CHARLESTON, South Carolina, February 15, 2016 — At the Saturday Low Country Conservative Breakfast, a surprise guest showed up. Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge was there to stump for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s quest for the presidency. Ridge was the former Director of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.
Ridge has a reputation for being a no-nonsense, competent leader. He is used to speaking in calm tones. One week before the South Carolina primary, he turned up the volume and let everyone know why Bush’s opponents were not qualified to be president. His comments were made before the country learned of the death of United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Texas Senator “Ted Cruz would make a great Supreme Court judge but he can’t get confirmed.”
Businessman “Donald Trump is not a Republican or a conservative. He’s a narcissist.” Ridge also called Trump a “draft dodger” who received deferments because of a “bone spur.” He “can’t remember which foot” it is on.
Jeb Bush represents “principled proven leadership.” That was a theme that Ridge returned to several times. Even Republicans not supporting Jeb concede that he did an excellent job as Florida Governor.
“Cruz is principled, but does not offer proven leadership.” His abrasive style prevents him from getting things done and advancing conservative principles.
As for Trump, “sloganeering doesn’t solve these problems.”
Without addressing other candidates, retired Neurosurgeon Ben Carson has had his political leadership skills questioned. Ohio Governor John Kasich has had his principles dismissed for being too willing to embrace Democrats. Florida Senator Marco Rubio has missed votes, which is something leaders cannot do.
Ridge reiterated that on issue after issue, Jeb Bush is the only candidate in the race who offers principled proven leadership.
With his campaign struggling, Jeb is breaking out the biggest of the big guns. Former President George W. Bush will stump with his brother at a Monday evening rally in North Charleston.
The former president is very popular in South Carolina. He is a reminder that America needs adult leadership. Like George W. Bush, Ridge served during one of the most tumultuous periods in American history. Their message is that it is time to put an adult back in charge of America.