Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the 2016 field’s most prolific adopter of social media, has posted what aides wryly call a “secret tape” of a fake phone call between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.
RAND PAC, Paul’s political organization, used actors to portray the conversation, which hits both rivals on the dynasty issue.
“Bush” tells her he’s thinking about running for president: “I just wanted to call and give you a heads-up in hopes we could work something out.”
“Clinton” says: “We both agree on so many issues: bigger government, Common Core, and amnesty for illegal immigrants.”
Dave Weigel -- or whoever writes his headlines at Bloomberg -- calls this tape "weirdly conspiratorial," but I'm sure Weigel knows that the rap on Bush among True Conservatives is that Jeb and Hillary are indistinguishable. Last month Rush Limbaugh said that Clinton/Bush would be "the perfect ticket for the 2016 election" because "when you compare their positions, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, on the key important issues, they are two peas in the same pod." This Rand Paul tape seems as if it could be a comedy interlude on Limbaugh's show -- Paul may not be able to master wingnut foreign policy talking points, but I think he's attuned to the base's sense of humor.
Mitt Romney is also trash-talking Jeb Bush -- but then Mitt doesn't seem to have much respect for anyone else in the Republican field. Oh, not personally -- Mitt has people to do this for him. His surrogates just spoon-fed a story on What Mitt Is Thinking to Mark Halperin, and it's dripping with contempt for the rest of the field:
Perhaps most surprising is Romney’s assessment of the major establishment figures who are lining up at the starting gate: Jeb Bush and Chris Christie....Apparently, according to the folks in Romney World, Mitt is a giant among men, and there are only two other Republicans who can go toe-to-toe with him: John Kasich and Rob Portman, neither of whom is running. (Romney's "candid assessments of the GOP field, according to a source, are crisp, considered, and rather bleak," Halperin tells us.) Read the piece, even if (like me) you're not a Halperin fan, just to get the full measure of Romney's ego at this moment. The guy is madly in love with himself.
... those familiar with Romney’s thinking now and over the years say that he ... has come to see Bush as a non-entity in the 2016 nomination contest. Romney is said to see Bush as a small-time businessman whose financial transactions would nonetheless be fodder for the Democrats and as terminally weighed down with voters across the board based on his family name. Romney also doesn’t think much of Bush’s political skills (a view mocked by Bush’s camp, who say Romney is nowhere near Bush’s league as a campaigner)....
Romney and Christie became friends in the last cycle, but Romney nevertheless has dismissed his pal as a non-factor. Thanks to the 2012 veep vetting process, Romney is intimately familiar with some of the less publicized controversies from the New Jersey governor’s past, and believes that several of those flaps would mushroom so broadly that Christie soon would be eliminated from consideration by voters and donors.
And then there's Scott Walker:
Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he won’t let stereotypes about his persona get in the way of him running for president.I don't know if he has specific candidates in mind when he says "dumb," "ignorant," and "corrupt" -- any guesses? As for "old," that could be a reference to Hillary Clinton -- or Walker could be thinking about Romney and Bush. Walker, who's 47, does have a habit of expressing contempt for older people.
“The media is going to peg any prospective candidate with a tag. I’d rather have ‘bland and uncharismatic’ than ‘dumb’ or ‘ignorant’ or ‘corrupt’ or any of the other things they would label other would-be candidates out there -- or ‘old’ for that matter,” Walker told Wisconsin’s WTMJ radio on Wednesday.
He's certainly mocked Hillary's age in the past. From November:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), a possible 2016 presidential candidate, raised the subject of Hillary Clinton's age when discussing when he might run for president.And from a couple of weeks before that:
"Whether it’s two years, six years, 20 years from now, because at 47, I mean I think about Hillary Clinton, I could run 20 years from now for president and still be about the same age as the former secretary of State is right now," Walker said in an interview with the local Fox affiliate....
Shortly after the latest midterm elections, Walker told Fox News that Clinton, who recently turned 67, embodies "old" politics.But Walker doesn't limit this sort of thing to Hillary:
"I think the biggest loser (in the midterms) was Hillary Clinton," Walker said. "She embodies Washington. She embodies that old, tired top-down approach from the government...."
After Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, 62, mentioned 1980s-era congressional doings, when he was in the House, at a news conference here, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, 47, shot back: "John talked about '86? That’s when I was in high school."This is odd because, as I've said before, Walker's wife is twelve years older than he is. He's hoping to be a 49-year-old general-election candidate on Election Day 2016, but on that day his wife will be 61. But that won't stop him from snarking off about other people in their sixties -- we're going to hear this a lot from him.