Shortly after dozens of conservatives walked out on Jeb Bush’s appearance at CPAC, Alabama senator Jeff Sessions held court in a closed-door meeting with conservative activists and reporters covering the event. Unsurprisingly, the stalwart conservative immigration hawk was critical of the more-moderate Bush.
“We need a presidential candidate who talks to them [the American people] and gets off these phone calls with donors who have big bucks,” Sessions said, in a veiled swipe at Bush. “We are on a road where the average American person feels forgotten.”
And after stipulating that he did not know his appearance at CPAC would overlap with Bush’s speech, Sessions criticized the former Florida governor more directly in response to a reporter’s question on immigration. “I think his policy on immigration is in error, and I think it would deny him the opportunity to appeal to a lot of people,” Sessions said.
In order to win in 2016, Sessions said, the GOP needs to become the party of the American worker. He noted that the GOP lost by large margins among workers earning under $50,000 in the 2012 presidential elections.