Jeb Bush blasts heated political tone in U.S.
January 14th, 2011
06:10 PM ET
3 years ago

Jeb Bush blasts heated political tone in U.S.

Coral Gables, Florida (CNN) - Jeb Bush believes that the tone of political debate in America has gotten too hot so he's urging a "restoration of civility across the board."

And Bush is critical of those who, he thinks, are unnecessarily firing up heated rhetoric. He's urging that "leaders have to lead," though Bush did not name any names.

The younger brother of former President George W. Bush, who's also mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, made the comments on Friday at the Hispanic Leadership Network Conference. The two-day event is being held in Coral Gables, Florida. Its purpose is to help Republicans court the nation's Latinos.

Bush is a co-chair of the event. Speaking to reporters, the former Florida governor echoed his recent, public comments about the growing influence of Hispanics in elections. But Bush also veered into the state of political discourse, explaining his long held belief that the atmosphere has grown more and more charged.

"Let me be clear: I don't think officialdom, in the Republican Party, has a tone problem. It's voices, not many of them, but loud voices that are picked up – and magnified by our friends in the media – that send that signal," Bush said.

"The more controversial you are in America – the greater likelihood your voice will be heard."

Bush later added: "After the incredible tragedy in Tucson, immediately – within 24 hours – there were people on the left and right back to the same fight. Kind of trying to assess blame rather than to mourn for the loss of people."

"You don't have to personalize your disagreements with people. You don't have to tear down the other person. Your ideas should have enough merit to be able to win the day. So I hope that the Tucson experience – the reaction to the reaction – helps us get to a better place politically," Bush added.

Bush was clear to say that the Tucson shootings were an unfortunate tragedy and no political voices can be blamed for it. This comes as Sarah Palin has been criticized for her political rhetoric and map that used crosshairs to zero-in on political opponents in the recent midterm election which included Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona. Bush told reporters that Palin bears no responsibility for the tragic events in Tucson.

But, while addressing the group attending the Hispanic Leadership Network conference, Bush talked about the responsibility of political figures - and those on TV - who have large followings.

"I have watched television...And sometimes I'm turned off by the tone, even though I agree with the particular view. Leaders have to lead. And that means they have a responsibility of civility, in my opinion, as well as having a tone that draws people towards our cause," Bush said.


Filed under: Jeb Bush • Republican Party
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. geekgirl42

    Jeb Bush, a presidential hopeful trying to be the voice of reason for the greater good, for the benefit of all mankind, dare I say for the betterment of the universe. Oh thank god for Jeb Bush, the only person in the world articulate enough to express how bitter and toxic the political rhetoric has become...

    January 14, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. geekgirl42

    Jeb Bush, a presidential hopeful trying to be the voice of reason for the greater good, for the benefit of all mankind, dare I say for the betterment of the universe. Oh thank goodness for Jeb Bush, the only person in the world articulate enough to express how bitter and toxic the political rhetoric has become...

    January 14, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    All he is saying, is that the media decides who gets to be heard, and for the most part, they only respond to sensationalism, from controversial figures.

    He wold be mostly right about that.......but much of the media's attention to Obama, is undeserved, and very obviously slanted to support him, whether that support is earned, or not.

    January 14, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. Tired of the nonsense

    Hey, Jeb, where were you when your brother was in office and the people on FAUX News along with Limbaugh kept telling Americans they were traitors and helping the terrorists when they were doing the most patriotic thing possible - questioning the president?

    January 14, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. BC

    Finds it quite interesting that Jeb Bush waited past the health care debate and other heated rhetoric to announce that he's FINALLY tired of it. Where was he for the last 2 years? Stop blowing smoke Jeb! Your trying to take advantage of this moment to increase your political stature. I would've respoected you a little more had you done this at last a year and half ago!

    January 14, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. Concerned Centrist

    We got the wrong Bush 10 years ago. Ironically, I think an honest George Herbert Walker Bush would say that, as well. Jeb Bush is an excellent leader, and a Republican who actually has the ability to listen, ans well as speak. I would easily vote for Jeb Bush over any of the potential candidates who have started whispering.

    January 14, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. PaulC

    If Jeb wants to be a "leader" he should step up to the plate and name those who have created the fear and anger. Who authored the "second amendment remedy" battle cry? Who called on her followers to "reload"? I'm not a national leader but I will point out that it was Palin, Beck, and the tea partiers. Does anyone disagree?

    January 14, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. zb

    So when Republicans thought all that Tparty screaming was helping their cause Bush was silent and now that it seems to be hurting them he says lets all by civil. The shooter may have a been a nut case but that doesn't change the fact that Republican politicians are hypocrites and those that vote for them are nuts.

    January 14, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
1 2