Jeb Bush: GOP has to make better effort to attract ‘broader audience’

By Jonathan Terbush
Sunday, August 26, 2012 12:36 EDT
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Jeb Bush on Meet the Press
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Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush offered a broad critique of the current Republican party on Meet the Press Sunday, saying that for the party to stay relevant in future years, members must do a better job of reaching out to and attracting more diverse voters.

“Long-term, conservative principles, if they’re too be successful and implemented, there has to be a concerted effort to reach out to a much broader audience than we do today,” Bush said.

Bush added that he did not think that imbalance would harm Republicans in the upcoming election, but said that due to shifting demographics the party risked catering to a shrunken base in the future unless they moved to bring more groups under the GOP tent.

“I’m concerned about it over the long haul for sure,” Bush said. “Our demographics are changing, and we have to change not necessarily our core beliefs, but how we–the tone of our message, and the message and the intensity of our message for sure.”

Those remarks come within one week of an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that found Mitt Romney earning zero percent of the African American vote. In the same poll, Latino voters supported President Obama over Romney by more than a two-to-one margin, while female voters also broke heavily in favor of the President.

Bush has sounded the alarm about his party’s outreach efforts before. In June, he criticized Republicans’ hard-line immigration stance to a group of reporters, and suggested his father, former President George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan would have trouble fitting in with the current party establishment.

Watch video of Bush on Meet the Press below, via Think Progress:

Jonathan Terbush
Jonathan Terbush
Jon Terbush is a Boston-based writer whose work has appeared in Talking Points Memo, Business Insider, the New Haven Register, and elsewhere. He tweets about politics, cats, and baseball via @jonterbush.
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