In Early Stages, Jeb Bush Runs to the Middle, Shuns Some Conservative Stances



n the early stages of his likely presidential run, Jeb Bush is running the kind of centrist campaign he promised, taking moderate stands on issues like gay marriage and avoiding overt appeals to the right wing of the Republican Party.

Last month, before announcing that he was formally exploring a White House bid, Bush had said that if he became a candidate, he would not bow to the most conservative parts of the GOP. He implied that Mitt Romney, whom Bush endorsed during the 2012 campaign, had gone too far in appeasing conservatives.

So far, Bush is living up that to pledge. Unlike many of the other leading 2016 Republican candidates, Bush recently announced he would not attend a January 24 forum in Des Moines that is sponsored by Steve King, the Iowa GOP congressman who is one of the strongest opponents of granting legal status to undocumented immigrants. After gay marriages started in Florida this week, Bush urged fellow Republicans to respect court rulings that have legalized same-sex unions, issuing a statement that downplayed the fact that the candidate opposes such unions himself.

On the website for the political action committee he launched this week, Bush highlighted his stances on education and energy, avoiding more popular conservative causes like reforming or gutting the IRS.

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