The Buzz

TheChat: Jeb Bush bears down in Iowa


▪ “Do you know how hard this is? Getting through three hours at the Iowa State Fair without any gaffes is just as hard as getting through a Europe trip without any gaffes.” — Jeb Bush talking about spending so much time at the fair trailed by a gaggle of reporters.

Bush continues to put up a fight in Iowa even though he’s mired in middle of the GOP pack in polls there. Some Iowans think Bush needs to get more aggressive. Others wonder whether he’ll pull up stakes and focus his campaign elsewhere.

▪ “Not on my watch will any terrorist be placed in Kansas.” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican, insisting that no Gitmo prisoners be moved to Leavenworth.

President Barack Obama has a problem: He wants to close the Cuban base, but he needs to find a home for the remaining prisoners. One option is the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. Yet Roberts and fellow Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran are vowing a protracted fight against such a move.

▪ “Sounds like a Senate question to me.” — Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a Republican, breaking an awkward nine seconds of silence at a Wichita forum featuring three Kansas House members. The question that stumped them: Is ISIS, or Russia, more of a threat to the U.S.?

Huelksamp and Reps. Lynn Jenkins and Mike Pompeo eventually found their voice, pointing out that the U.S. faces numerous threats. “I think the frustration you all have is that it appears the administration is not taking this as seriously as they need to,” Jenkins said.

▪ “Kris Kobach: The new Jim Crow.” — the subject line of a email from the Kansas Democratic Party Saturday that took aim at Kobach’s latest initiative, which is his use of new authority to prosecute people for voter fraud.

Democrats remain frustrated with Kobach, but they can’t stop him. The focus on voter fraud has such widespread appeal that Jay Ashcroft, a Republican candidate for secretary of state in Missouri, is talking about some of the same ideas.