Jeb Bush blasts heated political tone in U.S.
January 14th, 2011
06:10 PM ET
4 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. GI Joe

    As an independent, I can see Jebb as Pres in 2016 or 2020. It is too soon now, with too much dislike still in the air for his older brother. Jebb should have been Pres instead of W. I think his parents know that and cried a lot because of the horrific Cheney effect for that 8 year period. W seemed to try to be OK the last year or two, but it was too late.

    We need to get the messes and the hate cleaned up before we put another republican in - they tend to start expensive wars.

    January 14, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. James, AL

    Jeb is probably the one republican that can skim away a good block of Latinas from President Obama. However, I am not sure that even the republican party is wanting a 3rd Bush.

    January 14, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Jack in Florida

    Copy cat.....Barack Obama already came out and spoke on this topic. Why do we care about Jeb Bush.....NO MORE BUSHES, PLEASE.

    January 14, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. LeftCoastMike

    Another "R' party mouthpiece with no balls to take on palin and her loud-mouthed cadre of monsters. Jebb talks, McCain talks, Boehner talks. It's nothing but talk. And she heads to a gun show, with a stop at Sean Hannity's Fox house house for ice cream and puff-piece questions about what's on her mind .... as if she has one. That's civility in America today, and so far, it;s still a one-way street.

    January 14, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Shannon

    Thank You Sir, I am not a Republican, but your common sense is appeciated. I hope people will listen.

    January 14, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Carol

    It isi Palin's responsibility to tone it down,but she does not think rules apply to her. Going to a gun show shows how insensitive she is, but I'm sure she does not want to give up the speaking fee.

    January 14, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. GOP = Greed Over People

    "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"

    Sounds a bit like an agreement to me that "LOUD" GOP voices have added to the overheated and caustic environment. After all, let us not overlook the fact Loughner disliked Giffords from 2007 but it was November of 2010 when he bought a gun.

    I do agree with this Bush about the magnification of those LOUD tweets that CNN likes to report on incessantly, true or not.

    January 14, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. shoegazer

    Methinks this was a build-up to a third Bush taking a run at the White House.The mind boggles with that idea.

    January 14, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. JackieInDallas

    Yes, leaders have to lead by example, Jed. An example of using rhetoric during the election that was incendiary at best is NOT leadership. An example of hiding from the media because they won't play your little games is NOT leadership. Attending a gun show right after a tragedy involving shooting is NOT leadership. And claiming the role of victim using charged language you don't understand is not leadership, either. Getting out and mixing with those who might disagree with you IS leadership, and Jed does show some of that. Jed, for all the issues I have with him for his policies, shows more leadership in his little toe than some of his cohorts in the Republican Party.

    January 14, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  10. Joshua Ludd

    Across the board, eh? So, Tell me, shruby... where in the mainstream of the left has there been ANY rhetoric to match what has been coming from the right? You can keep saying it till you are blue in the face, but there has only been ONE side saying they want their base "armed and dangerous". So... where is the rehtoric on the left??? WHERE???

    January 14, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. 11cavnam

    Ah yes, another Bush heard from. Think he is starting to be like Sarah Palin, always having to add his two cents to the discussion.

    January 14, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  12. S. In California

    Thinking about throwing your hat in the ring for 2012 Jeb? Go right ahead. Make people REMEMBER why we hate the Bush's. It should be interesting.

    January 14, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  13. chic

    Dear Mr. Bush:

    Let me put this as civily as I can, Sit down and be quiet. We're all done being told what to do and how to do it by the political & media elites. You guys & gals have run our country into a hole so deep we can't see out of it. You won't stop digging, so we will. Bet on it.

    January 14, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Mountaineer

    This rhetoric has been coming from the Republicans for two years and finally, another Bush steps into the fray, two years later. He must be trying to set himself apart but where has he been for two years! I'm glad he finally speaks out, but it has been the Republican Party of No, Hell, No, and etc. that has attempted to destroy the Presidency of Obama, along with the Birthers, etc. We on the left will not sit idly by and allow our President and our Democratic members of Congress be threatened and not speak out!!!!!!

    January 14, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. limnologym

    "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.

    Bravo, Mr. Bush. Well said, greatly needed, and much appreciated.

    January 14, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. GL

    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.

    knows this fool is not trying to prostion himself for 2012.. The GOP is in deep do do if this is the best got for 2012.

    January 14, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. Darth Cheney

    Why didn't this brother emerge as the 2000 GOP nominee instead of that other guy?

    January 14, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. Adalbert

    At last, we finally have one decent republican.

    January 14, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. Tracy

    You're almost there Jeb. Why can't republicans call Sarah, Glenn, Sean, Rush, Michelle, Bill, and Laura out for their ignorance., What are you all afraid of? Will these people order you assassined or what. I think the republicans are seriously afraid of each other. They are afraid one of these 7 idiots, plus that nut in TX, is going to call them to a dual.

    January 14, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  20. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Palin bears no responsibility for placing rifle scope crosshairs on Gifford's district, nor does Sharron Angle for saying if we can't get rid of "socialist" healthcare by voting, people might have to resort to 2nd Amendment solutions, nor does Michelle Bachmann for saying she wanted her followers to be armed and dangerous, nor does Rush Limbaugh for saying don’t kill all the liberals, leave enough around so we can have two on every campus; living fossils, so we will never forget what these people stood for. Just wanted to point that out because, you know, all this can be a little confusing for some people.

    January 14, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  21. Jake

    Yeah, let's see if Limbaugh, Hannity and all the other Right-Wing-Nuts jump down his throat the way they did when President Obama said the same thing.

    January 14, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. shamgar50

    Look out Jeb! You're about to be branded a "RINO"! Thou shalt no stray from the path of hate and ignorance.

    January 14, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. Billish

    The last thing ANYONE needs right now is to hear anything from anyone in the Bush family. Kindly go away and stay away, Jeb, and do so as soon as humanly possible.

    January 14, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. Donnatella

    Wow, I'm shocked the Tea Party is not going to be happy about this.

    January 14, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. Nikki

    Hmmm....a voice attempting to fill the "reasonable moderate conservative" vacuum?

    January 14, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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