Terri Schiavo Haunting Jeb Bush’s Presidential Run

Terri Schiavo Haunting Jeb Bush’s Presidential Run March 10, 2015

The ghost of Terri Schiavo seems to be haunting Jeb Bush’s run for the Republican presidential nomination, at least with the Christian right wingers that vote in the Iowa caucuses. For those people, Jeb Bush simply didn’t do enough to “save” Schiavo from being allowed to die.

To much of the world, it appeared as if Jeb Bush, then the governor of Florida, stood his ground against those who wanted to take Schiavo off life support. But that’s not the picture that emerged for some in a crucial constituency in the state with the first presidential nominating contest.

“I’m displeased with Governor Bush,” Gordon said in an interview this week. “He could have informed law enforcement, called up the National Guard, or told the county sheriff’s office not to let it happen.”…

But the issue that would seem to resonate most with Iowa social conservatives is his showdown with the state court system over a law to reinsert Schiavo’s feeding tubes. The debate over Schiavo’s life, during which Bush’s advisers included one of Mother Teresa’s attorneys, received the attention of newspapers and television stations across the country. The Vatican weighed in, as did and then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a physician who watched a videotape of Schiavo and gave his diagnosis from the chamber floor. Schiavo’s fate has been a topic in Republican presidential primary debates in the 2008 and 2012 cycles.

“Every caucus-going Republican over 30 is going to know the Schiavo story, and certainly our Christian evangelicals are going to be incredibly interested,” Iowa Republican Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in an interview. “And they’re going to want more detail about that.”…

“Here was a woman who was vulnerable,” Bush said. “And the court, because of our laws, they were going to allow her to be starved to death. So we passed a law, Terri’s Law, that was a year later ruled unconstitutional. I stayed within the law, but I acted on my core belief that the most vulnerable in our society should be in the front of the line. They should receive our love and protection, and that’s exactly what I did.”

But that may not be enough for some social conservatives in Iowa.

“Just because a judge wants to kill somebody, that doesn’t give them the authority to do it,” said Brian Rosenor, a former chairman of the Woodbury County, Iowa Republicans. “Two state troopers in front of her door would have saved her life. Jeb Bush could have done more.”

Larry Klayman, the dumbest lawyer in America not named Mat Staver, and Alan Keyes met with Bush during that situation and asked him to do exactly that, order state troopers to guard her room to prevent the machines keeping her body alive from being turned off. He did not do that. Not long after that I debated Klayman on a radio show about Schiavo and he bombed completely. He had no idea what he was talking about and eventually just hung up.

What’s incredible to me is that people continue to pretend that the wrong decision was made despite the fact that the autopsy confirmed everything that they denied at the time. She wasn’t just braindead, her brain had become liquified. Keeping her “alive” would have been nothing short of ghoulish.


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