Jeb Bush on Homeland Security

Former Republican FL Governor


Reverse the sequester and rebuild the military

Q: What three questions do you ask your national security experts?

TRUMP: What we want to do, when we want to do it, and how hard do we want to hit? We are going to have to hit hard to knock out ISIS. We're going to have to learn who our allies are. We have allies, we have no idea who they are in Syria. Do we want to stay that route, or do we want to go and make something with Russia? But very important, who are we fighting with? Who are we fighting for?

BUSH: This is the problem. Donald Trump brought up the fact that he would accommodate Russia. Russia is not taking out ISIS. It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that Russia could be a positive partner in this. I would restore the military, the sequester needs to be reversed. I would destroy ISIS, and I would create a policy of containment as it relates to Iran's ambitions and make it make clear that we are not going to allow Iran to move towards a nuclear weapon Those three things would be the first and foremost things that we need to do.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Closing Guantanamo is a complete disaster; it keeps us safe

Q: Congress has passed laws banning the use of waterboarding. Would you want Congress to change that if you're elected president?

BUSH: No, I wouldn't. I think where we stand is the appropriate place. But what we need to do is to make sure that we expand our intelligence capabilities. The idea that we're going to solve this fight with predator drones, killing people somehow is more acceptable than capturing them, securing the information. This is why closing Guantanamo is a complete disaster. What we need to do is make sure that we are kept safe by having intelligence capabilities, both human and technological intelligence capabilities far superior than what we have today. That's how you get a more safe place is by making sure that we're fully engaged. And right now, this administration doesn't do that.

RUBIO: The bigger problem is we're not interrogating anybody right now. Guantanamo's being emptied by this president. We should be putting people into Guantanamo, not emptying it out,

Source: 2016 ABC Republican debate on eve of N.H. primary , Feb 6, 2016

Our force level is so low that we can't even project force

What we need to achieve is peace through strength, which means we need to rebuild the military. In this administration, every weapon system has been gutted, in this administration, the force levels are going down to a level where we can't even project force. Our friends no longer think we have their back and our enemies no longer fear us, and we're in a much difficult--we're in a much different position than we should be.

And for the life of me, I have no understanding why the president thinks that everything is going well. Terrorism is on the [rise], China, Russia is advancing their agenda at warp speed, and we pull back.

As president of the United States, I will be a commander in chief that will have the back of the military. We will rebuild the military to make sure that it is a solid force, not to be the world's policeman, but to make sure that in a peaceful world, people know that the United States is there to take care of our own national interests and take care of our allies.

Source: Fox Business 2016 Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

We're still flying B-52's; they're now older than the pilots

Under President Jeb Bush, we would restore the strength of the military. The deployments are too high for the military personnel. We don't have procurement being done for refreshing the equipment. The B-52 is still operational as the long range bomber; it was inaugurated in the age of Harry Truman. The planes are older than the pilots. We're gutting our military, and so the Iranians and the Chinese and the Russians and other countries look at the United States not as serious as we once were.
Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

The Kurds are our best ally; and they're Muslim; arm them!

Q: You called Mr. Trump "unhinged" when he proposed banning non-American Muslims from the US. Why is that unhinged?

BUSH: Well, first of all, we need to destroy ISIS and the caliphate. We need to arm directly the Kurds. They're Muslim. And all of that has to be done in concert with the Arab nations. And if we're going to ban all Muslims, how are we going to get them to be part of a coalition to destroy ISIS?

TRUMP: Jeb doesn't really believe I'm unhinged. He said that because he has failed in this campaign. I don't want our country to be taken away from us, and that's what's happening. We want to make America great again. And Jeb, in all fairness, he doesn't believe that.

BUSH: Banning all Muslims will make it harder for us to do exactly what we need to do, which is to destroy ISIS. We need a strategy. We need to get the lawyers off the back of the warfighters. Right now under President Obama, we've created this standard that is so high that it's impossible to be successful in fighting ISIS.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican two-tier debate , Dec 15, 2015

Syrian refugees already in US can stay

Q: I want to ask you about something that we're hearing coming out of Tennessee, one of the top Republican lawmakers there has actually suggested using the National Guard to round up the refugees who are already settled in the U.S. and send them back. And I wonder if, given your concerns about the screening process of refugees, if you would favor such a move?ˇ

CARSON: I think that may be a little bit extreme, to be honest with you. But rather than have to face situations like that, let's go ahead and support the efforts that already exist that really will take care of millions of people. And why would we continue to increase the complexity of the situation in this country without solving the problem by bringing people over here who are not adequately screened?ˇThat doesn't make a lot of sense.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews on Syrian Refugee crisis , Nov 15, 2015

Let military experts determine troop count

Q: Do you think we should send more troops into Syria, more troops into Iraq?

BUSH: I would listen to the military commanders and give them the mission, which is, how do we destroy ISIS?ˇIt is Islamic terrorism. It's not a law enforcement engagement. And listen to them and then develop a clear strategy. I can't tell you the force levels required to do this. I do know that it has to be done in unison with our allies. We can't do this alone, but we must lead.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 15, 2015

We don't need a divider-in-chief: rebuild the V.A.

Jane Horton is sitting with my wife here today. Her husband, Chris, was killed in action in Afghanistan. And Jane spends her time now defending and fighting for military families. They're both heroes. I don't think we need an agitator-in-chief or a divider-in-chief. We need a commander-in-chief that will rebuild our military and restore respect to our veterans by revamping and fixing a broken Veterans Administration, That's my pledge to you. I ask for your support. Thank you.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

My brother kept us safe after 9/11

TRUMP [to Bush]: Your brother's administration gave us Barack Obama, because it was such a disaster, those last three months, that Abraham Lincoln couldn't have been elected.

BUSH: As it relates to my brother, there's one thing I know for sure. He kept us safe. You remember the fire fighter with his arms around it? He sent a clear signal that the United States would be strong and fight Islamic terrorism, and he did keep us safe.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Stop the craziness of the sequester & rebuild the military

I'm going to create a strategy that is based on the simple fact that the United States needs to lead the world. The first thing that we need to do is to stop the craziness of the sequester. Rebuild our military so that we don't deploy people over and over again without the necessary equipment to keep them safe, to send a signal to the world that we're serious. If we're going to lead the world, then we need to have the strongest military possible.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

FactCheck: No, Benghazi wasn't 1st deadly assault since 1979

Jeb Bush said that Benghazi was "the first deadly assault on a U.S. diplomat since 1979." Is that true? We checked and found that assertion to be entirely false. Following is the list of fatalities from such attacks just during the George W. Bush presidency, excluding many attacks on the US Embassy in Baghdad:
Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on Benghazi , Jul 2, 2015

Deal with bullies like Putin with strength, not nuance

Jeb Bush said that Russian President Putin was a "bully" and the US and its allies in Europe should be resolute in responding to Russian aggression: "Ultimately I think to deal with Putin you need to deal from strength--he's a bully and you enable bad behavior when you're nuanced with a guy like that," Bush told reporters in Berlin.

"I'm not talking about being bellicose--but saying 'here are the consequences of your actions', that would deter the kind of bad outcome we don't want to see."

Bush said signaling what further sanctions Russia could face, and reassuring Poland & the Baltic states that the US would meet its NATO obligations to view an attack on one member state as an attack against the whole alliance, could halt Putin's aggression. "If he thinks we're resolute, that's the greatest possibility of restricting any kind of further aggressions." However, he said, it was essential to ensure that the US did not isolate Moscow to such an extent that it ended up in the arms of China.

Source: Huffington Post 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 10, 2015

We need strategy against ISIS: advisory but not military

President Obama stated, "We don't yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis." Soon afterward, several GOP candidates seized the opportunity to attack Obama while touting their own foreign policy platforms.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is currently on a tour of Germany, Estonia, and Poland, tweeted, "In Germany, Obama admitted again what has been clear for a while, he has no ISIS strategy. A serious effort to defeat them is needed."

Many GOP candidates had criticized Obama's ISIS strategy even before the president's made his comments. Bush appeared last week on CBS's "Face the Nation" and called for a more aggressive approach to ISIS--though one that would limit American military ground support to mostly an advisory role. "We need a strategy. We don't have a strategy right now," he said.

Source: RealClearPolitics 2015 coverage: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 9, 2015

Weakness invites war: our military should equal any threat

Free people, free markets, free ideas--implemented faithfully--will set a powerful example of what's possible to the rest of the world. Our words and our actions must match--so that the entire world knows we say what we mean and mean what we say.

The President's word needs to be backed by the greatest military power in the world. The president should show leadership--and commitment to solving the problem.

Having a military that is equal to any threat is not only essential for the commander-in-chief--it also makes it less likely that we will need to put our men and women in uniform in harm's way. Because I believe, fundamentally, that weakness invites war--and strength encourages peace.

The threats of the 21st century will not be the same as the threats of the 20th--and it is critical that we adapt to meet this challenge. We have no reason to apologize for our leadership and our interest in serving the cause of global security, global peace and human freedom.

Source: Speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs , Feb 18, 2015

Issues where Rand Paul disagrees with Jeb Bush

Where do Jeb Bush & Rand Paul disagree on the issues? They do agree on many issues, but they disagree on the core libertarian-versus-centrist list:
For state-run conservation
IssueJeb BushRand Paul
EnvironmentOpposes EPA strongly
Campaign Finance ReformOpposes donation limitsRestrict lobbyists
Drug policyNo medical marijuana Legalize hemp & marijuana
Crime & PunishmentTough on crimeFocus on rights of the accused
Foreign policyStrength-based engagementNon-interventionism
Mideast policy Focus on Iran & othersStay out
Cuba policyStrengthen embargoEnd embargo
Defense spendingIncrease budgetAudit the Pentagon
Source: Jeb Bush vs. Rand Paul On The Issues, by Jesse Gordon , Jan 1, 2015

OpEd: a multilateralist more than a neoconservative

Is Jeb a neocon? That means a "neo-Conservative," the group that dominated the George W. Bush administration. We conclude: No, not quite, Jeb is not a neocon like his brother George. Jeb may be advised by neocons, but he is more of a multilateralist, and much more cautious in his foreign policy, than the second President Bush. At issue with the George Bush presidency is that George allowed the neocons to determine policy, especially with the Iraq War (a major neocon goal). Jeb starts off much more knowledgeable and involved about international affairs than was George at this phase of his campaign, and Jeb does not seem as likely to unilaterally follow neocon policies.

Jeb said, "I love my brother. I'm proud of his accomplishments." That applies a lot to war issues, as does Jeb's statement that "history will be kind to George W. Bush."

Jeb will spend the campaign prep season distancing himself from his older brother. How he does so on was policy is yet to be seen.

Source: Jeb vs. Hillary On The Issues, pp. 155 &168 , Dec 10, 2014

OpEd: Distancing himself from brother & neocons

Some pundits say that] the next Republican nominee will need distance both from George W. Bush's foreign policy and from Mitt Romney's campaign. Even Jeb Bush--particularly Jeb Bush--would have to look like he was taking a very different approach to foreign policy than his brother.

Can Jeb Bush so easily make a "clean break," so to speak, with W.? According to the website On the Issues, Bush was a founding member of the Project for a New American Century, the neoconservative outfit formed in the 1990s that played a leading role in generating support for war in Iraq and whose members took up key positions in the administration of George W. Bush, Jeb's brother.

Lately, Bush hasn't said much about either PNAC, his brother or foreign policy generally. According to Defense News, Jeb Bush's views on foreign policy and defense are closer to those of his father--i.e., more centrist, more realist, more diplomacy-minded, more Obama-like--than they are to the views of his militarist brother.

Source: Bob and Barbara Dreyfuss in The Nation magazine , May 30, 2014

Conflicting accounts of Benghazi emboldens terrorists

Jeb Bush said that the administration's conflicting accounts of the tragic murders of four Americans in the Benghazi terrorist attack has "emboldened" America's enemies and puts the United States "in a more perilous position." Bush added that the Obama administration's handling of the tragedy "has created a cloud that doesn't serve us well."

Bush indicated the administration's mixed messaging makes America look weak. "When the world sees us as uncertain and not surefooted, they act," he said. "Our friends act by pulling away and nervously kind of not being assured that the United States is there to support them. And our enemies are emboldened. "So the tragedy of this is that four people lost their lives; great public servants. And then, because of the politics of this, the Obama administration sent such a confusing signal out that they did themselves no good. And they've put the United States in a more perilous position," he added.

Source: David Patten and Kathleen Walter, Newsmax TV , Oct 28, 2012

Benghazi attacks had warnings which were ignored

Bush's broadside is one more indication that Republicans have no intention of easing the growing pressure for President Obama to clarify what the administration knew and when it knew it, regarding the first deadly assault on a U.S. diplomat since 1979. [It was recently revealed that] special ops soldiers made at least three requests for permission to respond to the developing firefight, which were denied. Bush said the tragedy "has been made worse by the knowledge that we now have, that there were warnings. The consulate had been attacked twice in the previous months, which was clearly known. And then there were pleas for extra security, which were ignored. And then when the evidence came--which was immediate--that this was a terrorist attack, the White House went in spin mode."
Source: David Patten and Kathleen Walter, Newsmax TV , Oct 28, 2012

1985: Contra freedom fighters' cause is noble and just

In January, Jeb had met with Felix Rodriguez, the former CIA operative who at the time was serving as North's chief supply officer in the arms flow. Despite this, Jeb claimed, just as his father did, that he had no idea anything illegal was going on. Jeb responded to a question about whether he was his Florida point man in the scheme: "I believe the freedom fighters should be supported to the maximum and that their cause is noble and just. But I know the difference between proper and improper behavior."

By late 1986, with the whole Iran-Contra Affair dominating the headlines and hammering the White House just as George Sr. got ready for his long-awaited run for the presidency, Jeb was splitting hairs as to how much, exactly, he had known about the shipments from Florida to Honduras, and thence onward into Nicaragua. "What I have done is a far cry from being part of an arms supply link to the contras," he said, but acknowledging that he had helped with "nonlethal" assistance.

Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.339-340 , Feb 15, 2007

Save Florida's 21 military bases from closure or downsizing

Gov. Jeb Bush led a delegation of business and retired military leaders in meetings with top Pentagon officials and members of Florida's congressional delegation as part of a mission to save the state's military bases from possible closure or downsizing. Protecting the 21 installations and three unified commands during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, round is a one of Bush's core priorities.
Source: Bradenton (FL) Herald , Feb 9, 2005

Make Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation

We must protect our military bases and the $44 billion defense industry by aggressively defending our military installations in the 2005 base closure (BRAC) process. We must also find more ways to support the military men and women who serve their country from our state. I support the legislation proposed to help military families transition into our communities and our schools, as part of our effort to make Florida the most military friendly state in the nation.
Source: 2004 State of the State speech to the Florida Legislature , Mar 2, 2004

Threat from 9/11 is unprecedented for our generation

In most years, we mark change by the passing of foreseeable events. But since I spoke here last, a new rhythm has been violently layered over the old. We awoke one morning in September, and we confronted a threat that is unprecedented for our generation.

As I have come to expect from Floridians, we have been extraordinary in our response to that threat. As a state, we will meet, and soon overcome, the obstacles that evil has devised. We will understand, and soon eliminate, any barrier that would keep this state from realizing its destiny. And when we do, we will be stronger and better for it. Floridians are united as never before, and when the current crisis has passed, we will remain bound to one another in a spirit of caring and community that will endure. Stronger, wiser, with an unshakable determination: that is the state of our state.

We must continue to thwart those who would harm us. We must renew our commitment to ensure the security of our citizens and our guests.

Source: State of the State address to 2002 Florida Legislature , Jan 22, 2002

$17M for new programs for terrorism response

Immediately following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, we acted quickly. By executive order, I put in place new programs that bolstered law enforcement's ability to deal with the terrorist threat and authorized specialized training for domestic security personnel.

I am proud of the rapid response of the Legislature in aggressively addressing this new threat. A few weeks ago, in special session, you dedicated more than $17 million in new programs to bolster homeland security, put into place harsher criminal penalties for terrorist acts, and created a new, coordinated system for law enforcement's response to terrorism.

But we must do more. I am proposing this session that we spend $45 million to further strengthen domestic security, including $6 million to continue the efforts begun in the current year.

Source: State of the State address to 2002 Florida Legislature , Jan 22, 2002

Deal with terrorism as a joint federal-state responsibility.

Bush adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy HR-10: Domestic Terrorism 01-NGA5 on Feb 15, 2001

Include states in anti-terrorism planning.

Bush adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

The issue of terrorism will be of major focus for the 107th Congress. Governors have a critical interest in controlling domestic terrorism because they are responsible for ensuring that state and local authorities have the ability to deal with natural disasters and other types of major emergencies, including terrorist incidents.

NGAís Position

NGA believes that any national strategy for dealing with terrorist incidents should include planning and training by state and local forces. The unique nature of terrorism coupled with national security implications requires the support and expertise of the federal government in working with state and local government in developing capabilities. A clear national strategy developed through a partnership among federal agencies and key state, local, and private sector stakeholders is essential to drive operational and programmatic planning, training, and service delivery in combating terrorism.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA7 on Sep 14, 2001

Increase defense spending to meet global responsibilities.

Bush signed Project for the New American Century Statement of Principles

American defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century. We aim to change this.

We are living off the capital--both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements--built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation's ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead.

We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges.

We need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

Source: PNAC Principles 97-PNAC-HS on Jun 3, 1997

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Jeb Bush on other issues:
Former Presidents/Veeps:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
V.P.Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Religious Leaders:
New Testament
Old Testament
Pope Francis

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Joe Scarborough
Gov.Jesse Ventura
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Oct 27, 2021