23.8 percent.)

Speaking of the tax code, Trump vows to close the loophole on carried interest. It lets hedge fund managers pay taxes on obviously earned income at a lower rate than their chauffeurs pay. “They’re paying nothing, and it’s ridiculous,” Trump says.

A writer at the conservative Weekly Standard recently asked Bush whether he’d end the deal on carried interest. “Ask me on Sept. 9” was Bush’s noncommittal answer. That’s when he plans to unfurl his tax reform plan.

The ad has a younger Trump coming out for single-payer health care. That sounds a lot like Medicare.

Trump is shown saying he’s pro-choice on abortion. A recent CBS poll had 61 percent of Republicans opposing a ban on abortion, although many want stricter limits.

About Trump’s being a lifelong New Yorker, well, that’s not entirely true. He spends a good deal of quality time in Palm Beach, Florida.

“Donald is a perfect fit for Palm Beach,” Shannon Donnelly, the society editor for the Palm Beach Daily News (aka “The Shiny Sheet”), told me. “He has an office in New York but is rarely there.”

“We’re overdue for Winter White House,” Donnelly added. “We haven’t had one since that guy from Massachusetts [John F. Kennedy] moved in with all his rambunctious siblings.”

Your author cannot sign off without opining that Trump’s crude remarks about Mexicans should disqualify him from becoming president. The Trump ad tying Bush’s rather liberal thoughts on immigration to faces of Mexican criminals who murdered people in this country is rather disgraceful.

But it is not unlike the Willie Horton ad that Bush’s father, George H.W., ran in his 1988 campaign. Horton had raped a woman after being released from a Massachusetts prison on a weekend furlough. The Democratic candidate, Michael Dukakis, was Massachusetts’ governor at the time. The elder Bush’s ads continually flashed Horton’s picture in what many considered a stereotype of a scary black man.

“By the time we’re finished,” Bush campaign manager Lee Atwater said, “they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running mate.”

Let’s get serious about Trump’s record? Yes, and the same goes for everyone else’s.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at [email protected]. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at

Screengrab via Jeb Bush/YouTube
  • Susan McGraw Keber

    As though being from New York means Trump is unqualified or ineligible? What about Cruz? No dal? Rubio? Walker? So if you’re from Texas you’re better suited to run? A Ny’er myself, JEB is grappling with ways to pull himself out of the vortex of no return. No fan of bombastic Trump’s, the whole GOP party is in shambles.

  • rednekokie

    it just reveals that this Bush is merely a cheaper version of his father and brother.

  • Looner

    Gee, except for the bigotry and misogyny, I could almost like Trump now…. If his financial and societal opinions are still true.

  • plc97477

    Well jeb! has distanced himself from nyers. There are still states he can bad-mouth to ensure he will not spend any time in the white house from now on.

  • FT66

    Has Jeb ever had a successful campaign? I doubt it. For him instead of adding votes he is subtracting them. He has eliminated:
    – women voters (fumbled on women Plan Parenthood issues)
    – Asian voters (called them anchor babies)
    – Now it is New Yorkers voters
    I wonder who will follow next.

    • Whatmeworry

      He lost the moron as your post attest’s to

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    Neither George H.W. nor George W. Bush campaigned at all in New York. They figured quite correctly it would be a waste of time. If Jeb’s nominated he won’t campaign here either. His whole family is disliked throughout this state so he can sneer at us all he wants. As for Trump yes he is a New Yorker unfortunately but he is even more unpopular here than Bush.

  • greenlantern1


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  • Whatmeworry

    any state that could elect Hilary as a senator isn’t playing with a full deck

    • MVH1

      Good grief.

      • Whatmeworry

        Glad you agree

        • MVH1

          Not very bright then, are you?

  • Katstiles

    Anyone interested in the identity of the little brown man that Trump posed with his photo op? “On Thursday, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump held a press conference in Trump Tower in New York. While much was made of his announcement to refrain from considering a third-party run, little attention was given to Trump’s star guests at the event: members of Indonesia’s top political brass. Among the Indonesians who met with Donald Trump was Deputy Speaker of the House Fadli Zon. He is the right-hand man of the U.S.-trained Prabowo Subianto. Gen. Prabowo has been accused of extensive human rights abuses that took place in the 1990s when he was head of the country’s special forces. He was dismissed from the army in 1998 following accusations he was complicit in the abduction and torture of activists during political unrest in Jakarta that led to the ouster of longtime dictator Suharto, who killed as many as a million civilians. Prabowo was the son-in-law of Suharto.” Fadii Zon is the one Trump hugged and called a great man. Guess Trump admires murdering Fascists. Me, not so much!

  • MVH1

    This time these things have been backfiring on whoever says them. Bush is no prize. I’d vote for Trump before I’d vote for Jeb but that’s easy to say. I wouldn’t vote for either.