Jeb Bush Deploys George W. Bush to Court Pro-Israel GOP Donors

George W. Bush has been conspicuously absent from his younger brother’s presidential campaign, but Jeb Bush is putting him to use–at least in private. This morning the former president was scheduled to meet in New York City behind closed doors with some of Jeb Bush’s top donors.

The topic of this pay-to-attend exclusive luncheon session with W was to be the United States’ “special relationship” with Israel, according to an invitation to the event reviewed by Mother Jones.

The meeting comes a day after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Donald Trump, both of whom lead Jeb Bush in several recent polls, attended a raucous tea party rally in Washington in opposition to President Barack Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran.

With Thursday’s luncheon, Jeb Bush was continuing his courtship of the GOP’s wealthiest donors and aiming at members of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a pro-Israel group led by megadonor Sheldon Adelson. Attendees had to make a minimum contribution of $1,000 to be at the event; kicking in $5,400 earned a donor cohost status and the chance to have a photo taken with the former president. Jeb Bush was not scheduled to be at the event.

According to the invitation, the event’s cohosts include several top donors to Jeb Bush’s campaign and the Right To Rise super-PAC, which supports Bush. This group includes:

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