Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, brother of George W Bush & son of George H.W. Bush entered the race on June 15. Source for this material is ConservativeReview.com.
While in the Governor’s Mansion from 1999 to 2007, Bush had a fairly conservative track record. He pushed for conservative education reform, expanded 2nd Amendment rights, and shrank the number of earmarks. He kept Florida’s credit rating strong, and backed a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution.
On education, Bush backed a plan which provided more public/private school choice options, helped kids with learning disabilities get scholarships to the school of their parent’s choice, and is a backer of charter schools.
Bush is weak on the environment too. While Governor of Florida, Bush acquired over 1 million acres of land for preservation, converted about a million acres of farm & natural land to housing areas, & spent nearly $2 billion to clean up the Everglades. He also at least appears to be a supporter of ‘Cap & Trade’, opposed drilling off Florida’s coast, and received praise from Tom Steyer, a radical environmentalist, for his work on ‘Climate Change’.
On the plus side, he not only supports fracking, he believes states, not the federal government, should regulate the practice.
Governors, of course, have limited power over foreign affairs. Bush’s stance on these issues is mixed. While he opposes the Obama administration move to normalize relations with Cuba, and supports strong sanctions against Iran, and backs Israel, I have concerns over other comments he’s made.
He won’t tear up the Iran deal immediately , and wants to bring American ideals to other countries which don’t have a history of freedom. While nice in theory, it’s this type of idea which has resulted in leadership & laws hostile towards liberty.
His record on free markets is mixed as well. He did eliminate penalties for reselling tickets, and signed a bill which prohibited using Eminent Domain to increase the tax base. He also recently came out against re-authorizing the Export-Import Bank, and opposes a federal minimum wage.
On the other hand, Bush spent $100 million tax dollars to subsidize ‘green’ energy, backed ‘TARP’, supports extending wind tax credits, and spent over $600 million in subsidies to private businesses.
Jeb’s record on immigration is terrible. He backs a ‘path to citizenship’ for those who came here illegally, supports granting ‘in state’ tuition to illegal immigrants, and opposes any changes to the birthright citizenship misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment.
Typically, there’s a mixed record on the 2nd Amendment as well. On the plus side, he signed ‘Stand Your Ground’ legislation and strengthened Concealed Carry laws for Florida residents. He does, though, support background checks even for private firearm sales.
Bush’s record on the economy may be his strongest selling point. He wants a flatter tax system with fewer loopholes, backs ‘right to work’ laws, opposes federal wage controls (also), saw an increase in employment of nearly 20% during his term in office, and reduced taxes by nearly $20 billion.
While Bush may not be the worst candidate Republicans could field based on economic issues, his family ties to George W Bush, his atrocious record on immigration and questionable statements on nearly every other issue we’re facing in America means I can’t back Jeb.
Next up: NJ Governor Chris Christie