Entries in Jeb Bush (26)


Jeb Bush Calls Media ‘Crack Addicts’ for Politics

Paul Morigi/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called the media “crack addicts” Sunday after he was asked who is more likely to end up in the White House one day — him or Sen. Marco Rubio, his fellow Floridian for whom Bush served as political mentor.

“Man, you guys are crack addicts. You really are obsessed with all this politics. Marco Rubio’s a great guy,” Bush said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“You know, I’ve been called a lot of things,” host David Gregory said.

“OK, heroin addict. Is that better?” Bush said. “Put aside the politics for a moment. We’ve got big challenges, and Marco Rubio, to his credit, is working on those. And he deserves a lot of credit for it, and I’m very proud of him.”

The relationship between Bush and Rubio came to the spotlight earlier this week after the former Florida governor released a book that did not support a path to citizenship in immigration reform — a point Rubio is promoting in his Gang of Eight proposal.  One day later, Bush changed direction and said he would endorse a path to citizenship.

Bush later pointed out Rubio did not support the measure when he was writing the book.

“When we were working on this, Marco Rubio wasn’t for a path to citizenship,” Bush told the Washington Post.

In an interview with Time magazine last month, Rubio said his conversation with Bush regarding immigration reform while the former governor was writing the book amounted to a text message.

Bush told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Sunday that he now supports the bipartisan group of senators on immigration reform.

“Senator [Lindsey] Graham and I talked.  He was responding to concerns that were expressed before the book was actually published,” Bush said on ABC News’ This Week. “I told him that I support his efforts and I applaud what he’s doing.  And he concluded, after he heard what the thesis of the book is, that we’re in sync. We’re on the same — on the same path.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jeb Bush: I’m ‘In Sync’ with Lindsey Graham on Immigration Reform

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush told ABC’s This Week that he is “in sync” with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham on the immigration reform issue. This following an incident on Monday when Bush said he disagreed with a key component of the plan.

Graham, a leading member of the bipartisan group of senators pushing for immigration reform, took Bush to task after the Bush said Monday that he did not support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, major part of the plan.

Bush repented on This Week and said he could in fact support a plan that included a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already living in the United States.

“Senator Graham and I talked,” Bush said. “I told him that I support his efforts and I applaud what he’s doing.

“The basic premise needs to be that coming to the country legally should be easier with less cost than coming to the country illegally.  And if you can create a system like that as is being discussed in the Senate and in the House– through a path to citizenship, that’s fine,” Bush said. “But my guess is that will take a long, long time to achieve.  In the interim, it’s important to take people out from the shadows to allow them to have– the dignity of being– having legal status.”

Florida governor Jeb Bush told me that he was “very encouraged” about the possibility of comprehensive immigration reform – a legislative achievement that has eluded lawmakers for more than a decade — becoming law by the end of the year.

“There are some big sticking points about how do you deal with making sure that there’s enough seasonal workers, temporary worker programs that have been quite successful in the past,” Bush said. “There’s a lot of work being done, really good work, courageous work, ’cause this is complex and may not be popular, but I think it’s– it is possible that comprehensive reform can be done.”

Bush also insisted that he is not positioning himself for a 2016 presidential run as he promotes his new book Immigration Wars, even as speculation grows that he aims to be the third member of the Bush family to occupy the oval office.

“I’m not viewing this as a political reentry either.  I just don’t view it that way,” Bush said. “Everything’s viewed with a political lens in Washington and that’s just the nature of the beast and it is what it is.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jeb Bush: No Path to Citizenship in Immigration Reform

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said on Monday that he does not support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., a central provision of immigration reform plans being considered by Congress.

Bush has long chided the Republican Party to adopt immigration reform and improve its outreach to minority and immigrant voters.  But he said that a path to citizenship would violate the rule of law, and instead is proposing giving a path to legal permanent residency to many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country.

"Our proposal is a proposal that looks forward.  And if we want to create an immigration policy that's going to work, we can't continue to make illegal immigration an easier path than legal immigration," Bush said during an interview on NBC's Today show.  "I think it is important that there is a natural friction between our immigrant heritage and the rule of law.  This is the right place, I think, to be in that sense.  Not to take away people's rights."

Bush, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, is promoting his new book titled Immigration Wars that he co-authored with conservative attorney Clint Bolick.  It hits store shelves this week, and it will include concrete details on how they believe immigration reform should be handled.

The ex-governor's stance is notable because of his reputation as an immigration moderate within the GOP, especially during the 2012 campaign season.  Yet, Bush's position on a path to citizenship is to the right of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" Senate proposal, which has been endorsed by his former political mentee Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and several other Republican lawmakers.

The Senate's plan would offer temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants who apply, pass a criminal background check, pay fees, and back taxes, and learn English.  Those eligible immigrants would then be able to pursue a green card, and then full citizenship once certain border-security metrics are met along the U.S.-Mexico border.  

President Obama's plan contains a more direct path to citizenship that is not specifically tied to a border security "trigger."

A path to citizenship has long been the number-one policy priority for immigrant-rights groups, who say that citizenship is necessary for immigrants to compete in society.  The alternative, according to these groups, is a population of second-class citizens.

But Bush aligned himself with other Republicans who say that a path to full citizenship is not necessary.

"Half the people in '86 that could have gotten amnesty didn't apply.  Many people don't want to be citizens of our country," he said.  "They want to come here, they want to work hard, they want to provide for their families. Some of them want to come home, not necessarily all of them want to stay as citizens."

He said that offering a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. could incentivize future waves of illegal immigration.

"I think there has to be some difference between people who come here legally and illegally," Bush said.  "It is just a matter of common sense and a matter of the rule of law.  If we're not going to apply the law fairly and consistently, we're going to have another wave of illegal immigrants coming into the country."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jeb Bush’s Advice to Romney on RNC Speech: Show Your ‘Heart’

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush offered Mitt Romney some advice Thursday morning on ABC's Good Morning America just hours before the GOP presidential nominee will make the most important speech of his political career.

“It’s hard for him to show his heart.  I respect that.  I was brought up being told not to brag, not to open up and show your frailties and show your emotions, but he has to,” Bush told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.  “Where it matters is connecting with other people’s concerns.  I don’t think he has to be like this New Age kind of guy all of a sudden.  He’s not going to be that way.”

Romney will address the Republican National Convention Thursday evening in Tampa, Fla., and formally accept the Republican nomination for president.  The speech offers the former governor of Massachusetts -- often attacked as wooden by his critics -- a chance to boost his favorability among voters, which seems critical given that a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that Romney is the least popular major-party nominee since 1984.

Bush -- both the son and brother to former presidents -- told Stephanopoulos during the interview that connecting emotionally to people is the first step Romney must take in order to make a case for himself as a viable alternative to President Obama.

“It’s important to connect emotionally.  That gives you the chance to allow people in…he has to do that for sure,” Bush said.  “But it doesn’t have to be, the standards that the observers will have will be so high and so psycho-babbly that he won’t be able to reach that for sure but connecting well and he has a great chance tonight to offer an alternative.  Not just to point out the president’s failings but to offer an alternative that lifts the spirits of the country.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jeb Bush on RNC: George W. ‘Is Smart to Stay Away’

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- In a Republican convention that has yet to prominently acknowledge the party’s last president, George W. Bush, Bush’s brother, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, hinted to ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer that his brother would be a part of his speech on Thursday night.

“I may say something nice about him,” Bush said. “There’s a video of he and my dad that will be on tonight, I think. And there may be mention of him tomorrow as well at eight o’clock.”

Bush says he does not find it strange that his brother has not been mentioned in the convention hall and understands why his brother decided not to attend the festivities in Tampa.

“[My brother] knows that he will be a target. The president has spent a lot of time and energy around this notion that ‘I can’t do anything about it. It’s all Bush’s fault. You know I’m trying, but it’s not working because it’s Bush’s fault,’” Bush told Sawyer. “Now we’re in year four of a presidency, think back into American history, think of a president that is blaming his predecessor in the fourth year. So why encourage the bad behavior and I think my brother is smart to stay away.”

As for Tuesday evening’s speeches, Bush was extraordinarily complimentary about the performances of both New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Ann Romney.

“Beautiful, I mean just a spectacular speech,” Bush said of Ann Romney. “Governor Romney has been brought up … like I was, which was told never to brag, never to express yourself about your own feelings, to be always concerned about other people. I think that’s my theory because he’s uncomfortable with the personal side of this. … Ann Romney really I think can show who he is in a more personal level. It was the most effective description of Mitt Romney that I’ve heard ever.”

Bush also had tremendous praise for Christie.

“I thought he was very effective, now I’m biased, I love the guy. Think he’s truth-telling … and that’s nice because we have structural problems in our country that are serious and this election should be about big things, not small things,” Bush said. “I thought Christie actually gave the president a little bit of a break and talked about these big things in a way that was not kind of what people probably anticipated him going after the president. And I think that’s good too, I don’t think this ought to be a personalized campaign.”

Many in political circles have predicted that if Romney loses, Bush may run for president in 2016. But when asked by Sawyer his plans four years from now, he kept to the party line.

“2016, I will be working with pride for the reelection of Mitt Romney,” he said.

In order to be successful, Bush believes Republicans need to do a better job of reaching out to specific minority communities.

“The good news is that Latino voters and Asian voters, I would say, share many of the values that conservatives embrace about the family being the most powerful political unit in society, the need to reform education so there’s access to opportunity, small business driving economic prosperity, a strong national defense, all of these things, they are shared values,” Bush said. “But if you have a tone that says you know, we want your vote of course, but don’t join our team, you’re not going to get very far.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jeb Bush Heads to Iowa

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(SIOUX CITY, Iowa) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is heading to Sioux City in October; he'll be the keynote speaker at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner on Oct. 8.  A spokesperson for Bush confirms the speaking engagement, first reported by ABC News’ Sioux City affiliate KCAU.

Although he has repeatedly ruled out sharing the ballot with Mitt Romney, telling ABC News’ Jon Karl just last month, “I am not a candidate … I’m not going to be asked,” he has left the door open to a future run for the White House, telling CBS’ Charlie Rose in June he has, “not made that decision” when asked if he will run in the future.

Iowa, home to the famous Iowa caucuses, is traditionally the state where voters first cast their ballot. Like the first primary state of New Hampshire, candidates with presidential aspirations spend a lot of time in there, shaking hands and kissing babies, as they say.

Of course, Iowa is also a presidential battleground state and the dinner will come just a month before voters go to the polls to decide between President Barack Obama, who won the state four years ago, or Mitt Romney, whom Bush has backed and hit the campaign trail for, most recently in Ohio.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Republicans Take Aim at Pillar of GOP Tax Policy

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Taxpayer Protection Pledge has been the gold standard of Republican tax orthodoxy for decades.

Known informally as “The Pledge” and cooked up by conservative strategist Grover Norquist in 1986, it asks two simple promises of its signers: that they oppose any tax-rate hikes for people or businesses, and that they fight to keep all tax credits and deductions unless rates are simultaneously dropped.

All but 13 Republicans in the Congress -- six senators and seven representatives -- have signed the pledge.

But now, with deficits and debt in the political forefront, the pledge is under attack from some prominent Republicans seeking to get U.S. balance sheets under control.

“I stand by the idea that we shouldn’t raise rates,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told ABC’s Jon Karl in an interview.

“When you eliminate a deduction, it’s OK with me to use some of that money to get us out of debt. That’s where I disagree with the tax pledge....We’re so far in debt that if you don’t give up some ideological ground, the country sinks.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, considered a possible VP selection for Mitt Romney, protests that he won’t be asked to join the Romney campaign because he supports higher taxes. “If you could bring to me a majority of people to say that we’re going to have $10 in spending cuts for $1 of revenue enhancement, put me in, coach,” Bush told the House Budget Committee, testifying before the panel in Washington this month. “This will prove I’m not running for anything.”

At an August presidential debate hosted by Fox News in Ames, Iowa, every GOP candidate on stage declined to back a deficit-reduction deal that would favor spending cuts over tax hikes by a ratio of 10 to one.

Bush did not sign the tax pledge as a candidate or as governor, nor did he raise taxes while in office. “The pledge was presented to me three times. I never signed the pledge. I cut taxes every year I was governor. I don’t believe you outsource your principles and convictions to people. I respect Grover’s political involvement. He has it every right to do it, but I never signed any pledge,” Bush told the committee.

The United States is more than $15 trillion in debt, having run consecutive budget deficits since 2002 and trillion-dollar-plus deficits since 2009. A “Taxmageddon” looms at the end of 2012, with the Bush tax cuts set to expire and with automatic spending cuts triggered in January, prompted by the deficit super committee’s failure to reach a deal, unless Congress and President Obama can arrive at a compromise.

Norquist said he’s not worried about Republicans agreeing to raise taxes anytime soon.

“I worry more about satellites falling on my head,” Norquist told ABC in a phone interview Tuesday.

In his typically ebullient manner, the pledge architect had colorful words for both Bush and Graham.

“Former governor of Florida Jeb Bush hasn’t been elected to anything in 10 years, [and he] gets asked a hypothetical question about ‘ten to one,’ which is the same question that ruined his father’s presidency and cut it in half, and he answered it in the same way his father did,” Norquist said. “Lindsey Graham is not a thought leader in the Republican Party...again, he’s answering a hypothetical, which will never be offered to him, the idea that the Democratic party offers significant spending cuts in exchange for tinkering here and there with a couple tax credits.”

After holding the line on taxes last summer, as the debt-limit stalemate threatened to derail both governmental functions and the U.S. economy, Norquist said the GOP holds a stronger position as this year’s deficit discussion begins. He does not, he said, see trouble looming.

“I don’t have to keep anybody in line. These are commitments people made to their constituents,” Norquist said. “I think almost everyone will keep their word, and even the people who get weak knees will look around and find themselves all by their lonesome and run back to their foxholes.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jeb Bush Says His Father and Reagan Would Lose Out in Today’s GOP

Paul Zimmerman/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Monday said that both Ronald Reagan and his father, George H.W. Bush, would have a hard time getting nominated by the more conservative voters in today’s Republican Party.

“Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad, they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party, and I don’t, as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground,” Bush said, according to Buzzfeed, which reported him giving the comments at the headquarters of Bloomberg LP in New York City.

Bush, a much-discussed contender to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, said he sees the ultra-conservative and partisan standards of today’s GOP as “disturbing,” but called “this dysfunction … temporary.”

“It’s just a different environment left and right,” Bush said.

During his “dad’s time and Ronald Reagan’s time,” Bush said, they “got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support,” according to the report, adding that Reagan “would be criticized for doing the things that he did.”

Bush railed against both sides, but blamed President Obama for much of the clashing.

“His first year could have been a year of enormous accomplishment had he focused on things where there was more common ground,” Bush said, arguing that he believed Obama made the “purely political calculation” to run a more partisan administration.

This is the latest in a series of comments Bush has made recently either criticizing his party or expressing policy points openly breaking with the presumptive GOP nominee.  Last week in an interview with CBS News, Bush separated himself from Romney on the issue of illegal immigrants already in the United States.

“It’s the one thing that separates us from the rest of the world, is to say embrace our values, learn our language and work hard and dream big and create what you want to create because it helps all of us,” Bush told Charlie Rose.  “You have to deal with this issue, you can’t ignore it and so either a path to citizenship, which I would support and that does put me probably out of the mainstream of most conservatives or … a path to residency of some kind.”

Bush said there needs to be a “realistic way of dealing with people that are here illegally,” and although he “may have a different point of view on that [from Romney], I think I probably do,” he “respect(s) his views.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


VP Beat: Bush, Portman & Rubio’s Ratings

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- VEEP RATINGS – BUSH WEAK IN MIDDLE, PORTMAN WEAK ON RIGHT:  “Jeb Bush and the far less well-known  Rob Portman draw more negative than positive reviews as potential Republican vice presidential nominees, with challenges for Bush among moderates and swing-voting independents, and for Portman both among conservatives and within his own party,” ABC News’ Gary Langer reported. “Another potential candidate, Marco Rubio, fares better in the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll, albeit with just a split decision as Mitt Romney’s 2012 running mate. Rubio receives more positive than negative responses among his fellow Hispanics, though with a third undecided. Americans by 45-36 percent express an unfavorable rather than favorable opinion of Bush, the former Florida governor, for the slot, and by 30-19 percent say the same about Portman, the junior U.S. senator from Ohio. It’s a closer 32-29 percent on Rubio, Florida’s junior senator.” More of the poll here.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush offered an impassioned endorsement of fellow Floridian Marco Rubio, advising Mitt Romney to pick him as his running mate and describing him as “the most articulate conservative elected official on the scene today,” ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe reported. “Marco Rubio is my favorite [choice], because we have a close relationship,” the former Florida governor told Charlie Rose in an interview that aired on his PBS show Thursday evening. “I admire him greatly. … He speaks with great passion about American exceptionalism. I think he would lift the spirits of the campaign and provide some energy. … Look he has more experience than Barack Obama had when he ran. … And the practical experience: he’s certainly got the intelligent acumen and fortitude to be a good president and I have a special place in my heart for him. It’s hard to describe the pride I have for his incredible success and how he has moved in to the job of being a U.S. senator with humility, not trying to be an arrogant guy, to learn the trade, if you will. And people in Washington really admire him.”

AYOTTE’S RISE: Real Clear Politics’ Erin McPike looks at the rise of freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who jumped from the attorney general seat in New Hampshire to become a U.S. senator and has been floated as a potential VP pick by the candidate himself. “In less than two years’ time, Kelly Ayotte has gone from obscure New Hampshirite to one of the more visible figures in national politics,” McPike wrote. “The freshman senator is often photographed alongside Mitt Romney as one of his leading surrogates on the campaign trail (and the most high-profile female surrogate other than his wife), and the Senate Republican leadership trots her out frequently to go before cameras and drive their message on whatever legislation they’re pushing. No wonder Romney has named her publicly as one of about 15 people who might be on his list of potential running mates. But anyone who dismisses her from the veepstakes chatter because she is an attractive woman in her early forties, who ascended to statewide office in the most recent election – thereby inviting obvious comparisons to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – would be writing her off unfairly. So, too, would anyone who says such attributes are the only reasons for her rise.”

RUNNING VEEP RYAN: In a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity Wednesday, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., creatively dodged the standard VP question when asked what he’d do if Romney asked him to run.  “You mean go jogging with him? I’d go for a run,” Ryan said.

RYAN & PORTMAN TO RAISE ROMNEY CASH: Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Rob Portman will team up with Romney later this month for a fundraiser geared toward young professionals, the Washington Post reported.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal approved new abortion rules requiring a longer wait between receiving a mandatory ultrasound and an abortion, reported. The new law will also require doctors to describe the ultrasound to the woman and allow her to listen to the fetus’ heartbeat.

VEEP PICK LINEUP AT CPAC: Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal and Bob McDonnell will each speak at Chicago CPAC today.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, on behalf of the Republican Governors Association, is hosting a retreat this weekend at the Homestead resort, the Washington Post reported.  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is expected to speak at the gathering along with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

DEMS RELEASE VIDEO LINKING CHRISTIE & ROMNEY: To coincide with N.J. Gov. Chris Christie’s appearance at Chicago CPAC today, the New Jersey Democratic Party, in conjunction with the DNC, released a video linking the New Jersey governor to Romney based on their economic statistics, the Star-Ledger reported.

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Poll: Marco Rubio Tops Jeb Bush, Rob Portman in VP Ratings

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jeb Bush and the far less well-known Rob Portman draw more negative than positive reviews as potential Republican vice presidential nominees. Moderates and swing-voting independents give Bush trouble and conservatives and Republicans make it tough for Portman, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Another potential candidate, Marco Rubio, fares better -- albeit with just a split decision -- as Mitt Romney’s 2012 running mate.  Rubio receives more positive than negative responses among his fellow Hispanics, though with a third undecided.

Americans by 45-36 percent express an unfavorable rather than favorable opinion of Bush, the former Florida governor, for the slot, and by 30-19 percent say the same about Portman, the junior U.S. senator from Ohio.  It’s a closer 32-29 percent on Rubio, Florida’s junior senator.

This poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds room to move, especially for Portman and Rubio: Large numbers, 51 percent and 39 percent, respectively, have no opinion of them.  That declines to 19 percent for Bush, better known through his governorship from 1999-2007 and his father’s and brother’s presidencies.

Notably, independents respond more unfavorably than favorably to the prospect of a Bush nomination for the vice presidency by a 10-point margin -- 46-36 percent.  Independents divide essentially evenly, by contrast, on Rubio and Portman alike.  (Democrats and liberals are broadly negative on all three, but particularly so on Bush.)

Bush is also weak among moderates, who see his participation on the GOP ticket unfavorably rather than favorably by a broad 56-29 percent.  Moderates divide more closely on Rubio (negative by a non-significant 6-point margin), and essentially evenly on Portman.

Portman, though, has his own difficulties: Republicans only split evenly on the prospect of his selection, 21-22 percent, favorable-unfavorable.  That compares with a 44-point margin among Republicans in positive versus negative responses to a Bush candidacy, and 32 percentage points for Rubio.

That in turn reflects a comparative weakness for Portman, who’s generally known as a moderate, among conservatives.  They respond more unfavorably than favorably to Portman for vice president by a 9-point margin -- 26-17 percent.  By contrast, conservatives respond more positively than negatively to Bush by 18 points and to Rubio by 15.

True to their partisan predispositions, Democrats and liberals see Bush negatively rather than positively for the nomination by 69-16 percent and 61-26 percent, respectively.  Democrats side against Rubio by 50-16 percent and Portman by 46-14 percent; liberals against Rubio by 49-20 percent and against Portman by 44-21 percent.

As noted, Hispanics look favorably on a Rubio candidacy by 41-26 percent (with a third undecided), while dividing about evenly on Bush and Portman alike.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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