NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — One of America's most prominent conservative commentators took the stage at a massive gathering of Republican voters — and used the platform to tear down a GOP frontrunner.
"How many of you guys are skeptical of another Bush term?" Laura Ingraham asked the crowd at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference Friday morning, eliciting cheers from her audience.
She spent the next 20 minutes tearing apart the "elites" that she said have propelled former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to the forefront of the Republicans' 2016 presidential pool.
"Why don't we just call it quits, Jeb and Hillary [Clinton] can run on the same ticket," Ingraham said, rattling off the similarities between the Democratic frontrunner and Bush.
Saying the candidates agree on everything from Common Core to widespread surveillance,
Ingraham proposed a slogan for the bipartisan ticket: "Clush 2016: What difference does it make?"
Ingraham decried the fact that "Republicans joined the Democrats at the altar of big government" and that "50 rich families" have taken control of the Republican nomination process.
She included a number of barbs at the Bush family, lamenting the failures of "compassionate conservatism" (a term closely associated with George W. Bush) and mocking "The elites [who] said there'd be no new taxes and that we could read their lips, and they were wrong" (a swipe at George H. W. Bush).
CPAC should not be a "coronation" for any candidate, Ingraham said.
Ingraham's jabs came hours before Jeb Bush was scheduled to address the gathering of conservative activists — and as rumors swirled that Tea Party members would lead a massive walk-out when Bush takes the stage.
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