With Jeb Bush set to take the stage later this afternoon at the Conservative Political Action Conference, conservative commentator Laura Ingraham came out swinging against the more moderate wing of the Republican party.
“Why don’t we just call it quits and let Jeb Bush and Hillary [appear] on the same ticket?” Ingraham said. “I’m designing the bumper sticker: ’Clush: What difference does it make?’”
She took a swipe at Bush’s wealth — and his wife’s spending habits — sarcastically remarking that he could win female votes, because “what woman doesn’t love a man who gives her a blank check at Tiffany’s?”
And she decried the idea that Republicans should pick a 2016 presidential candidate so soon, and told conservatives not to rely on the “donor class” to select a candidate.
“We’ve seen what happens when the elites are in charge without the people’s input, they fail, and fail, and fail,” she said. “Much of the donor class is hostile to conservatism.”
Ingraham, a well-known immigration hawk who helped lead the campaign to defeat former House majority leader Eric Cantor in 2014, has hit Bush for his dovish stance on immigration in the past. She spent a good part of her CPAC appearance criticizing Republicans who would compromise on the issue in an effort to move the party to the center.
Following her on stage is Florida senator Marco Rubio, one of the senators behind the 2013 Gang of Eight amnesty bill — and a potential 2016 candidate for whom Bush may pose some challenges. Whether Rubio can grab support from an audience that rose to its feet for Ingraham remains to be seen.