Facing a barrage of attacks from Donald Trump, Jeb Bush is going nuclear on the Republican presidential front-runner by trying to paint him as a closeted liberal. A web video released Tuesday by the former Florida governor splices old clips of Trump expressing liberal positions.
The flip-flopper charge has been devastating to some past presidential candidates. But experts in the political science of flip-flopping doubt Jeb’s attacks will damage Trump.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if these attacks are less effective than you’d think,” said political scientist Robert Van Houweling, who co-authored a 2012 paper with Michael Tomz about the effects of “political repositioning” on voting. “He’s moving towards the primary electorate and a lot of people in the primary electorate will welcome that.”
Bush’s video features Trump calling himself pro-choice in 1999, identifying “more as a Democrat” in 2004 and praising Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton while she was a senator from New York. The video emphasizes Trump’s statements that he’s from New York . . .
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) September 1, 2015
Trump responded by assailing Bush for a “flailing campaign” and reiterating in two follow-up tweets his claim that the Floridian is beholden to his donors. Later Tuesday he posted an Instagram video with 2013 footage of a Jeb speech honoring Hillary Clinton’s public service.
(Read more from “Why Jeb’s Flip-Flopping Charges Against Trump May Flop” HERE)