By Lynn R. Mitchell
“Now I am a citizen having to cast my vote as to who I want to be commander-in-chief for that one percent fighting force. I have concluded without any hesitation, without any doubt, that Jeb Bush is ready on day one to be a commander-in-chief worthy of the sacrifices of the one percent who have been fighting this war.“Last night he said, “I will have their backs.” I believe he will. Last night he explained in the best possible terms why we need partners to win a war that we can’t afford to lose. To those of you who worry about going in it alone, you don’t have to worry with Jeb because he understands that America can’t go at it alone but, of all others running for president, I think he has the ability to bring the world on board.
“Mr. Trump doubled down on the idea that we as a nation should ban every muslim in the world, at least temporarily, from coming to our great country. I can’t think of a worse idea in terms of how to fight and win this war. Many of the people running for president are eerily silent on this issue.“Last night, I heard from Jeb Bush the right answer. That we need to vet and make sure that those who come from war-torn regions are properly vetted so they don’t infiltrate our country to do harm. But we cannot and should not declare war on a religion because, when you do, you make it almost impossible to form the partnerships that are so desperately needed to protect our country. What Jeb Bush understands, I think, better than anyone else is that this is a religious war and the only way to win this war is to partner with people within the faith to destroy a common enemy. Last night he did not talk the most but he made the most sense.
“Last night he demonstrated somebody who, in my view, is ready on day one to be commander-in-chief and a temperament that the next commander-in-chief needs to posses. Somebody who’s thoughtful, quietly resolved to protect America’s interest, and capable of reaching out to the world at large to reset a world that is very much in danger.
“It is not enough to criticize Barack Obama. You have to have an alternative to leading from behind, and Jeb Bush has that alternative. His plan to defeat ISIL is the most comprehensive and well thought-out of anyone on both sides of the the aisle, and, finally, when it comes to speaking up and speaking out on emotional issues like immigration, the thing I admire most about Jeb is that he has stayed true to who he is and that he hasn’t tried to get ahead in a contested primary by embracing demagoguery.
“He’s not running to be commander-in-chief by running people down. He’s trying to create the ability to grow our party that desperately needs to grow. Here’s what I’m convinced of more than anything else: that Jeb Bush as President of the United States will put the country ahead of the party. That he was the governor of a very diverse state that brought people together.
“America is a very diverse country desperately in need of leadership to bring us together. As to South Carolina, we have a reputation of picking the most conservative person who can win.
“I think that Jeb, by any reasonable definition, is a fiscal and social conservative and, above all others, he understands conservatism when it comes to national security. Conservatism when it comes to national security is building a strong military second to none and using it smartly and forming alliances that will make us safe over here.
“Jeb has come to conclude, as I have, that you have two choices in fighting this war: fight it over there smartly, or fight it in our backyard.
“I’ve spent most of my life in the military. It’s been one of the things I’ve been most proud of. I know those who are fighting in this war. I’ve walked in their shoes. I’ve spent time trying to learn their world. I would not endorse someone that I didn’t really believe in, that would really truly have their backs.
“So ladies and gentleman, South Carolina is going to reset this race. On February 20th, we’re going to give Jeb Bush the momentum that he needs and deserves to win the nomination.
“And to the Republican Party, Jeb Bush is going to be a nominee that can win an election that as a party that we can’t afford to lose. To the nation, he will be the president that can reset the world, bring us together, and can solve hard problems.
“Above all else, he is a good man who is comfortable in his own skin, and who understands truly what makes America great. It is our diversity, not who we hate but what we love.
“The next President of the United States Jeb Bush .”