Bush's announcement is inspiring many reactions, particularly unfavorable reactions from Democrats and left-leaning groups:
Cruz for President

Cruz Welcomes Jeb Bush into Race for 2016 GOP Nomination for President

HOUSTON, Texas -- Today, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, issued the following statement welcoming former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush into the race for the Republican nomination for President of the United States:

"I’m glad to welcome Jeb Bush to the growing and diverse field of 2016 GOP candidates. Gov. Bush is a good man and was a strong governor in Florida. I look forward to a productive and thoughtful debate on the issues most important to Republican voters as the 2016 GOP primary season gets into full swing. Gov. Bush brings a lifetime of service to this field, and his candidacy ensures our eventual nominee will be all the stronger and equipped to face Hillary Clinton in the general election."

Rubio for President

Marco Rubio Statement on Jeb Bush Joining 2016 Presidential Race

Marco Rubio issued the following statement today welcoming Jeb Bush to the presidential race:

"In politics, people throw around the word 'friend' so much it often has little real meaning. This is not one of those times. When I call Jeb Bush my friend, I mean he is someone I like, care for and respect. He and I have worked closely together for many years, on issues big and small. He is a passionate advocate for what he believes, and I welcome him to the race."


Monday, June 15, 2015

Charlie Kiefer

ForAmerica’s Bozell on Jeb Bush Announcement

“Nominating him will be an exercise in futility”

RESTON, Va. – ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell issued the following statement regarding Jeb Bush’s upcoming announcement that he is running for president.

“We’ve said it before and we say it again: Jeb Bush is unelectable. Not only is he not conservative, but he gave Hillary Clinton an award for public service and her campaign will undoubtedly find a creative way to humiliate him with it. But it's worse than that. He cannot run on his record. Jeb Bush has moved way to the left since he left office a decade ago, on some of the most important issues facing conservatives. In fact, he's championed nothing for conservatives since leaving office.   Nominating him will be an exercise in futility – just as it was with Mitt Romney, John McCain and Bob Dole.  All three were moderates who wound up losers, and Jeb Bush will be a loser, too --  if he’s nominated.  This time around the Republican Party has several worthy conservatives who can unite the party and win the White House, and they’d do well to nominate one of them instead a third Bush who will lose to a second Clinton.



ForAmerica is an online army of over 7.3 million people. The group is a non-profit 501(c)4 organized to educate Americans about traditional and contemporary American values, to relentlessly fight the growth of government, to oppose any substitute to freedom and self-government, to promote individual liberty and excellence, to promote economic opportunity, and to move America toward her founding principles. ForAmerica is chaired by L. Brent Bozell III, one of the most outspoken and effective national leaders in the conservative movement today.

Democratic National Committee

DNC Chair Statement on Jeb Bush's 2016 Announcement

Washington, D.C. – With Jeb Bush’s upcoming announcement that he is running for president, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
“Jeb Bush’s announcement later today that he’ll seek the Republican 2016 nomination is good news if you happen to be Jeb Bush or someone like him. Throughout his career, Jeb Bush has consistently put what is best for himself and those at the top above the priorities of working Americans.
“As governor of Florida, Jeb Bush slashed taxes by billions, largely benefitting the wealthy and corporations. Since leaving public office more than eight years ago, Bush has leveraged his family name to reap profits for himself, immersing himself in problematic corporate business deals and cashing in on Wall Street while Americans were hit by the financial crisis.
“We already know what to expect from a Bush Presidency, because we’ve seen it before. Jeb Bush supported his brother’s disastrous economic and foreign policies that made us weaker at home and abroad. He supported his brother’s plan to privatize Social Security and endorsed a budget that would end Medicare as we know it.
“But what makes the specter of a Jeb Bush presidency even more unpalatable is his belief in his own superiority and infallibility – in my 22 years in elected office I have never worked with someone who is as inflexible, uncompromising, and willing to do whatever it takes to get their way as Jeb Bush. These are not the qualities Americans need in their president if we are going to work together to get things done.
“On issue after issue, Jeb Bush’s indifference toward the concerns of the middle class, women, students, immigrants, seniors and the LGBT community shows he is as out of step with the American people as every other candidate in the Republican field.”
Para publicación inmediata
15 de junio de 2015
Contacto – oficina de prensa del DNC
Declaraciones de la presidenta del DNC Debbie Wasserman Schultz sobre el anuncio de Jeb Bush
Washington, D.C. – Debbie Wasserman Schultz, presidenta del DNC, emitió las siguientes declaraciones sobre el anuncio de Jeb Bush:
“El anuncio que Jeb Bush hará hoy presentando su candidatura al nombramiento republicano para 2016 son buenas noticias si resulta que eres Jeb Bush o alguien como él. A lo largo de su carrera, Jeb Bush ha puesto lo que es mejor para él y los de arriba muy por encima de las prioridades de los trabajadores americanos.
“Como gobernador de Florida, Jeb Bush cercenó impuestos por miles de millones, beneficiando sobremanera a los ricos y a las corporaciones. Desde que abandonó los puestos públicos hace ocho años, Bush ha aprovechado su apellido para cosechar beneficios para si mismo, sumergiéndose en problemáticos negocios corporativos y haciendo caja en Wall Street mientras los americanos y americanas eran golpeados por la crisis financiera.
“Ya sabemos lo que esperar de una presidencia Bush, porque la hemos visto antes. Jeb Bush apoyó las desastrosas políticas exterior y económica de su hermano que nos debilitaron en casa y fuera. Apoyó el plan de su hermano para privatizar el Seguro Social y respaldó un presupuesto que acabaría con el Medicare tal y como lo conocemos.
“Pero lo que resulta todavía más desagradable del espectro de una presidencia de Jeb Bush es su creencia en su propia superioridad e infalibilidad – en mis 22 años en puestos público nunca he trabajado con alguien tan inflexible, intransigente y convencido de hacer lo que haga falta para salirse con la suya como Jeb Bush. Estas no son las cualidades que los americanos y americanas necesitan en su presidente si vamos a trabajar juntos para que las cosas funcionen.
“En un tema tras otro, la indiferencia de Jeb Bush hacia las preocupaciones de la clase media, las mujeres, los estudiantes, los inmigrantes, las personas mayores y la comunidad LGBT muestra lo desfasado que está respecto al pueblo americano, como también lo están el resto de candidatos en el campo republicano.”

Florida Democrats Ready to Introduce Americans to the Real Jeb Bush

Today, in response to Jeb Bush’s announcement he is running for president, Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant made the following statement:

“Florida Democrats stand ready to introduce the Jeb Bush we’ve known for years to voters across the country. Nearly a decade after he left office, Floridians are still suffering the fallout from his disastrous education policies. We haven’t forgotten the shame and embarrassment he brought Florida when he unconstitutionally abused state government to bully and harass Terri Schiavo’s husband.

"Florida's communities of color remember his dismissive comments and his racially motivated voter purge in 2000. Florida women know that if you’re a single mother, Jeb Bush has judged you to be inherently immoral and in need of a husband. Floridians know the real Jeb Bush.

“Twenty-one years ago, Florida Democrats handed Jeb Bush a stunning defeat. We are ready to do it again and send Jeb Bush back to the Biltmore with his legacy as a disaster for our state firmly cemented in the national spotlight."

Meet the Jeb Bush Floridians know:

We know the Jeb Bush who was willing to flaunt the Florida Constitution and use the full force of government to attack Michael Schiavo, who was simply trying to honor his wife’s health care decisions.

We know the Jeb Bush who launched an all-out assault on public education and school teachers — policies so disastrous Republican legislatures are still working to undo the damage. 

We know the Jeb Bush who said he would do “probably nothing” for African-Americans, and then proceeded to implement a racist voter purge in 2000 to suppress minority voters.

We know the Jeb Bush who signed an executive order to end affirmative action in Florida schools, leading to a sharp decline in minority enrollment. 

We know the Jeb Bush that sought to publicly shame single mothers, who he insisted should “find a husband” if they happened to be on public assistance. 

We know the Jeb Bush that still refuses to accept the reality of climate change — even though Miami is ground zero for the disastrous effects of rising sea levels.

And we know Jeb Bush who after more than a decade still cannot admit that the war in Iraq was an unmitigated disaster of his brother’s making.

American Bridge

American Bridge Highlights 'Jeb Jabs' in Promoted Tweets

Clearing the field? Not so much. The 2016 GOP contenders (and pundits and activists) are lining up to hit Jeb Bush where it hurts -- especially on co-opting W's policies and his last name. American Bridge is promoting on Twitter more than 20 videos of the strongest 'Jeb Jabs' against the wannabe front-runner. Take a look at some of the best: 

American Bridge


TO:           Interested Parties

FROM:    Jessica Mackler, President, American Bridge 21st Century

RE:           Jeb Bush Enters Phase Two

DATE:     June 15, 2015              

Jeb Bush is launching Phase Two of his campaign today and is hoping to overcome what has been an underwhelming start. He’s still the same out-of-touch Republican who’s carrying over his brother’s policies and misrepresenting his record to squeeze it into something that passes for a 2016 winning message. Unfortunately for Jeb, he’s facing the same problems among conservatives in the GOP primary and independents in the general election – nobody thinks he should be president.

Maybe Jeb Bush’s campaign slogan should be “Right to Return” – return to his brother’s failed foreign policy and tax cuts for the wealthy.  He’s already returned to a spectacularly failed shock and awe strategy.  In the last week, Bush has demoted his campaign manager-in-waiting, reminded voters that he would publicly shame unwed mothers, “offered little to differentiate himself from Obama” on his trip to Europe, and sent conflicting signals about whether his super PAC will or won’t raise the $100 million he set as the goal in January. (Not to mention the goal was originally to raise $100 million by March.)

Now Jeb is starting his campaign trailing Lord Voldemort and in a virtual tie with Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson. Here are a few reasons why he’s unlikely to break away from the pack:

1. Bush Didn’t Take His Own Advice to “Lose the Primary to Win the General”

Bush argued that a winning GOP candidate had to be willing to “lose the primary to win the general,” but he hasn’t taken his own advice. He was the first one to support Indiana’s religious discrimination law, then backtrack in front of Silicon Valley donors only to double down again on a business owner’s right to discriminate. He doesn’t believe in a constitutional right to marriage equality. He's willing to cut Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age to 70 and called Paul Ryan's plan to voucherize Medicare "fantastic."

Last week, it surfaced that Bush supports publicly shaming single mothers, a boneheaded position he first discussed in his 1995 book. He had the chance to disavow his Scarlet Letter policy last week – and took the opportunity to double down on it. For someone who seemed so focused on the general election, Jeb Bush has managed to alienate moderates and women in ways that will make him unelectable.

2. Jeb W. Bush – Just Another Out-Of-Touch Republican

George W. Bush hit the nail on the head when he said his brother has a problem: “Me.” Jeb has proven there’s no sunlight between him, his brother, and his father – 19 of his 21 foreign policy advisors are from his father's or brother’s foreign policy teams. His economic advisor was W’s tax cut architect.

Take a look at American Bridge's video on Jeb's bear hug of his brother -- and his foreign policy:

George and Jeb: Foreign Policy Fools

3. Iraq

Remember when Jeb Bush said he would invade Iraq given what we know now? He fumbled through four days of bad press and unintelligible walk-backs from his answer to the ONE question he and his team should have expected, given his brother’s tangential association with the war. It was the largest sign (at the time) that Bush was not ready for prime time. Since then, he hasn’t gotten any better at answering softball questions about his record.

4.  Bush Is Misleading About His Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

Take Jeb’s argument on taxes in Florida – rather than cut taxes by $19 billion, as he argues, Florida's total tax burden actually increased under Bush. Property taxes grew so high that they caused a “near-revolt.”  Meanwhile, his tax cuts were primarily aimed at businesses and the wealthy. On top of it all, economists say tourism, population growth, and home buyers were larger drivers of economic growth than Jeb’s tax cuts.

Meanwhile, spending soared under Bush. Total spending ballooned by $21 billion – 45 percent – while the Florida general fund spending rose by $10 billion – 57 percent.  It’s hardly a good look for a  “conservative” candidate.

In hindsight, Jeb’s weeks are getting worse and worse, with a staff shakeup before his campaign is even launched and wildly setting egregious expectations for his super PAC to raise $100 million.

Time to see if Phase Two of Jeb’s do-or-die mission to convince Tea Party voters and the Koch brothers that he’s a “severely conservative” candidate will go more smoothly.

[ed. memo continues...]

Americans United for Change

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            Contacts:          Jeremy Funk
June 15, 2015                                                                            Blake Williams Announced, Spotlights Painfully Familiar Policies That Crashed the Economy, Led to Unnecessary War

Washington DC – As former Gov. Jeb Bush officially joins the ranks of Koch-money chasing Republican presidential candidates today, progressive advocacy group Americans United for Change launched – a mock-campaign website that drives home how despite his claims to be his ‘own man’, Jeb’s trickle-down, neo-con policies and cabal of advisors are virtually indistinguishable from his brother’s. It’s the campaign website Jeb probably wishes he could launch if it weren’t for intraparty naysayers like Tom Coburn who would prefer any name but another Bush’s on the ballot.  With the tagine “Same policies. Same advisors. Same Bush”, the site is backed today with Twitter and Facebook ads and will be regularly updated with new videos and quotes from Jeb himself showing why a Jeb presidency would be nothing more than a third term for George W. Bush.
Forget the family resemblance, it’s the resemblance in extreme policies that is truly uncanny. Like George W. Bush who tried to privatize Social Security, Jeb wants to slash benefits more directly by raising the retirement age up to 70.  Like W. who marched the nation into a needless, costly and bloody war in Iraq, Jeb’s knee-jerk first response to a question about Iraq was that he’d have done exact same thing, as he continues to dismiss diplomacy and rattle the saber against Iran. Like W. who let Big Oil write his environmental policy, Jeb derides voters as “arrogant” if they believe the 97% of scientific community that climate change is real and man-made. Like W. who ran wild with trickle-down policies that led to the Great Recession, Jeb never met a tax break for millionaires and outsourcers he didn’t like at the same time he opposes Medicaid expansion and wants to nix the federal minimum wage altogether. And like brother, like brother, in 2015 Jeb still unapologetically opposes same-sex marriage. Jeb has always shown he’s much more the impressionable little brother than his ‘own man.’
W. and Jeb: Same Last Name, Same Failed Policies -- a Story Told In Headlines
§  Jeb: George W. Bush is a top foreign policy adviser: CNN, May 7, 2015
§  Jeb Bush Privately Told Florida Republicans to Oppose Medicaid Expansion: National Review, February 21, 2013
§  Jeb, 'my own man,' brings in brother's men:, Feb. 19, 2015
§  Jeb Bush’s foreign policy team is eerily familiar, in one Venn diagram: Washington Post, Feb. 18, 2015
§  Jeb Bush Backs Hike in Social Security Retirement Age: National Journal, May 17, 2015
§  As Governor, Jeb Bush Catered Tax Cuts to the Wealthy: Forbes, May 21, 2015
§  Jeb Bush Says People Who Accept Climate Science Are ‘Really Arrogant’: Think Progress, May 21, 2015
§  Jeb Bush stands by opposition to same-sex marriage: CNN, May 18, 2015
§  Jeb Bush Calls For The Elimination Of The Federal Minimum Wage: Think Progress, March 17, 2015
§  Jeb Bush says he would have invaded Iraq: Washington Post, May 10, 2015
§  Jeb Bush to women on welfare in 1994: 'Get a husband': CNN, June 11, 2015
§  Jeb Bush In 1995: Unwed Mothers Should Be Publicly Shamed: Huffington Post, June 12, 2015
§  Jeb Bush Endorsed the Ryan Budget to Turn Medicare Into a Voucher Program: Jeb Bush said that Paul Ryan is “the only person who has had the courage to step up and say what he would do”, and “the result is, a very solid plan.” Ryan’s plan would turn Medicare into a voucher program, ending Medicare as we know it. :


ACLU of Florida

For Immediate Release
ACLU of Florida Media Office

ACLU Statement on "Moderate" Jeb Bush's Record as Florida Governor

WASHINGTON - Today, former Florida governor Jeb Bush will formally announce his candidacy for president. Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida, stated the following regarding the announcement:

“As Jeb Bush announces his candidacy for the presidency, history should not be rewritten about his record on civil rights and civil liberties during his two terms as Florida Governor.

“Some have put forth a narrative portraying Jeb Bush as having governed as a moderate, and it may be politically expedient for him to allow that image to thrive.  But Floridians who lived through his governorship know that he governed more ideologically and more extremely than moderately – sometimes ignoring public opinion, sometimes ignoring constitutional principles, all in order to pursue a decidedly not moderate policy agenda.

“As a result, much of his eight year tenure as Governor was characterized by battles with moderate Republicans in the legislature and battles with the courts, whose job it is to enforce principles that protect the constitutional rights of people.”

Simon pointed to five actions by then-Governor Bush as examples of his style of leadership:

1. The “Scarlet Letter” Law: In allowing the infamous “Scarlet Letter” Law to go into effect, Jeb Bush ignored Florida’s state constitutional right of privacy and allowed the Legislature to require Florida women placing a child for adoption with a private adoption agency to publish a notice in local newspapers about their sexual history.  The notice was to contain information about the mother’s age, race, hair and eye color, approximate height and weight, any person the mother reasonably believes may be the father and the date and city in which the act of conception might have occurred.  The ACLU challenged the law, and argued the case in court.  The courts struck down the law.  Gov. Bush then signed a repeal of the statute. (Note: Presidential candidate Marco Rubio, then a member of the Florida Legislature, voted for the Bill.)

2. Attorneys for the fetus of a disabled rape victim (but not for the victim): In the JDS case, when a developmentally disabled woman who was a resident of a state-run group home in Orlando was raped and impregnated by a member of the staff of the facility, Gov. Bush sent attorneys from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) to court to request that the court appoint a guardian for the fetus.  The tactic was designed to use the court process so that it would be too late to perform an abortion.  The ACLU argued the case against the Motion filed by DCF attorneys, and the court rejected to the Motion for the appointment of a guardian for the fetus.

3. State funding of religious schools and a fight to remove constitutional protections against government entanglement with religion: In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court struck down Gov. Bush’s signature education reform measure, the “Opportunity Scholarship Program” (OSP)/school voucher program.  The program, the centerpiece of his 1998 campaign for Governor and enacted in his first year in office, used state funds were to pay tuition for public school students to attend church-run sectarian schools.  The ACLU was part of a coalition of public education and civil liberties groups that filed suit challenging the program as a violation of two state constitutional provisions: the century-and-a-half prohibition on direct or indirect aid to religious institutions (“no aid” to religious institutions), and the requirement that the state fund a uniform system of public education.  Gov. Bush ignored both constitutional provisions. Though the Florida Supreme Court used only the later provision to strike down the voucher program, thereby not needing to rule on a “no aid” violation, Gov. Bush nevertheless asked the Legislature to propose a constitutional amendment to strip the “no aid to religious institutions” provision from the state constitution.  In a dramatic and narrow vote, the Republican-controlled Florida State Senate declined Gov. Bush’s request to place a repeal of state constitutional church-state separation on the ballot.

4. The Terri Schiavo tragedy: Gov. Bush’s intrusion into the Terri Schiavo case shocked the nation.  He attempted to use the machinery of state government and then, through a special law enacted by Congress and signed by President George Bush, the machinery of the federal government and federal courts to intrude into an intensely private family tragedy.  ACLU attorneys were the legal team which, on behalf of husband Michael Schiavo, successfully challenged both the state law and the federal law that Gov. Bush used as the legal basis for his personal intervention.  Gov. Bush’s efforts to intervene in this matter included sending state police to seize Terri Schiavo and transport her to a facility where a feeding tube would be reinserted -- in violation of six years of proceedings in the Pinellas County courts that had determined the Terri Schiavo did not wish to be sustained artificially and indefinitely in a vegetative state. 

5. Defending a Civil War Era racist election system: Gov. Bush defended Florida’s Civil War era system of lifetime felon disfranchisement under which the right to vote is taken away from more citizens in Florida than in any other state in the country.  In a 2002 federal lawsuit, Johnson v. Bush, the Governor and his attorneys defended Florida’s system of lifetime felon disfranchisement against charges of racial discrimination. The Governor ignored historical evidence that, with the extension of the franchise to the freed slaves following the Civil War, the system of lifetime felon disfranchisement was designed by the post-Confederacy 1868 Constitutional Convention to take the vote away from as many of the freed slaves as possible – largely because in some parts of the state freed slaves outnumbered whites. 

Simon concluded:

“From publicly shaming Florida women for their private lives, to attempting to smash the protection against government entanglement with religion, to inviting himself – and the world -- into a family tragedy, Governor Bush saw his office as a license to use the power of government to enact his will and his own personal morality on the private lives of Florida citizens.

“He was and remains insensitive to the obligation of government to sometimes ‘stay its hand’ out of respect for the great religious diversity of our country.  His recent speech at Liberty University echoed themes seen during his two terms as Florida Governor when he showed little appreciation for the fact that government policies should not impose the views of one religious tradition on people of a different faith tradition.

“As he prepares to run for higher office, Jeb Bush may want to present himself to the nation’s electorate as a moderate. Those of us who fought for civil rights and civil liberties during his tenure in Florida know better.”


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Correct The Record

TO:                  Interested Parties

FROM:            Brad Woodhouse, President, Correct The Record
DATE:            June 15, 2015
RE:                  Jeb Bush: More of the Same Extreme GOP Agenda

Today Jeb Bush will officially announce what we have known for over six months – he is running for President of the United States. While Jeb is trying to push himself as a Washington outsider and reformer, his positions on the issues shows us one thing: he is just like every other Republican contender.
Jeb may try to distinguish himself from the rest of the Republican hopefuls, but in reality he is just more of the same: Climate change denier?  Check.  Anti-minimum wage?  Check.  Anti-marriage equality?  Check.  Anti-affirmative action?  Check.  Anti-choice?  Check. Anti-veterans benefits?  Check.  Pro-fossil fuels?  Check.  Pro-mandatory minimum sentencing?  Check.  Pro-Social Security privatization?  Check.  Pro-voting restrictions?  Check. Anti-path to citizenship? Check.
We already know what a Bush presidency would look like. We’ve seen it twice before. Jeb’s agenda looks just like any other Republican agenda – out-of-touch, out-of-date, and wrong for America.
Economic Issues
Jeb Bush said his father was “wrong” to criticize Reagan’s trickle-down economics. “Jeb Bush defended Reaganomics on Tuesday, saying his father was wrong to criticize lower tax rates on income and capital gains during the 1980 presidential campaign. ‘There’s another example of Jeb having a disagreement with a family member I love a lot,’ Bush said, referring to himself, in an interview on Fox News. ‘He was wrong about that.’” [Bloomberg, 6/2/15]
Jeb Bush supported “his brother’s proposal to privatize portions of Social Security.” “Under President Bush, for example, oil companies are expected to have an easier time exploring for new oil reserves. Gov. Bush -- and most Florida politicians -- oppose any oil drilling off the coast of Florida. And though Jeb Bush agrees with his brother’s proposal to privatize portions of Social Security, they may disagree over timing because such a move could anger seniors, still a powerful voting force in Florida.” [Orlando Sentinel, 1/21/01]
Jeb Bush called for an end to the federal minimum wage. “We need to leave it to the private sector. I think state minimum wages are fine. The federal government shouldn’t be doing this. This is one of those poll-driven deals. It polls well, I’m sure – I haven’t looked at the polling, but I’m sure on the surface without any conversation, without any digging into it people say, ‘Yea, everybody’s wages should be up.’ And in the case of Wal-Mart they have raised wages because of supply and demand and that’s good.” [MSNBC, 3/18/15]
Jeb Bush opposed bailing out the automotive industry. “Bush said that until the hearing, he hadn’t been asked his opinion on the automotive bailout or the bank bailouts. He told the committee he didn’t support the auto bailout -- what he describes as ‘a form of capitalism where the government intervenes in a very muscular kind of way.’ The position puts him in line with Romney.” [Tampa Bay Times, 6/1/12]
Social Issues
As governor, Jeb Bush engaged in anti-choice activism that “shocked some state officials who believed he was reaching beyond the powers of his office.” “Jeb, meanwhile, declared in 2003 that he was ‘probably the most pro-life governor in modern times.’ As governor, Bush signed a law to create ‘Choose Life’ license plates in Florida, the proceeds from which flow to anti-abortion advocacy organizations. He also aggressively intervened in two high-profile cases to prevent a mentally disabled rape victim and a 13-year-old girl from being able to have abortions. In the former case, involving a 22-year-old rape victim who was both pregnant and developmentally disabled, Bush asked a court to appoint a guardian to represent the woman’s fetus. […] In 2005, Bush fought to prevent a pregnant 13-year-old girl, who was a ward of the state, from having an abortion. He was overruled by a judge, and CNN later reported that Bush’s ‘abortion activism shocked some state officials who believed he was reaching beyond the powers of his office.’” [Huffington Post, 3/25/15]
In the 1994 gubernatorial campaign, Jeb Bush insisted that women should “find a husband” as an alternative to welfare. "If people are mentally and physically able to work, they should be able to do so within a two-year period. They should be able to get their life together and find a husband, find a job, find other alternatives in terms of private charity or a combination of all three," Bush said. [CNN, 6/11/15]
Jeb Bush argued that public humiliation would help prevent unwed mothers from engaging in irresponsible behavior. “One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame," Bush wrote. "Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out-of-wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.” [CNN, 6/11/15]
Jeb Bush: “What’s the Paycheck Fairness Act?” According to The Hill, “‘What’s the Paycheck Fairness Act?’ Bush asked, in an exchange captured by the liberal opposition research outfit American Bridge. Once the man he was speaking with defined it as a bill that would ensure that women get ‘equal pay for equal work,’ Bush took issue with his phrasing. ‘Equal pay for the same work, not for equal work — I think that’s the problem with it. I think there’s a definition issue,’ he said, before declining to say whether or not he thought Land should support the legislation.” [The Hill, 10/15/14]
Jeb Bush “rejected” the characterization that he was a “gay-friendly Republican.” “If Bush runs for president, some of his closest aides will be individuals who are strong public supporters of legalizing same-sex marriage. The hires, reported BuzzFeed, led to some chatter among Republicans that Bush could position himself as ‘the gay-friendly Republican in the 2016 field.’ Bush, however, rejected that characterization Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference during his conversation with Fox News host Sean Hannity. ‘No. I believe in traditional marriage,’ said Bush when Hannity asked him whether he’s changing his position on the issue.” [Huffington Post, 2/27/15]
Jeb Bush supported the Indiana discrimination law, but later changed his position after facing criticism. “Anti-discrimination activists and gay rights groups welcomed a lightning evolution by Jeb Bush, this week on a controversial law passed in Indiana last week that opponents said would have made it easier for businesses to discriminate against LGBT employees and customers. On Monday, Bush praised the law as signed by Indiana’s governor, Mike Pence. On Wednesday, the former Florida governor and likely 2016 presidential candidate drew back sharply in his approbation, conceding only that the law would ‘be in the right place’ by the end of the week, after an anticipated fix by the Indiana legislature.” [Guardian,4/2/15]  
Jeb Bush called the Affordable Care Act “flawed to its core.” “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday that President Barack Obama’s health care law ‘is flawed to its core’ and will be a ‘big problem’ for Democrats heading into the 2014 elections. ‘I don’t think it will work,’ Bush said of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Bush added, ‘If the objective is, don’t worry about the budget, we’ll just finance it the same way we’re financing our deficits right now, build a bigger debt, you could see this thing surviving,’ he said. ‘But it will have failed what the promises were. It will have failed the American people. And I don’t think it will bend the cost curve.’” [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 11/4/13]
Jeb Bush supported transforming veterans’ health care into a voucher system. “Mr. Bush, sitting in front of an untouched breakfast at an IHOP in Colorado Springs, told a group of veterans that he favors transferring some elements of veterans’ care to private hospitals from government-run Veterans Affairs facilities. ‘This is where I think empowering people with the equivalent of a voucher that gives you the same economic benefit of receiving care inside of a clinic or a hospital,’ Mr. Bush said in a video of the public event recorded by the Democratic firm American Bridge. ‘If you had a chance to go to another place where the money followed the patient, it would give the veterans — you wouldn’t have these kind of hostile reactions, my job is protected for life, don’t mess with it.’” [Wall Street Journal, 4/8/15]
Environmental Issues
Jeb Bush said he was “tired” of the idea that “science has decided” that climate change is manmade. “It is not unanimous among scientists that it is disproportionately manmade. What I get a little tired of on the left is this idea that somehow science has decided all this so you can’t have a view.” [Huffington Post, 8/24/11]
Jeb Bush criticized the Obama administration for seeking “to lessen the use of coal.” “He criticized the Obama administration’s energy strategy that seeks to lessen the use of coal. ‘For some odd reason, this president has a problem with the oil and gas sector,’ Bush said. ‘You can’t stop innovation, by the way, you can stall it, you can make it more complicated.’” [Bloomberg, 4/7/15]
Civil Rights
Jeb Bush: “States should be allowed to protect the integrity of the franchise with voter identification laws.” In his book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, Jeb Bush wrote, “Finally, states should be allowed to protect the integrity of the franchise with voter identification laws, which are supported by a large majority of Americans, including Hispanics. So long as states make it simple for citizens to obtain such forms of identification, they should have the latitude to require such identification for voting or to secure welfare benefits.” [Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, pg. 38-39, 2013]
Jeb Bush established a Florida statute that expanded mandatory minimum sentences and included “death” as a guideline for severe drug offenses. “Create mandatory prison sentences for persons convicted of drug trafficking. Mandatory minimum prison sentences of 3, 7, 15, 25 years, life or death will be imposed depending on the type and amount of the controlled substance. A minimum of three years will be mandated for any person convicted of possession, sale, importation, etc., of at least 25 pounds of cannabis, 4 grams of flunitrazepam, morphine, opium or heroin, 14 grams of amphetamine, 28 grams of cocaine and phencyclidine, or 200 grams of methaqualone. Penalties increase as the type and amount of the drugs increase or if use of the drug results in someone’s death.” [, accessed 4/9/15 (via]
Jeb Bush dismantled Florida’s affirmative action program for college admissions, leading to a sharp decline in black enrollment at the state’s flagship universities. “As he courts Republicans across the country, Jeb Bush boasts that an executive order he signed that ended race-based college admissions in Florida upheld conservative principles while helping minorities. […] But at Florida’s two premier universities, black enrollment is shrinking. At the University of Florida in Gainesville and at Florida State University in Tallahassee, administrators say they worry that the trend risks diminishing their standing as world-class universities and hurts the college experience. The black share of the UF freshman class, for instance, plunged to 6 percent in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. That is down from 9 percent in 2011. ‘If we don’t address this in the next two or three years, I think we’re going to have a problem,’ said Brandon Bowden, assistant vice president for student affairs at Florida State, which had a 15 percent drop in the number of black freshmen enrolled between 2000 and 2009. ‘There will be so few black students on our campus that prospective students [who are black] will choose not to come here because they see no one who looks like them.’” [Washington Post, 4/6/15]
Jeb Bush opposed a path to citizenship for undocumented workers. “Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) on Monday backed off his previous support for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, saying it would send the wrong message to people who have tried to immigrate legally. Asked by NBC’s Matt Lauer why his new book doesn’t advocate a path to citizenship, Bush said it wouldn’t be fair. ‘Because our proposal is a proposal that looks forward,’ he said. ‘And if we want to create an immigration policy that’s going to work, we can’t continue to make illegal immigration an easier path than legal immigration. And so I think it’s important that there is a natural friction between our immigrant heritage and the rule of law.’ Bush added that rewarding illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship would lead to even more illegal immigration.” [Washington Post, 3/4/13]
Jeb Bush said Obama’s executive order stopping the deportation of DREAMers was “way beyond the purview of executive power.” “Bush also offered a stern rebuke to Obama on immigration, and accused him of playing politics. Earlier this summer, the president signed an executive order that stopped the deportation of certain young illegal immigrants. Bush said he saw Obama’s action as a way of undercutting Romney and winning good will from Hispanic voters, not as an effective piece of policy. ‘This is so cynical. And he – I mean, if you’re, if you, if the law says clearly that you have a case-by-case right to review cases, and you blanket say 800,000 people comply, that is way beyond the purview of executive power,’ Bush said.” [Washington Post, 8/30/12]