Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is reaching out to evangelical leaders as he considers a 2016 presidential run, and in early May, he will meet privately with Russell Moore, one of the country’s most prominent Southern Baptists.
Moore, a frequent presence on television and at theological conferences, heads the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, which has more than 16 million members.
Moore and an aide to Bush have confirmed the session, which will take place at Bush’s office in Miami. Bush, who has played down the idea that he is exploring a campaign, asked Moore to meet with him earlier this year.
“We’ll talk about the concerns of evangelicals,” Moore said in a phone interview. “He is a good man, and I am not surprised there is a lot of conversation about him.”
Moore pointedly said he does not endorse candidates, and that he is happy to counsel any potential contender, Democrat or Republican.
One topic expected to be on the agenda is comprehensive immigration reform, which Moore and Bush have encouraged. In March, Moore co-wrote an op-ed article for The Wall Street Journal with Ralph Reed, the chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, urging Congress to take action and praising immigrants.
“The immigrant community is brimming with hard-working, entrepreneurial, family-oriented men and women who yearn for freedom,” Moore and Reed wrote. “Others violate our laws, committing crime and living off the system. As Christians and conservatives, we have had to ask ourselves how to move forward.”
SOURCE: ROBERT COSTA
The Washington Post