Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush may want to make his speech Friday to the Conservative Political Action Conference from the bathroom of the Gaylord National & Convention Center instead of the main stage if he wants to reach the biggest audience. Tea party activists said Thursday that they will walk out of the room in protest, skeptical that Bush is conservative enough to be the Republican candidate for president in 2016.
“We are going to get up en masse, and we are going to walk out on him,” Golden Isle Tea Party member William Temple, 64, of Brunswick, Georgia, told the Washington Times, one of the sponsors of CPAC 2015. “We are not going to interrupt anyone’s speech, but we are all going to exercise our right to the bathroom at the same time.”
Temple said “a lot of people” decided not to attend CPAC because Bush was one of the speakers invited to address the nation's premier conservative confab. Conservatives are wary of a Bush candidacy because of his support for immigration reform and the Common Core education standards. They also find a third Bush presidency unpalatable, according to Temple.
“We want new faces. We want younger faces,” the tea party activist said.
Bush is among the front-runners for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, although the first primaries are nearly a year away. At 18 percent support, Bush leads potential Republican contenders in New Hampshire, according to an NBC News/Marist poll. Bush fared worse in Iowa, where he claimed 8 percent support in a Bloomberg Politics and Des Moines Register poll that had Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leading with 15 percent.
Washington Post reporter Robert Costa tweeted that “several hundred” CPAC-goers plan to walk out on Bush’s 1:40 p.m. speech on Friday:
Tea party activist William Temple predicts "several hundred" CPAC attendees will walk out on Jeb Bush on Friday- he is organizing the effort
â€” Robert Costa (@costareports) February 26, 2015