Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush wants to “fix it”. On Monday, the former Florida governor launched his “Jeb Can Fix It” tour of key voting states, beginning with his own.
Although it is unclear what “it” is, political analysts say his campaign would be a good place to start.
Last Wednesday, the Bush camp went into defence mode following a lackluster performance by their candidate at the third Republican debate in Boulder, Colorado. That, accompanied by reports of a personnel reshuffling, gave the impression the campaign was in a free-fall.
A new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll out Monday shows Bush trailing neurosurgeon Ben Carson by 21 points and real estate mogul Donald Trump by 15 points. He also trails both men in his home state of Florida.
The “fix it” launch does not exactly help tamp down the impression there is trouble inside campaign Jeb!, said Lara Brown, professor of political management at George Washington University.
“Thus far, Bush has not appealed to large numbers of voters or, for that matter, to small dollar donors,” said Brown.
“It is true that Bush has plentiful resources, but money won’t make the difference if he cannot connect with the electorate.”
During the first stop on his tour, Bush told an audience in Tampa that the administration of US President Barack Obama is incompetent and people are frustrated with the direction the country has gone.
“We need a president who can fix it,” said Bush to cheers. But whatever “it” is, not many people are buying into “it”, said a longtime Republican watcher and consultant.
“This message doesn’t resonate with anybody,” said John Feehery, a former top Republican aide on Capitol Hill who calls the new slogan, “very disappointing”.