News / USA

US Republicans Look for New Leadership

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (2013 photo)Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (2013 photo)
x
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (2013 photo)
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (2013 photo)
U.S. Republicans are still licking their wounds, following last November’s presidential election in which President Barack Obama won a second term and Republicans lost seats in both the Senate and House of Representatives.  But, some Republicans are already turning their attention to the next presidential election in 2016.

Some Republicans are excited about the possibility of a third member of the Bush family making a run for the White House in 2016.  

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has seen his brother, George W., serve as president as well as his father, George H.W. Bush.  Republicans approached Jeb Bush about running both in 2008 and 2012 but he rebuffed them both times.

Now Bush says he is considering a run in 2016, but is far from making a decision.

Bush has published a new book advocating comprehensive immigration reform and he spoke about that on NBC’s Today show.

“Immigration is a gateway issue.  It is not the dominant issue for Asian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, but it is a gateway.  If you send a tone that you do not want people to be part of your team they do not join,” he said.

Even if Bush decides to run in 2016 he will likely join a crowded Republican field of presidential hopefuls.  A younger generation led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan may also be drawn to the race for the White House, along with Republican governors like Chris Christie from New Jersey and Bobby Jindal from Louisiana.  That group could also include Tea Party favorites like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and even Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is new to the Senate this year.  

One thing many Republicans agree on is the need to broaden the appeal of their party beyond the traditional bastion of support among older white men.

Even last year’s losing Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, realizes the need to branch out.  He spoke to Fox News Sunday in his first major interview since his defeat last November.

“Clearly we have to do a better job of bringing minority voters into voting for Republicans.  We have got to do a better job taking our message to them and help them understand why we are the party with the ideas that will make their life better,” Romney said.

Republican analyst Scot Faulkner says there is no national party leader at the moment, offering an opportunity to many lesser-known Republicans to step forward and take a shot at the national stage.

“You have a national party that is very polarized," he said. "Without a figurehead it may be good to have a number of voices right now because the Republican Party is rudderless.”

Hardcore conservatives believe Mitt Romney lost because he compromised on conservative principles in hopes of winning over moderate voters.

Strains also remain within the Republican Party between establishment figures in the party and more conservative elements of the Tea Party movement, something that worries Republican political strategists.

“They are very frightened about the possibility that there could be a much deeper schism that could be devastating to even their chances of competing for the presidential win in 2016,” said analyst Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, who appeared on VOA’s Press Conference USA program.

Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown says recent surveys show Republicans have some work to do to improve their national image with voters.  

“Seventy percent of voters disapprove of what Republicans are doing in Congress," he said.  "Sixty percent disapprove of what Democrats are doing.  Neither is anything to write home about, but the Democratic brand is in a little better shape."

Exerts say the Republicans who are considering a run for president in 2016 are not likely to make a decision until after the 2014 midterm congressional elections.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs