An insiders transcript leaked from the Jeb Bush – Mitt Romney summit. (A parody)
Thursday, January 22, 2015, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Romney: Jan, would you get the Governor some coffee?
Bush: Oh no thanks, bottled water is fine.
Romney: Well Governor that will do you some good in Nevada. (Chuckles)
Bush: Governor, the last time we talked you told me if you ever said you were running for president again to shoot you. (Laughter)
Romney: And you’re here to do the job?
Romney: And the last time we talked you said a Bush could never be elected president again. And I think I agree with you. (Laughter.)
It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will do.
Bush: Have you seen this? (Passes over some polling data.)
Romney: Oh yeah, Rand Paul.
Bush: It’s a very real possibility.
Romney: Yes it is.
Bush: There is only one way to stop Rand Paul and that is a ton of money. And if we are divided we split the advantage we have. Let’s face it; we carry on our backs the established order of doing business in this country. If I can raise money like my brother did I can win Iowa, will win New Hampshire with Boston TV buys. Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham is getting into the race for one purpose, to stop Rand Paul in South Carolina. If I am ahead by then he will pull out and I can finish him in Florida.
Romney: Well I did win in Iowa and New Hampshire. You have to win the general my friend. (Romney did not actually win the GOP caucuses in Iowa.) And you left out one thing… Nevada. No matter how small you think Nevada may be it comes before South Carolina and it would be a powerful sequential win for Rand Paul. Three in a row. The race might not even get to your Lindsey Graham. And I am the only one who can effectively stop Rand Paul in Nevada because the LDS like Rand Paul. If I am not in the race, he will sweep their vote.
Bush: Yeah, I’ve seen the polling. What do Mormons like about Paul?
Romney: They see the Constitution as “hanging by a thread” and the Paul’s are all Constitution.
Bush: If we fight each other it will be brutal. We both will have a lot of money.
Romney: Well, I’ve already talked to my supporters and they are not going to go away.
Bush: Both of us will be destroyed.
Romney: If we turn our PACS lose there will never be another Bush in the White House. You need to think about that. Your son has a future.
Bush: Governor, let me ask you, why now? You’ve already run twice, three times really.
Romney: Because I will never be closer. The polls show I would win the same race with Obama if we did it again. You are younger you have time.
Bush: I am the only candidate who is right now carrying any of the battleground states against Hillary.
Romney: Really? Texas and Florida? But you can never win any of the others. Why are you in such a rush?
Bush: This is the only chance I’ve got. I would be running against Hillary Clinton. It neutralizes the political dynasty issue. The media can’t attack a Bush as an insider without attacking a Clinton for the same thing.
Romney: Governor, in all fairness, you have had a father and a brother who have already served as president. And you have a son who has a great future, I understand George P. is going to be Texas Land Commissioner, congratulations, but it is just a bit disingenuous for you to come here talking about your “only chance” when two out of the last four presidents have been Bushes. I would think that you would be deferring to your son, he has a chance, when the legacy of your brother has had a little more distance. You understand, that even if I drop out of the race, the super PACs of your opponents are going to link – for all time – the Bush family name to the disaster in the Middle East and disaster in the economy?
Bush: Which is another reason to run now, to show another Bush, a more acceptable Bush, to give young Georgie a chance.
Romney: Not to mention what Hillary Clinton would do in a general election if you win the nomination.
Bush: You have seen the list of major donors who are coming on board?
Romney: I’ve also seen the list of donors who haven’t. And remember, my biggest donor is sitting across the table from you right now.
Bush: Look. We are on the same side. The American economy is depending on us to get this settled. I don’t have to tell you that at least one of the major television executives is having second thoughts about the FED. We have to solve this soon. We need some sort of accommodation. There must be something that I can do that is legal and proper, something to help the Church, something for you and your family.
Romney: We are agreed that it is in both of our interests to solve this. And you can be sure that Anne will argue in your behalf when you are gone. (Laughs).
Jan: Gentlemen, the lunch is ready.
(Romney and Bush stand. This ended a private time together. They now join a luncheon with staff.)
Romney: (Greeting the group.) Okay, what’s to eat? The governor from Florida is hungry! (Laughter.)