According to a report by the Daily Caller, a web domain with Jeb Bush's name on it, JebBush.com, is redirecting to Donald Trump's campaign site. It's a move that the real estate mogul turned presidential candidate might have slyly orchestrated to one-up his primary opponent. If you try going to JebBush.com, you will now be taken to DonaldJTrump.com, Trump's official campaign site, which features articles on why Trump would make American great again and a curated selection of his notoriously provocative tweets. Bush's official campaign domain may actually be Jeb2016.com, but with a straightforward name like JebBush.com, many people have likely visited that page, only to be taken into Trump's twisted world.
Given the many feuds, stunts, and generally inelegant below-the-belt behavior Trump has exhibited throughout the 2016 election cycle, it really shouldn't come as a surprise that the leading Republican contender trolled Bush like this. Though there's no confirmed proof that Trump was behind the scheme, I wouldn't be surprised if he purchased JebBush.com from its previous owner just to be able to redirect it to his own site, perhaps for nothing more than his own amusement. According to the Daily Caller, JebBush.com is registered to Fabulous.com PTY Ltd., a company which manages domains, but was recently updated on Nov. 21. That update could have very well come from someone in Trump's camp.
This isn't the first time that Trump has gone after Bush, and it's also not the first time that Bush (or any candidate) has had domain drama.
In October, Trump pushed a major button when he suggested in an interview that Bush's brother, former president George W. Bush, was partially to blame for the 9/11 attacks. Those are fighting words. Bush fired back by calling Trump's claim "pathetic," and the two engaged in a war of words. But Trump beef aside, Bush's campaign has been plagued by many challenges, including another appropriation of a domain that uses his name.
In 2008, long before the 2016 race, gay couple C.J. Phillips and Charlie Rainwater preemptively purchased the domain name JebBushForPresident.com so that the GOP candidate wouldn't be able to use it should he run for president. In January, the couple told Business Insider that they were using the site "as a platform to educate our friends and family about political impact to LGBT families."
Bush is not the only candidate who's struggled with this. Carly Fiorina wasn't able to secure the domain CarlyFiorina.org before someone else turned it into a site shaming the former Hewlett-Packard CEO for laying off 30,000 employees during her tenure. And if you try to visit TedCruz.com, instead of reaching the candidate's official campaign site, you'll be taken to a site supporting President Obama's immigration reform. But that's not all. TedCruzForAmerica.com will redirect you to HealthCare.gov, a clever jab at Cruz, who in June vowed to repeal Obamacare in 2017.
However, if the Daily Caller's suggestion is true, then this would be the first time that one candidate has pulled a domain stunt on another. Of course it would be Trump.