Tag Archives: Jeb Bush

Eric Cantor talks 2016 to packed UVa Hall


Eric Cantor, January 2015 (photo by Lynn R. Mitchell)

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Eric Cantor still has it.

Garrett Hall was tightly packed Friday as former House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor discussed the upcoming presidential election with students from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia.

Sitting in an informal armchair on a small stage, Cantor …  spoke about the presidential election and economic growth strategies, while addressing several questions from students.

He still has that capacity to draw a crowd.

Last January I had the opportunity to listen to Congressman Cantor in a similar informal setting as he relaxed in front of a crowd (see Virginia Republicans look to the future), displaying his depth of understanding the complex and difficult issues that face our country.

This time he was discussing 2016.

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WSJ: Tuesday’s Republican debate most educational


Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

I like the way the Wall Street Journal opened its opinion piece about Tuesday’ Republican debate (see Republican fault lines):

Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate wasn’t the most entertaining, but it was the most educational. The two-hour session gave the candidates a chance to critique the Obama record, as well as tease out the GOP’s economic fault lines.

They went on to touch on issues discussed — trade, tax policies, immigration, jobs — and various candidate responses. It’s worth the read — it’s not long. There was also something else they picked up on that other media outlets did also — that Jeb Bush concentrated his attack power on Obama and Hillary, not his fellow candidates:

Jeb Bush had his best debate by focusing his aim on Hillary Clinton’s economic policies rather than on other Republicans. His specificity on regulations he’d repeal was helpful, listing the three most costly in the Obama years.

And then there was this on immigration:

Jeb Bush pushed back against Mr. Trump’s deportation plans, arguing that “to send back” 12 million illegals “is just not possible” and would have the Clinton campaign “doing high-fives” in the general election. We think he’s right about the politics, but Messrs. Trump and Cruz think they can win on an anti-immigration platform. Can they win more than Mitt Romney’s 17% share of the minority vote?

Let’s hope future Republican debates are as informative as the one Tuesday. Fox Business Network, led by Neal Cavuto as one of the three moderators, set up a format that allowed candidates to expand on their answers more so than in previous debates, and questions asked were about issues important in these unsettled times. More of that, please. Oh — and I agree with their assessment that Governor Chris Christie should be on the main stage.

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Bob Dole joins Jeb Bush campaign as chair of veteran outreach

Jeb 2016 logoBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole has endorsed Jeb Bush for president and will be be his Chairman of Veteran Outreach. Dole is a World War II veteran who was critically injured during the war but came home to be elected to Congress where he served in both chambers and ran for U.S. President in 1996.

Not only does Dole coming on board continue building the momentum for the Bush campaign but some consider Dole’s support, as a Kansas native, very helpful for Jeb with neighboring Iowa.

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Facebook cultivates bully keyboard activism

GOP elephants fightingBy Lynn R. Mitchell

On Wednesday news began circulating that former U.S. Senator Bob Dole had endorsed 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush. It didn’t take long for the disparaging remarks to begin showing up on Facebook and other social media.

Like most campaign seasons, this one is becoming very toxic as people defend their chosen candidates. I get it. But where do we draw the line of courtesy versus rudeness, and respectful defense of our candidates?

One Virginia blogger posted a link Wednesday to an article announcing Dole’s endorsement, with the comment, “THAT’S what Jeb! was missing! The comeback starts now!”

It was followed by mocking comments that expanded the negativity. “How many loser endorsements does that make? Romney, Dole, Cantor…” wrote one. Another added, “James Baker.. haha.”

Would any of those commenters say that to the faces of those they disparage?

Bully keyboard activism.

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Jeb Bush’s debate performance strong on issues, critical of Obama and Hillary

Jeb Bush

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The positive reviews continue to come in about Governor Jeb Bush’s debate performance Tuesday night. Ed O’Keefe in the Washington Post agreed with other pundits that Jeb had a good night (see Jeb Bush had a good night. But he still needs better ones):

Jeb Bush did something Tuesday night that he’s not done before on a presidential debate stage: He butted in.

“It’s my turn,” he told Ohio Gov. John Kasich as moderators attempted to ask him a question.

“I got about four minutes in the last debate,” he added. “I’m going to get my question right now.”

The former Florida governor — previously averse to the advice of media trainers and the need to speak in soundbites — delivered a stronger performance in the fourth Republican presidential debate. He fought more aggressively for air time. He used more personal anecdotes. He lightly mocked front-runner Donald Trump. And he relentlessly criticized President Obama and Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton — something few other candidates bothered to do. [emphasis added]
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Jeb Bush clear, concise, forceful in 4th presidential debate – Updated

Jeb Bush

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

By Lynn R. Mitchell




As seen in the tweets above, Jeb Bush brought it to the debate stage Tuesday night with his sizable arsenal of knowledge and experience on issues concerning the economy, energy, the Veterans Administration, and other concerns of Americans. From his very first response, it was obvious he was on, and ready to face not only his opponents but to hit the trail for the weeks that lay ahead leading to the 2016 presidential primaries.

The New York Times was very impressed with his performance, noting (see A nimbler Jeb Bush turns feisty. But is it enough?):

This was a hungrier Jeb Bush.

Donald J. Trump had just finished a breezy, boastful and hard-to-follow explanation of how he would take on the Islamic State, tossing in a curiously admiring aside about Vladimir V. Putin’s performance on television.

Suddenly a voice rose from his right.

“Donald is wrong,” said Mr. Bush, uncharacteristically interjecting before the debate moderators could move on.

Mr. Bush said it again, more emphatically. “He is absolutely wrong on this.”

Mr. Trump had blithely suggested that he would happily stand aside and let others, such as Mr. Putin, Russia’s president, sort out the messy Middle East.

Mr. Bush looked into the camera and did what he has long resisted: He ridiculed Mr. Trump as naïve and unsophisticated.

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Jeb Bush’s Texas campaign leadership committee

Jeb Bush

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

This week presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s Texas campaign committee was revealed with many prominent names in Texas circles including Joe Straus, Texas House Speaker; Kay Granger, U.S. House of Representatives; Pete Sessions, U.S. House of Representatives; and George P. Bush, Jeb’s son and Texas Land Commissioner. It also included Javaid Anwar, Midland oilman; Ross Perot Jr., Dallas developer; T. Boone Pickens, energy tycoon; John Carona, former state senator; Florence Shapiro, former state senator; Dan Branch, former state representative; Bob Seuell, former state senator; and Kevin Eltife, state senator.

The campaign provided the complete list of more than 100 names on the leadership committee:

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Mentor Jeb Bush takes challenge by mentee Rubio in stride

Alex Davis w Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush talked with Alex Davis in Bristol, Va., in September.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Jeb Bush has been described by the Wall Street Journal as “the most qualified candidate to be president. For all the ‘establishment’ criticism, any fair reading of his eight years in office shows it would be hard to design a more successful conservative governorship — lower taxes, limited spending, Medicaid reform, landmark school-choice initiatives. He left office in 2007 with a 60% approval rating.”

One thing he was known for while governor was personally responding to citizens’ emails, thus earning the title “eGovernor.”

After spending years building the Republican party in Florida, serving two terms as a  hands-on governor who responded to emails, and who took a young fledgling politician named Marco Rubio under his wing only to see him become an opponent in the 2016 presidential race, Bush continues on the campaign trail.

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6 reasons Jeb Bush would make a great president

Jeb Bush bumper stickerBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Ignore the mainstream media for a few minutes, and concentrate on an accomplished former governor and businessman who has been called the most qualified of the 2016 presidential field. Here are six reasons why he would make a great president.

1. He was a popular governor: After letting a former half-term U.S. senator run the country for eight years, Americans may again be ready for someone who actually governed. Bush qualifies. As governor from 1999 to 2007 of one of America’s largest and diverse states, Florida, he presided over the nation’s fourth largest economy.

2. He’s electable: Bush won, and was returned to office, in a politically dynamic state that has trended Republican in recent cycles but remains competitive for Democrats. Crossover appeal helps in Florida, a key swing state in Presidential elections, so Bush’s draw in the Sunshine State could be critical for GOP hopes to win in 2016. Obama won Florida in 2012, but Jeb most assuredly keeps Florida red. Bush already leads other likely 2016 GOP contenders in polls of Florida voters.

3. He’s a conservative: However divided the GOP base looks during presidential primaries, Republican voters tend to ultimately close ranks around a candidate with a conservative record who can also appeal to independents and even some Democrats. Though Bush championed a pro-growth agenda of limited government and reducing taxes, he also led several environmental and education initiatives. He is pro-Second Amendment and pro-life.

4. He appeals to Latinos: Bush speaks fluent Spanish and will have the ear of a country with a growing Hispanic electorate. Connections to Hispanic culture run through Bush’s personal and professional lives. Bush’s wife, Columba, was born in Mexico and is of Mexican descent. The couple lives in Miami — so he’s not a Beltway insider — and anyone who has served as Florida governor has addressed the concerns of Hispanics while also recognizing that he speaks for all residents.

5. He’s done well out of office: Since returning to private life in 2007, Bush has maintained what the Tampa Bay Times once called a “high-impact low profile” through legal work, banking, fundraising for other GOP candidates, and public advocacy on key issues including education and immigration reform. He doesn’t need the presidency, and by not projecting an air of clawing ambition or entitlement to the office, Bush looks more fit than some to occupy it.

6. He’s a Bush, but not his brother: What some consider a tarnished political brand after the presidency of George W. Bush is arguably an asset in an era where name recognition matters. Though George W.’s star is rising again as Obama’s foreign policy leads America into new quagmires, Jeb Bush is unique, is focused on policy, and is a consensus builder.


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The definition of leadership … Jeb Bush

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Former Governor Jeb Bush was one of the most successful governors in Florida history, a purple state where the Democrats outnumbered Republicans. Jeb’s record of leadership is a result of his truthfulness with the citizens of Florida as he faced problems head-on and worked on solutions, the same as he will do as president. #AllInForJeb #Jeb2016


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Not so fast on counting Jeb Bush out of 2016 – UPDATE: Jeb endorsed by Rubio’s former chief-of staff, newspaper doubles down

Jeb Bush 22By Lynn R. Mitchell

Not so fast on the calls for Governor Jeb Bush to step aside for 2016. He’s not going anywhere especially since many of those calls came after the former Florida governor had a whopping four minutes and fifty-eight seconds to present his case to voters during a dysfunctional, chaotic CNBC two-hour event that they tried to bill as a debate.

None of the candidates had much time to express anything serious; Governor Bush had the least:

Debate clock:
Rubio: 8:44
Fiorina: 8:37
Kasich: 8:06
Trump: 7:44
Cruz: 6:52
Christie: 6:30
Huckabee: 5:47
Carson: 5:28
Paul: 5:03
Bush: 4:56

One call for Jeb to drop out came from a young fellow blogger who bemoaned the fact that Jeb talked about “boring policy positions.” Interesting … because that’s what Washington is all about. Maybe that’s why the young blogger’s chosen candidate, Marco Rubio, doesn’t like being in the U.S. Senate. Too boring. After all, understanding policy discussions is perhaps what separates the adults from the children in D.C.

For a little perspective, Jeb’s brother faced similar doubts sixteen years ago, and then lost Iowa and New Hampshire. We all know how that turned out.

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Jeb Bush endorsed by former Rubio chief-of-staff

Jeb Bush 29a CantorBy Lynn R. Mitchell

News is spreading throughout Florida this morning that Marco Rubio’s former chief of staff has endorsed — and will be campaigning with — Jeb Bush (see Richard Corcoran, former Marco Rubio chief of staff, endorses Jeb Bush for president):

When Jeb Bush campaigns through the Sunshine State on Monday he will be joined by a powerful Florida politician many will be surprised to see at his side.

Richard Corcoran, the Florida House Speaker Designate and former chief of staff to then-House Speaker Marco Rubio, is endorsing Bush’s bid for the White House.

“I have known Jeb Bush for over 20 years,” Corcoran says in a release sent to FloridaPolitics.com and POLITICO. “As Governor, Jeb Bush set the standard against which all other conservatives in this state are measured – no one in Florida would argue that. Jeb Bush always stepped up and was true to his principles, even if that meant facing difficult consequences. I saw him in moments when it would have been easy to cave to the special interests and just go along with the status quo; yet he never did.”

This endorsement is hugely significant. Not only does Corcoran solidly endorse Jeb, calling him, “without question, the most courageous, conservative in this race,” but he goes on to add, “That’s what I want in a leader, and what I know the electorate deserves. When the people of this country get to know the Jeb Bush that I know, they will have no doubt that he is the right choice to become the next President of the United States.”

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George W. fundraises in D.C. with Jeb

George W. Bush 55 10-2015 jeb fundraiser

Photo by Anna Lee

The Bush brothers entertained the crowds Thursday night at a fundraiser for Jeb, with George W.’s wit on display and Jeb joining in on the familiar back-and-forth between siblings. Anna Lee was there and graciously shared this photo.

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Jeb Bush’s impressive list of endorsements

Jeb Bush

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

By Lynn R. Mitchell

On Thursday former New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg announced his endorsement of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for President 2016. He joins a long and growing list of those who have endorsed Governor Bush from throughout the United States. Below is the complete list.

List of endorsements for Jeb Bush (as of October 29, 2015) from Wikipedia:

U.S. Presidents and First Ladies (former)
  • George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States (1989-93); candidate’s father
  • Barbara Bush, First Lady of the United States to George H.W. Bush; candidate’s mother
  • George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States (2001-09), candidate’s brother
  • Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States to George W. Bush, candidate’s sister-in-law

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Jeb Bush’s op-ed on Trump’s false 9/11 claims

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Donald Trump ran up against the Bush family, and Jeb isn’t backing down. With false accusations that President George W. Bush was responsible for the terrorism attacks of 9/11, Governor Bush has responded in an op-ed that was published today in National Review:

A Clear Choice on National Security

By Jeb Bush

In the latest episode of the reality show that is Donald Trump’s campaign, he has blamed my brother for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation.

That Trump echoes the attacks of Michael Moore and the fringe Left against my brother is yet another example of his dangerous views on national-security issues.

This is a man who has previously stated he would prefer Hillary Clinton had led negotiations on the nuclear agreement with Iran. He has expressed a willingness to allow Vladimir Putin to dominate the Middle East by aligning with Iran and propping up the ruthless Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad — an action that would only worsen the existing refugee crisis and endanger our national-security interests and those of Israel. And he has been ignorant and dismissive of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organizations, saying that we shouldn’t have gone into Afghanistan to hunt al-Qaeda and end the safe haven for terror provided by the Taliban, only to retreat from that stance this week.
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