Jeb Bush: What's In A Name?
By MICHAEL FALCONE
- MITT ROMNEY ON THE EMERGING 2016 FIELD: The former Republican nominee assessed the fresh crop of potential 2016 Republican nominees yesterday, starting with newly-minted presidential candidate Ted Cruz: "He is a person of very sound capability and I think you're going to hear a lot from him." Romney said that he remembers Cruz speaking at the RNC in 2012 without notes and said he "spellbound the audience there" On his own 2016 endorsement, Romney said "I'm going to be very, very aggressively neutral in this process." "I like Jeb Bush a lot. I think he'd be a terrific president. I like Marco Rubio. Scott Walker I like a lot…Chris Christie, boy a guy tells the truth in your face if he disagrees with you." Asked if Christie can overcome low poll numbers, Romney said, "America loves a comeback, and Chris is poised to do that," according to ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ.
- TODAY ON THE TRAIL: Jeb Bush is in Dallas where his brother, former President George W. Bush, will be holding a fundraiser for him. Laura Bush will attend, as will Dallas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes. Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is fundraising in Manhattan and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is raising money in Philadelphia.
- ANALYSIS - ABC's RICK KLEIN: He's his "own man," sure, but look who's helping to pay the way. The relationship with Jeb Bush and the odd-numbered presidents he calls his dad and brother will surely be an evolving one over the next year-plus, with questions of legacy, rivalry, and dynasty never far from the frame. But with fundraisers featuring his family members Wednesday and Thursday - including a Dallas fundraiser featuring George W. Bush Wednesday night - Jeb Bush and his campaign are making clear to GOP donors that he isn't straying too far from his name, at least for the purposes of raking in cash. There will be phases in this campaign where being a Bush hurts his campaign prospects. For those moments, the candidate has his lines down pat. The fundraising phase - notice how little news Jeb has committed in the last few weeks? - is the opposite kind of time, where the name is a boon. It should, though, serve as a reminder for down the road that distancing oneself from a family legacy is only credible up to a point.
- JEB BUSH CALLS US APPROACH TO IRAN 'FOOLISH' in an Op-Ed posted today in the National Review: "Consider American policy towards Iran, a nation that has waged a relentless campaign of terror and war-by-proxy against U.S. troops and American allies for more than three decades. The administration believes Iran will become a responsible partner for peace once it signs up to a deal that largely leaves in place its nuclear infrastructure. In a region that is in a near-constant state of conflict - with Iran as a primary instigator - this approach is foolish. It is clear that nothing - not public opinion, not opposition from his own party in Congress, and not even the facts - will deter President Obama from a potentially risky agreement that may well allow Iran to intimidate the entire Middle East, menace Israel, and, most of all, threaten America." MORE: http://bit.ly/1FFo9CI
with ABC's VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
TED CRUZ WILL SIGN UP FOR OBAMACARE - THE LAW HE HATES. Ted Cruz will soon sign up for healthcare coverage through Obamacare, a law he has vigorously fought to repeal since joining the Senate. "We'll be getting new health insurance and we'll presumably do it through my job with the Senate, and so we'll be on the federal exchange with millions of others," Cruz said in an interview with CNN Tuesday. Cruz and his family currently have health insurance coverage through his wife's employer, Goldman Sachs. Cruz's wife, Heidi, is a managing director at the company and will take a leave of absence to campaign for her husband, causing her family to lose their healthcare coverage, according to CNN. Throughout his three-year Senate career, Cruz has been on a crusade to repeal Obamacare - most notably when he led a 21-hour filibuster against the president's healthcare plan on the Senate floor in 2013, ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ notes. The tactic caused many people to blame Cruz for the government shutdown that lasted for 16 days. http://abcn.ws/1C8vB5r
OBAMA ANNOUNCES SLOWDOWN OF TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN. President Obama has agreed, at Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's request, to slow the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, leaving 9,800 in place through 2015. "This flexibility reflects our reinvigorated partnership with Afghanistan, which is aimed at making Afghanistan more secure and preventing it from being used to launch terrorist attacks," Obama said. While the U.S. will now leave more troops in place over the next several months than was previously expected, Obama said the decision "has not changed" his goal to end the war by the end of 2016, ABC's BEN SIEGEL and MARY BRUCE report. The pace of the drawdown in 2016 will be determined at a later date, Obama said, "to enable the U.S. troop consolidation to a Kabul-based embassy presence by the end of 2016." Obama's announcement came after he and Ghani spent Tuesday morning meeting at the White House. http://abcn.ws/1xf9eMt
WHOOPS! WATCH OBAMA MISTAKENLY REFER TO AFGHAN PRESIDENT GHANI AS 'PRESIDENT KARZAI.' While announcing his plan to slow the drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan Tuesday, President Obama made a high-profile slip-of the-tongue, and somehow wound up complimenting the very leader he mean to criticize. The U.S. will maintain 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2015 "in part so that President Karzai - who has taken on the mantle of commander in chief in a way that we have not seen in the past from an Afghan president - can do a serious review," Problem is, the current president of Afghanistan isn't Karzai - it's Ashraf Ghani, ABC's ERIN DOOLEY notes. http://abcn.ws/19NtD0U
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
'MY SHOP': 'PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN' SHOWS OFF HIS OFFICE. It's been awhile since President Abraham Lincoln has sat down for an interview with the media. But in the lead up to the 150th anniversary of his assassination, the 16th president sat down with "Power Players"- well, sort of-for a rare exclusive interview in his White House office. ABC's RICK KLEIN, RICHARD COOLIDGE and JORDYN PHELPS has more in this episode of "Power Players." http://abcn.ws/1HyRYph
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
WHY A LEGENDARY GOLFER BROUGHT JOHN BOEHNER TO TEARS. John Boehner is notorious for letting his tears flow, publicly displaying his emotions from time to time during his four-plus years as House Speaker. So, when Congress honored one of Ohio's most-beloved sons - golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, 75 - it was a safe bet that Boehner, an avid and capable golfer himself, would become weepy. He did not disappoint with the water works, according to ABC's JOHN PARKINSON and JORDYN PHELPS. WATCH: http://abcn.ws/1DVu8CF
@HuffPostPol: All of the top 2008 presidential candidates had already made it official by this point http://huff.to/1LTL8h8
@thehill: GOP leaders confident budget will pass http://ow.ly/KM77v
@nationaljournal: Scientists tell Smithsonian to ditch Koch money http://buff.ly/1BjrXD7