News / USA

US Republicans Look for New Leadership

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (2013 photo)Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (2013 photo)
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

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs