Jeb Bush on Principles & Values
Republican FL Governor; V.P. prospect
I admire my father & brother, but I am my own man
I also have been lucky to have a father and a brother who both have shaped America's foreign policy from the Oval Office.
I recognize that as a result, my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs'--sometimes in contrast to theirs'. I love my father and my brother. I admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions they had to make.
But I am my own man--and my views are shaped by my own thinking and own experiences. Each president learns from those who came before--their principles. their adjustments.
One thing we know is this: Every president inherits a changing world. and changing circumstances.
Source: Speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
, Feb 18, 2015
Issues where Jeb agrees with Hillary Clinton
Where do Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton agree on the issues? OnTheIssues' paperback book explores how Jeb's issue stances differ from Hillary's, and where they are similar. They disagree on the core Democrat-vs.-Republican list, including: abortion; gay
marriage; ObamaCare; drug enforcement; gun rights; and taxation. But they share some major agreements:
Source: Jeb vs. Hillary On The Issues, by Jesse Gordon, p. 226
, Dec 10, 2014
- Immigration: both favor comprehensive reform.
- Environment: both support protecting environmental protection.
- Common Core: both support national education standards, despite their differences on local control.
- Faith-based initiatives: both support working with religious organizations for social services, despite their differences
on the role of religion elsewhere in government.
- Multilateralism: both support an America engaged with allies around the world on both military issues and trade issues, with many differences on past wars and past trade agreements.
Voracious reader and self-described nerd
A voracious reader, Jeb Bush maintains a queue of 25 volumes on his Kindle and routinely sends fan mail to his favorite authors. A self-described nerd, he is known to travel with policy journals and send all-hours inquiries to think tanks.
Mr. Bush seems to have defined himself as the anti-George W. Bush: an intellectual in search of new ideas, a serial consulter of outsiders who relishes animated debate.
Below is a selection of what he has read or is now reading:
Source: Michael Barbaromay. N. Y. Times, "Something to Think About"
, May 24, 2014
- POLK--Walter R.
- THE WORLD AMERICA MADE--Robert Kagan
- KNOWLEDGE AND POWER--George Gilder
- THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD--Zora Neale Hurston
- ABRAHAM LINCOLN--Lord Charnwood
- THE RULE OF NOBODY--Philip K. Howard
- THE FUTURE AND ITS ENEMIES--Virginia
- THE TRAGEDY OF AMERICAN COMPASSION--Marvin Olasky
- A MESSAGE TO GARCIA--Elbert Hubbard
- THE SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD--Amanda Ripley
- THE MAGNIFICENT MASTERS--Gil Capps
- KILLING JESUS--Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
GOP isn't about orthodoxy & disallowing disagreement
I asked Jeb there about the 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, adding that he views the hyper-partisan moment as "temporary."
"Back to my dad's time and Ronald Reagan's time--they got a lot of stuff
done with a lot of bipartisan support," he said. Reagan "would be criticized for doing the things that he did."
In the 12 years(!) since he last ran for office, Bush missed the rise of the tea party, and the ascendancy of a new generation of
politicians--Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, among them. Those men occasionally, carefully, respectfully break with the movement. Scorning today's Republican Party is, by contrast, the core of Jeb's political identity.
Source: Ben Smith on BuzzFeed.com, "Terrible Candidate"
, Apr 7, 2014
1986: Appointed state secretary of commerce
Jeb grew up in Houston, attended the University of Texas at Austin, and moved to Florida after his father was elected vice president in 1980. He quickly began building a political career.
In 1986, he was named Florida's secretary of commerce, a position he kept for 2 years until he left to help his father campaign for president. After losing the governor's race to Democrat Lawton Chiles in 1994 by less than
2 percentage points, he ran again 4 years later, portraying himself as a consensus-building pragmatist. He made a real effort to court the state's moderate Hispanic voters. This time, he sailed past
Democrat Buddy MacKay with 55% of the vote. On the same day, Jeb's older brother, George W. Bush, won a 2nd term as the governor of Texas.
Source: The Party's Over, by Charlie Crist, p. 49
, Feb 4, 2014
GOP must stop being the party of 'anti' everything
Jeb Bush beseeched a gathering of conservatives in remarkably frank terms to change the course of the Republican Party and to become a more diverse, welcoming and understanding party to minorities and low-income Americans.
Bush made the heart of his speech a call to the GOP to "learn from past mistakes." He made his case in some of the bluntest language he has used.
"All too often we're associated with being 'anti' everything,"
Bush said. "Way too many people believe Republicans are anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker, and the list goes on and on and on.
Many voters are simply unwilling to choose our candidates even though they share our core beliefs, because those voters feel unloved, unwanted and unwelcome in our party."
Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in Huffington Post
, Mar 15, 2013
We need to be the party of inclusion and acceptance
Bush faulted the GOP for not caring about large swaths of the country, and said if that attitude remains, the right will forfeit its ability to influence the nation. "The face of the Republican Party needs to be the face of every American, and we
need to be the party of inclusion and acceptance. It's our heritage and it's our future and we need to couch our efforts in those terms," he said.
The only way to attract these new faces to the party,
Bush said, is through building real, ongoing relationships with others over a long period of time. "As Republicans, we need to get re-acquainted with the notion that the relationships that really matter are not made through Twitter and social media.
Real relationships take time to grow, and they begin with a genuine interest in the stories, dreams and challenges harbored within each of us," he said.
Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in Huffington Post
, Mar 15, 2013
Obama divided into "them vs. us"; GOP needs alternatives
Q: By every indicator, Obama should have lost the recent election. Yet, he didn't. Why?
BUSH: His campaign was well organized, and they got their vote out. Very basic math. He didn't win in a landslide. He won by 3%, but he won by in some ways
dividing the country. So Republicans need to learn from this, and to not just be reacting to what we think is wrong about the president's policies. We need to be advocating positive policies as well.
Q: What do you mean when you say he divided the
BUSH: The basic part of his campaign was that those who were successful weren't paying their fair share, even though we have incredibly high taxes for high-income Americans. He ran a campaign of "them and us." And it was quite effective: that
somehow Republicans don't care about the large number of people. And it's not true. But in order to win, I think Republicans need to offer a compelling alternative and have proposals on health care, have proposals on tax reform, on entitlement reform.
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls
, Mar 10, 2013
Reach out to Hispanics based on tone, policy, and religion
To win Hispanic votes, Republicans should play to their strengths while avoiding alienating rhetoric that makes them appear anti-immigrant. Here are four concrete proposals to do just that.
Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.210-222
, Mar 5, 2013
- Put the immigrant issue behind us. What turns off
Hispanic voters is the hostile tone of the debate over immigration.
- Promote freedom of enterprise and educational choice. Licensing regulations often disproportionately hamper Hispanic businesses that tend to operate informally.
And public opinion polls consistently show that Hispanics support school choice more strongly than do other groups.
- Get religion. 2/3 of Hispanics say their religious beliefs are an important influence on their political thinking.
Reach out for real. Republicans must make a deep and sustained commitment to Hispanics as partners in pursuit of the American Dream. Republicans should actively recruit qualified Hispanic candidates to run for local and state offices.
America is different because identity derives from ideals
American is different from any other country on earth in many ways, but most significant is that our national identity derives not from a common ethnicity but from a set of ideals--not just life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but individualism,
faith, family, community, democracy, tolerance, equal opportunity, individual responsibility, and freedom of enterprise.
Those ideals are set forth in our nation's founding documents and enmeshed in its institutions.
But though our nation was founded on those ideals and continues largely to hold fast to them,
America does not hold a monopoly over them. Quite to the contrary, millions of people around the world cherish those ideals and strive toward becoming Americans.
Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p. 69
, Mar 5, 2013
Romney lost because of changing demographics
Numerous explanations for Romney's defeat came into play, and nearly all of them were demographic. Our nation has experienced rapid and dramatic demographic changes over the past decade, including an aging population; a reduced number of marriages;
a decline of religion; and above all, a rapidly growing population of racial and ethnic minorities. Over the past decade, minorities have accounted for 85% of the nation's population growth.
Throughout that time, the Republican Party has clung to its core constituency, seeking to squeeze more votes from an ever-shrinking base--in other words, it has been living on borrowed time.
In 2012, the inexorable math, combined with the party's unwillingness and inability to expand its base, finally caught up with it.
Source: Immigration Wars, by Jeb Bush, p.199-200
, Mar 5, 2013
Returned home to deal with 2000 post-election crisis
There has been a lot written about the 36 days that followed Election Day in 2000. Not all of it is true. Cut through all the clutter and it comes down to this: we insisted that Florida law as it stood on the day of the election be followed to the letter
while the Gore camp tried to overturn Bush's lead by arguing that the law should be ignored.
The morning after the election, around 4 AM, Wednesday, November 8, Florida governor Jeb Bush left the Texas Governor's Mansion and boarded a private plane for
Florida. His state was descending into controversy, and he needed to be there. Jeb was on the ground at the small Tallahassee airport around 8:30 AM Jeb called me. "We've been invaded," he said. An election for president was transforming into an epic
On Election Day, these instructions were printed for voters to see: "After voting, check your ballot card to be sure your voting selections are clearly and cleanly punched and there are no chips left hanging on the back of the card."
Source: Courage and Consequence, by Karl Rove, p.201-204
, Nov 2, 2010
Bush family name is a detriment that limits career choices
Jeb Bush's adult prepolitical career was spent in Texas, in Venezuela, and in south Florida where most of those who followed his career say that he employed a political and business strategy long familiar to historians of the political dynasty whose name
he carries. The strategy was to exploit the Bush family name and to draw on a huge universe of family relationships, family money, and elite contacts in order to propel himself into successful careers in both business and politics.
Some saw it as a
Not unexpectedly, Jeb took umbrage at the implication that he was not a self-made man and said that the Bush family name was really a detriment to his ambitions and that it limited his career choices.
Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 1
, Dec 11, 2009
- leverage the Bush family name and a small personal investment into really big money, always provided by others, and
- if any deal goes sour, exit early with personal fortune intact, or rely on a bailout from one of
Dad's fairy godfathers."
OpEd: Wealthy have high morals, until proven otherwise
One of Jeb's worldviews is the core belief that a wealthy person is, until otherwise, of high moral character. It is a curious but perhaps uniquely American yardstick. For Jeb, the question is not: has this person contributed to society?
But rather: in the jungle of competition out there, did this person come out on top?
Criticisms typically include the insinuation that Jeb helps out his rich friends so that they will give him campaign money. Nothing, in
Jeb's mind, could be further from the truth, for two reasons. First, he promotes policies advanced by rich people because, to him, it makes total sense to do so. If someone is rich, it means he or a recent ancestor has proven himself on this Earth, and
his opinion is therefore on its face more valuable than that of a poor person. And second, Jeb promotes the interests of the rich not because they give him money and support, but because he truly believes that doing so is in the nation's best interest.
Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p. 9-10
, Feb 15, 2007
1994 and 1998 campaign theme: Think outside the box
With Jeb, Floridians in 1994 & 1998 were told they were getting a Bush who, despite his family, was his own man. He was a thinker, a "searcher," Jeb told us. Someone who would think outside the box. Should he run for the presidency, this idea
will become a main theme for his campaign, the number one talking point, at least at first, to open as much space as possible between the Jeb the Serious and Curious Grown-up and George the Perpetual Frat-boy Adolescent.
A decade and a half after his
first appearance in statewide politics, it became clear that there was some truth to the original sales pitch. Jeb does seem more thoughtful and analytical than his father had been, and is obviously much more so than his older brother.
But to focus on these differences downplays a far more important truth: that Jeb's agenda and his views on most major topics are virtually identical to that of his father and brother, with at best minor refinements.
Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p. 27
, Feb 15, 2007
OpEd: Balanced mix of campaigning and governing
George Sr. wanted desperately to separate the obvious lowness of campaigning from what he considered the higher art of governing. George Jr. has made it plain that while he loves campaigning, he has little interest in governing. Recall how he set about
trying to sell his Social Security privatization plan just after winning reelection, racing from city to city in carefully stage-managed "meetings" with real citizens. It was as if he wished the campaign never had to end.
Jeb has been more of a mixture
of those two. Unlike his brother, he does enjoy governing as well as campaigning. But like his brother, and unlike his father, he has seen the advantages of governing as if he were campaigning.
There are real public policy consequences for this
style of leadership, not the least of which is an enervating unease for everyone around him, including even the leaders of the legislative and judicial branches. Everything is a fight--with us, or against us. Everything is a crisis.
Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.127
, Feb 15, 2007
Company handbook focused on doing what you are told
With precious few exceptions, Jeb built for himself an inner circle that was not only utterly devoted to their leader, but also had no life or major responsibilities outside of the world of the workplace. Which is to say: lots of young, childless men and
women, with little in the way of real life experience.
This hyperenthusiastic acolyte was the sort that, upon reading Jeb's company handbook, "A Message to Garcia"--an 1899 tract that glorifies the virtues of doing what you are told and not asking any
questions--rather than shaking his or her head sadly at what a loon the boss was, instead believed it was simply brilliant, and tried to get his or her own friends to read it.
Florida was not well served by this--a fact that even Jeb seemed to
recognize: "Sometimes, if you don't always focus on creating a climate on where staff members' opinions are valued, you don't get them. That's a weakness I think I've gotten significantly better on, but it continues to be a weakness."
Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.140-141
, Feb 15, 2007
9/11/2001: after emergency meeting, went to church to pray
On Sep. 11, 2001, Florida's top government officials gathered at the state's hurricane-proof Emergency Operations Center. Jeb answered the expected questions about what the state would be doing to guard against new attacks & whether state officials would
be open or closed the next day.
And finally someone asked where Jeb was going next. With the familiar, pinched grin, Jeb told us: "I'm going to Mass."
Something like that, on a day like that, there should have been absolutely no reason for it not to
ring true. And yet...it was somehow off, just a little bit. He knew that whatever he said was likely to be widely reported. He was going to Mass. He was a good Catholic, and in a time of trouble, he was seeking solace in prayer.
Why the need to get
this message out? Because unlike his brother, Jeb had never been a particularly public Christian. It was more important to be a Christian, in the immediate aftermath of September 11, in the high-contrast, Christianity-versus-Islam worldview that set in.
Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.303-304
, Feb 15, 2007
OpEd on 2016 Hillary: Which family dynasty do you want?
In the summer of 2005, Jeb restarted his dormant Foundation for Florida's Future, putting on its board some of his most reliable political fundraisers.
Maybe he could transmogrify his Foundation for Florida's Future into something with a more
national-sounding sweep--Foundation for America's Future, say. This would give him the benefit of reusing some of his dad's stationery from his own Fund for America's Future political action committee from the 1970s and 1980s.
Ultimately, if indeed Jeb is hobbled by the myth or reality of Americans' "Bush fatigue," there is one certain cure: Hillary.
Should the senator from NY appear to be the Democratic front-runner, either in 2008 or later, that would immediately provide
Jeb a ready answer to those who argue against a Bush dynasty. "We're going to have a dynasty," he could say. "The question is which one do you want? My family's? Or hers?"
Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.367-368
, Feb 15, 2007
OpEd: Delivered FL in 2004, by robbing blacks of their votes
Gore didn't just win the popular vote, he won the electoral college--if Florida had not been taken from us. Governor Jeb Bush had promised his brother he was going to deliver the state, no matter what, and he worked with the state's official vote
counter, who also happened to be the Bush campaign's state chair, Secretary of State Katherine Harris, to back up his word. The Republicans pulled so many tricks to rob African Americans of their votes, it was a national scandal.
The bigger scandal was that even in the aftermath of Election Day, with the outcome hanging in the balance, we did not fight hard enough. Instead, we let the Republicans outwork us and out-organize us. We should have called immediately for a recount of
the whole state, since that would have been fair to everyone and easy to explain. Instead, we let them steal it from us. To me that episode was the defining moment for our party in the last 25 years.
Source: What A Party!, by Terry McAuliffe, p. 11
, Jan 23, 2007
Floridians bravely face the rigors of our paradise
For the better part of 160 years, Floridians have proven that the pioneer spirit is alive and well--and still one of our core cultural values. We are a people who readily see the sunlight through the clouds, and count every day as an opportunity to chang
Floridians have bravely faced the rigors of our paradise: wildfires, alligators, mosquitoes, hard freezes, fruit flies, flash floods, citrus canker, and, of course, hurricanes. But we still enjoy our sunrises and sunsets.
We are quick to help a neighbor in need, and reluctant to take "no" for an answer. We still gaze in awe at the sight of a space shuttle launch, and welcome tourists with open arms.
We have made the most of our cultural quilt: from a domino game on
Little Havana's Calle Ocho to Friday night football in a Panhandle county seat. In our diversity, we are distinctly Floridian.
Source: 100 Innovative Ideas, by Marco Rubio, p. 1
, Nov 1, 2006
Named after Uncle Johnny Bush and Uncle Sandy Ellis
In 1953, my brother Jeb was born. He was named John Ellis Bush, after my father's brother Johnny and my Aunt Nan and Uncle Sandy Ellis. (My brother's initials, JEB, became his nickname.) The year 1953 proved to be a bittersweet one, however, because the
same year Jeb was born, 3-year-old Robin was diagnosed with leukemia--which in that day was considered very much an exotic, and incurable disease.
Mom remembers Jeb being a newborn, and Robin waking up one morning and saying, "I don't know what to do
this morning. I may go out & lie on the grass and watch the cars go by, or I might just stay in bed." Mom didn't think that sounded like a normal 3-year-old, so she took her to the pediatrician, who ran some tests and gave them the results: leukemia.
Dad explained to an interviewer years later: "I said, 'What does that mean?' The doctor said, 'Well, it means that she can't... she can't live. You can treat her, or you can let nature take its course.' So we treated her. She was very precious."
Source: My Father, My President, by Doro Koch Bush, p. 32-33
, Oct 6, 2006
Married at age 21 to Columba, age 19
On February 23, 1974, Jeb and Columba were married in Austin, Texas. The wedding was very small, just family members. The ceremony was at the University of Texas in the chapel on campus.
They seemed so young--Jeb, with long hair and a mustache, was only 21 years old. "Colu," at age 19, spoke little English at the time, and my main impression of her was that she was tiny and very beautiful.
Dad hadn't met Columba until the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
When I asked Jeb recently whether Watergate and the stress it was placing on
Dad in any way cast a pall over his wedding, he answered, "He was gracious and accepting even though I placed this burden on him--of not even knowing the love of my life until the night before the wedding... No talk of Watergate."
Source: My Father, My President, by Doro Koch Bush, p. 88
, Oct 6, 2006
2000: Duty to conduct recount in proper manner
After election night 2000, the country was plunged into a 35-day period of court fights, press conferences, and endless political debate. Jeb was caught in a difficult position during the recount. He had worked his heart out for his brother, but as
governor, his first priority--his duty--was to determine if the election was conducted in a proper manner and that the recount process was thorough and fair. Like George, Jeb kept a low profile and left the grandstanding on TV to others.
Lord knows, there was plenty of commentary to go around.
"When a national leader accused Jeb and George of using Nazi tactics, and the media didn't really respond to that, I was outraged," Dad said. "But it was more than just the political outrage:
it was the hurt of a father who has pride in two wonderful sons who would never use such tactics. So it was a period of anxiety, but if George had lost, it wouldn't have been the end of the world for us."
Source: My Father, My President, by Doro Koch Bush, p.479-480
, Oct 6, 2006
Bill Clinton is using my dad, to benefit his own character
Most recently, Dad and President Clinton have teamed up to help raise funds to assist the Gulf States in their recovery from Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Together, my father and his successor have raised well over $100 million to lend a helping hand.
How could two men who fought so hard to beat each other bury the hatchet and start a working partnership as if nothing had happened? To be candid, my brother
Jeb maintains Dad is being used. "President Clinton's advisers have figured out that, in terms of character and integrity, a rising tide lifts all boats," Jeb said. "So I could see President Clinton's motivation.
Apparently, he is a very likable person. I believe Dad does it because it was important to show the world that partisanship is such that having a nonpartisan relationship between 2 former presidents is good."
Source: My Father, My President, by Doro Koch Bush, p.515-516
, Oct 6, 2006
Poll: Jeb would lose to Hillary because of “Bush fatigue”
In the latest national voter poll, voters were asked to pick between Sen. Clinton and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and, if the election were held today, Clinton would top President Bush’s brother handily: 51% to 35%.
Overall, only a handful of voters think
Jeb Bush would make a good president. About one in five (22%) think the governor would make a good choice and 57%disagree. As Jeb Bush is relatively unknown to many Americans, it’s a safe bet that much of the reaction is based on his last name and
Among Republicans, 43% think Jeb Bush would make a good president, and 26% disagree. Fully 81% of Democrats and 61% of independents do not think he would be a good choice.
“These results have almost nothing to do with Jeb
Bush personally,” the pollster said. “Most Americans know little about him. The negative reaction flows from his brother’s current low approval ratings and, most probably, from a natural aversion to too long a ‘dynasty’ in American politics.”
Source: 2008 speculation: FOX News Poll
, May 22, 2006
Pres. Bush plugs Jeb for President; Jeb declines comment
President Bush thinks his little brother Jeb would make “a great president” but says that no matter how many times he prods his sibling about his plans, he doesn’t get an answer. Bush said he is convinced that his brother still does not know what he will
do when he leaves the governor’s office in January. “In my judgment, his political future is very bright if he chooses to have a political future,” the president said. “But he’s an independent-minded guy. His priority is his family. Like a lot of other
people, I’ve pushed him fairly hard about what he intends to do. I don’t think he knows, and if he did know he wasn’t going to tell me because he’s afraid I’d tell you.“
By law, Jeb Bush cannot seek a third consecutive term as governor. There has been
speculation in political circles that he could run for president, but he has insisted he will not run in 2008. ”I think Jeb would be a great president, but again, it’s up to Jeb to make the decision to run,“ President Bush said.
Source: 2008 speculation: Brian Crowley, Palm Beach Post
, May 11, 2006
1967: Repeated the 9th grade at Andover Prep School
George Herbert Walker Bush, who was on the Andover Board of trustees from 1963 until 1979, had to intercede with the school on more than one occasion for his errant sons. Jeb was required to repeat the 9th grade when he entered Andover from the Kinkaid
School in 1967. He later violated the zero-tolerance ban on alcohol and was suspended, but after his father's intercession he was allowed to stay on. When Jeb graduated in 1971, his father handed out the class diplomas.
Source: The Family, by Kitty Kelley, p.252
, Sep 14, 2004
Married high school sweetheart, exchange student from Mexico
Jeb met Columba Garnica in Mexico in 1971, when he was an exchange student from Andover. He never dated anyone else, and he said he would not be happy until he married her, which he did in 1974 at the Catholic student center at the University of Texas.
He was 21 and she was 20. He gave her a wedding ring that had belonged to Barbara's grandmother. He introduced Columba to his parents for the first time the day of the wedding.
"I'm not going to lie to you and say we were thrilled," Barbara told one
writer. In fact, Barbara was so worried about her son's marriage to a Mexican that she sought advice from her friend the society columnist Ymelda (nee Chavez) Dixon: "I told Barbara, 'As long as the girl hangs a sign around her neck that says "Bush,"
she'll be fine."
Jeb, who spoke with his wife in fluent Spanish, was spared her further social discomfort in Houston when the Texas Commerce Bank transferred him to Venezuela in 1977 for two years to handle international loans.
Source: The Family, by Kitty Kelley, p.354-355
, Sep 14, 2004
1994: Anti-abortion; anti-crime; anti-government; anti-taxes
Jeb, like Bill Clinton, always wanted to be president. Unlike his brothers, he did not follow their father into the oil business. He also went to the University of Texas, not Yale, married a young
Mexican woman he met in a high school exchange program, and converted to Roman Catholicism. Jeb arrived in the Sunshine State in 1979 to help organize his father's campaign for the
Republican presidential nomination and decided to stay, achieving a certain visibility as the state's secretary of commerce in 1987-88.
Like his brother, George W., his political platform in the 1994 governor's race contained much that was Republican standard issue: anti-abortion, anticrime, antigovernment, and antitaxes.
Source: Fortunate Son, by J.H.Hatfield, p.123
, Aug 17, 1999
Priorities: public education & public safety
As governor, I would work to restore public education and public safety as the two most important priorities of state government. Our education plan would fully fund education, create financial incentives for all public schools that show improvement,
improve accountability through higher standards and strengthen school safety. On the crime front, we have a comprehensive strategy for reducing the prevalence of drugs in Florida and would implement strict mandatory sentences for criminals who use guns.
Source: 1998 Florida National Political Awareness Test
, Jul 2, 1998
Focus on virtue & character, not values
We must do a better job of instilling character and virtue in our children and helping those institutions charged with this task. It means not getting bogged down in the current and unwinnable debate over values. That debate must be redefined in the
context of virtues.
Values have replaced virtues as our moral lighthouses, and there are many different value systems present in our culture. Our character-building institutions have bought into the idea that we have to recognize all kinds of value
systems and, instead of providing us guidance, now provide us with tools to justify a wide variety of deviant behaviors. In other words, they do not teach our children right from wrong, but rather how to make informed choices.
Our children need
direction, not choices. If we give them the proper direction, the principles by which to live their lives, then in the long run they will be more likely to make the right choices. We must become more virtue oriented and less value oriented.
Source: Profiles in Character, by Jeb Bush & B.Yablonski, p. 21 & 35
, Nov 1, 1995
Pass moral judgment & teach virtue to our children
Correcting our social pathologies will take time. Foremost, it will require a renewal of virtue and character and a rejuvenation of those institutions that teach virtue and character. We need to teach our children that there are universal rights and
wrongs, that you can’t spend your life explaining away or justifying deviant conduct. This means, then, that we must regain confidence in passing moral judgments, using the language of virtue and teaching virtue to our children.
It is important that
we begin to discuss virtue and character in the context of those who exhibit true virtue and character on a routine basis. We must elevate the people who are redefining our culture every day for the better for they are the profiles in character from
whom we must learn.
Following their lead, we must make a conscious effort to practice even small acts of character and virtue. If we roll up our sleeves and do our part, the answer to our cultural problems will come.
Source: Profiles in Character, by Jeb Bush & B.Yablonski, p. 41-42
, Nov 1, 1995
Religious affiliation: Catholic.
Bush : religious affiliation:
The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).
What’s an adherent? The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.
Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.
Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH11 on Nov 7, 2000
Member, National Governors Association/Economic Development.
Bush is a member of the National Governors Association:
The National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington’s most respected public policy organizations. NGA provides governors with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing policy reports on innovative state programs and hosting networking seminars for state government executive branch officials. The NGA Center for Best Practices focuses on state innovations and best practices on issues that range from education and health to technology, welfare reform, and the environment. NGA also provides management and technical assistance to both new and incumbent governors.
Since their initial meeting in 1908 to discuss interstate water problems, governors have worked through the National Governors Association to deal with issues of public policy and governance relating to the states. The association’s ongoing mission is to support the work of the
governors by providing a bipartisan forum to help shape and implement national policy and to solve state problems.
Fortune Magazine recently named NGA as one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying organizations due, in large part, to NGA’s ability to lead the debate on issues that impact states. From welfare reform to education, from the historic tobacco settlement to wireless communications tax policies, NGA has influenced major public policy issues while maintaining the strength of our Federalist system of government.
There are three standing committees—on Economic Development and Commerce, Human Resources, and Natural Resources—that provide a venue for governors to examine and develop policy positions on key state and national issues.
[Note: NGA positions represent a majority view of the nation’s governors, but do not necessarily reflect a governor’s individual viewpoint. Governors vote on NGA policy positions but the votes are not made public.]
Source: National Governors Association web site www.NGA.org 01-NGA0 on Jan 1, 2001
Member of Republican Governors Association.
Bush is a member of the Republican Governors Association:
Founded in 1963, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) is the official public policy and political organization of the Republican governors and governors-elect of the United States of America
RGA Mission StatementThe RGA also will work closely with local officials, including state legislators, mayors, county executives and other
municipal and county leaders to assist in a free exchange of ideas. As it looks ahead, the RGA is preparing for the 2001- 2002 election cycle in which 38 gubernatorial seats, with 25 seats currently held by Republicans, will be at stake. The cycle begins this year with two highly competitive races, in New Jersey and Virginia. For this and the 36 races in 2002, the RGA will create strong recruiting and fundraising programs to provide maximum political assistance to all Republican candidates.
- To assist in the solution of significant national public policy problems.
- To enable the Republican governors to take their proper position in expressing the philosophy of the Republican Party within the national party framework.
- To assist in the election of Republican gubernatorial candidates and the reelection of incumbent governors.
- To provide a mechanism to facilitate communications and cooperation among its members; with local, state and national Party organizations; with Republicans in the US Congress; and with Republicans in the Executive branch of government during a Republican administration.
The RGA will enhance the visibility of the Association as a unified policy-making and political force with the national media, business community and government through a coordinated communications strategy. By building more awareness of the policies of the Republican governors, the political and policy objectives of the Association as a whole can be achieved. Currently, there are 29 Republican governors representing roughly 60 percent of the American people.
Source: Republican Governors Association website, rga.policy.net 01-RGA1 on Aug 15, 2001
Member of Southern Governors' Association.
Bush is a member of the Southern Governors' Association:
The Southern Governors’ Association first met in 1934 to discuss the repeal of discriminatory rates for transporting goods by rail, [and since then SGA] has represented the common interests of southern states’ chief executives and provided a vehicle for promoting them. The ongoing mission of SGA is to support the work of the governors by providing a bipartisan, regional forum to help shape and implement national policy and to solve state and regional problems.
Source: SGA website, www.SouthernGovernors.org 01-SGA1 on Sep 9, 2001
- Identify Vital Issue Interests of Southern States. Through SGA, governors identify federal issues of regional concern. SGA then closely follows these issues, analyzes their regional impact and communicates information back to the governors’ offices through reports and meetings. On select federal issues, governors and their staffs formulate regional policy and make recommendations.
- Advocate Regional Interests in Washington. Through SGA, governors advance their mutual interests
in Washington and speak with a unified voice on issues important to the region. Through resolutions, joint letters, Congressional testimony, meetings, and other vehicles, SGA communicates the region’s concerns to Congress, the Administration and federal agencies.
- Enhance Regional Cooperation. SGA serves as a forum to expedite cooperation among the southern states in solving regional problems. State initiatives reduce dependence on the federal government, maximize state resources, benefit the individual states, enhance interstate relations and place the South in the forefront of regional cooperation and innovation.
- Promote Innovative Southern Programs and Practices. SGA provides comparative policy information to its members on pressing issues. Through report and other mechanisms, SGA facilitates the exchange of information on individual state responses to pressing regional concerns or federal government actions.
Page last updated: Aug 16, 2015