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.

    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora