Whisper campaign: Jeb is old news

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Wednesday's Washington snow storm cancelled former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's latest media tour to promote his book on immigration and feed his burgeoning presidential campaign, but that didn't stop the conservative whisper campaign denouncing his moderate policies.

Several conservative activists, lobbyists and Hill staffers told Secrets that Bush missed his chance to run for president in 2012 and that his new support for taxes and an immigration policy that clashes with the latest GOP star, Sen. Marco Rubio, also of Florida, leaves him out in the cold.

"Jeb Bush is so yesterday's potatoes," said a key conservative source. "There is a moderate, GOP establishment, country club circle that surrounds Jeb, whispering what a great president he would be, blah, blah, blah, and how the country needs him. It is all baloney," said the source who succeeded in pushing Mitt Romney's policies to the right.

An anti-tax lobbyist slapped Bush's approval of including taxes in a new budget deal, something GOP leaders have rejected. "Jeb Bush is throwing marbles at their feet and giving the establishment press the ability to pretend there is Republican support for a tax hike."