It sounds like Jeb Bush’s supporters are taking CPAC pretty seriously this year. Emails provided to Slate show that backers of the former Florida governor are busing supporters from downtown Washington D.C. to CPAC in National Harbor, Maryland, and organizing to get them day passes into the event.
One of the emails that went out this morning was from Fritz Brogan, a former advance man for then-President George W. Bush who (per the Washington Post) co-hosted a fundraiser for Jeb’s Right to Rise PAC earlier this month. A Bush insider confirmed to Slate that Bush’s Right to Rise PAC is helping organize the transportation.
“We strongly recommend arriving as early as possible to get a seat,” wrote Brogan in an email sent to undisclosed recipients. “Our ‘Early Rise’ team will be there at 7:30am onward helping reserve seats- if you want to join the early team, let me know.”
Brogan wrote that there were still available seats on buses leaving from K Street and Georgetown at noon on Friday to get to the event in time for Bush’s talk.
In another email sent last week to undisclosed recipients, Brogan discussed the importance of Bush supporters saving seats for each other before his talk.
“If you are able to come early, we would love to have your help at 7:30am reserving seats for fellow supporters,” he wrote.
One long-time CPAC insider said these organized efforts impressed him, and that he didn’t know of any other potential 2016 candidates busing backers in. Perhaps that’s because no other potential candidates are worried about the regular crowd turning against them—the Washington Times reports today that some CPAC attendees are planning “to stage an informal protest when he hits the stage.”
Eliana Johnson reported at National Review that Bush won’t give a speech. Rather, she wrote that he will do a 20-minute Q&A with Fox News host Sean Hannity. Bush is slated to appear on the mainstage at 1:40 p.m. Friday and we’ll let you know how it goes.