Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) seems to understand how much work he has to do to impress social conservative voters, many of whom are deeply skeptical of his unannounced presidential campaign. The weekend offered a unique opportunity: the Republican was the commencement speaker at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Virginia.
As msnbc’s Jane C. Timm explained, Bush didn’t exactly wow his evangelical audience.
[I]n a handful of instances, [Bush] talked through cheers or waited for applause that never came.
Bush’s super PAC – which, at least for now, is effectively his national campaign operation – published a transcript of his remarks over the weekend, and in a striking departure from expectations, the Florida Republican neglected to even mention the issue of marriage rights, which is one of the highest priorities for the religious right movement.