Jeb Bush: 'You can't just be against the president'
August 24th, 2011
01:19 PM ET
3 years ago

Jeb Bush: 'You can't just be against the president'

(CNN) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush offered advice to 2012 Republican hopefuls: bashing President Barack Obama is not enough to win on the campaign trail.

"I hope that the Republican candidates, when they are offering their solutions, it's good to be critical of the president, I think the president means well, but his policies have failed," Bush said on Fox News. "And to point that out, nothing wrong with that. That is politics. But just to stop there and say, 'Well, I'm going to win because I am against what is going on' is not enough."

When asked by Fox News Host Neil Cavuto if some in his party overdo their criticism of Obama, Bush said, "I do. I think, when you start ascribing bad motives to the guy, I think that is wrong. It turns off a bunch of people that want solutions."

Bush also suggested candidates not shy away from their conservative views.

"I would humbly suggest to you that being a conservative is not necessarily a bad thing. But if you are a conservative, you have to persuade. You have to defend a position. You can't just be against the president," Bush said.

"And that's the big test."

So behind whom will he throw his support?

"I'm neutral in the presidential race, but I'm an admirer of Governor Romney's," Bush said, while noting he is looking forward to the unveiling of Romney's jobs agenda in September.

Bush was also quick to deny any rift between his family and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry served as former President George W. Bush's lieutenant governor while Bush was governor of Texas.

"I have never heard anybody in my family say anything but good things about Rick Perry," Bush said. "I admire him. And I think Texas has got a great story. And he can legitimately talk about that story as a candidate for president."

Noting "it's too early to be dissatisfied with the candidates," Bush addressed those who are labeled unelectable.

"You know, I like Jon Huntsman a lot. And I think his voice should be heard. And we need to be a broad party with divergent points-of-view. That's fine," Bush said. "But Ronald Reagan was a conservative. And everybody said the exact same thing about him, that he couldn't win, that there is no way, and he was unelectable. The pundits typically get these things wrong."

No matter the candidate, Bush said he would support his party all the way to the White House.

"I'm going support the Republican nominee," Bush said. "I believe that the Republican candidate will win. And I'm looking forward to that."


Filed under: 2012 • Jeb Bush • President Obama
soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. pjfla

    One idiot gives advice to an even bigger one.

    August 24, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. CCMars

    I still don't like this guy, but it's nice to see a Republican with at least some resemblance of sanity.

    Still, though? Mr. Bush and certain others may think President Obama's policies have failed, but they don't seem to realize (or care...or are afraid to care if it means finding out what it says about their own party) any "policy failure" is mainly because of the shenanigans in THEIR OWN PARTY. I may respect conservatives and Republicans (not to mention the hardcore left) in general a lot more if more of them would stand up and force the rest of their party to start taking responsibility for their own actions.

    August 24, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. oldbones24

    "means well, but his policies have failed," That's the pot calling the kettle black! After the mess Jeb made in Florida I doubt he even meant well.

    August 24, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Mah

    Jeb Bush is the voice of reason today.... what is this bizarro world?

    However, sorry Jeb, but you are wrong. The republican candidate will not win, because the nominee won't be Jon Huntsman, but whoever the nominee is won't win, because they won't appeal to moderates and independents. It's a sad day taht the Republican party won't pick a winning candidate, but they are far too mired in their ideology to look past that and put someone up who is electable. Rick Perry – America won't do that again. Michele Bachmann, do I really even need to go there?

    August 24, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    Guess who won't be invited back onto FOX?

    August 24, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Indy

    'Well, I'm going to win because I am against what is going on' is not enough."

    So what Jeb is saying is Ron Paul is the only one that has some answers and solutions, none of the other candidates have anything but Obama bashing as their campaign theme, maybe Huntsman has a bit but Paul wins that argument hands down.

    August 24, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. BEn275

    They have nothing else to say because they are so rooted in their racism and hatred of a black manin charge. They are just hoping to ride the wave of racism right into the White House.

    August 24, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. w l jones

    Some people read history while other know there ( 1781) all over again. Bless.

    August 24, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Little Jimmy Truth

    Great job!!!

    August 24, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. ricnaustin

    Bush said, No matter the candidate, ...he would support his party all the way to the White House.

    "I'm going support the Republican nominee," Bush said. "I believe that the Republican candidate will win. And I'm looking forward to that."

    So again, it doesn't matter what's right or wrong, he's going to support his party. That's smart for America.

    Secondly, Bush supports Kerry and Texas has a great story? I live here, and it makes a difference when you're here versus Florida (maybe better than Florida, so what does that tell us?).

    Bush supports Perry with:

    We’re “number one” in…

    Percent of uninsured children (1st)
    Percent of population uninsured (1st)
    Amount of carbon dioxide emissions (1st)
    Amount of toxic chemicals released into water (1st)
    Amount of hazardous waste generated (1st)
    Number of executions (1st

    “number 50” in…

    Percent of population 25 and older with a high school diploma (50th)
    Per capita spending on mental health (50th)
    Percent of non-elderly women with health insurance (50th)
    Percent of women receiving prenatal care in first trimester (50th)
    Workers’ compensation coverage (50th)

    Attaboy Bush....

    August 24, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. Al-NY,NY

    Well now I can die in peace.......a Bush actually said something SMART!!! Now let's see if he keeps this opinion further down the road as the nomination process gets closer to finishing

    August 24, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    P.S.- W. was also a jerk.

    August 24, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. S.positive

    Thats exactly why they are all going to lose in NOV 2012 because they have no new ideas. The president is trying to clean the problem your brother left behind and it is so huge, it is naive to think you can do it overnight... GET REAL FOLKS

    August 24, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Recovering Republican

    Jeb turned out to be the smart one. Totally missed that one.

    August 24, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. desi

    Also, if you are loosing by a few votes in Florida, tell Faux News you won, create a controversy, fight in supreme court and use Any Means Necessary to win.

    August 24, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Rick in L.A.

    What is a "Jeb Bush"??

    August 24, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. BlackPanthers2020

    Even though I have a great disdain for republicnas , Mr.Bush has it right about what's going on in our political world . I've said this time and time again , none of this current group will unseat Obama . Why ? Because the are concentrating on all the wrong things . Bashing the POTUS will not win you an election , having extreme views about our society as a whole will not win you an election . Giving interviews with media from one political perspective is not going to allow you to win an election , especially when a person is scared to give intreviews to mainstream media outlets besides Fox will not win you an election........maybe this will help : How about appealing to everyone 's need and concerns , not just the christian right and white people but everyone and until the likeC of Palin , Bachman , Cain , Romney , Perry and any other lame canidates that republicans are producing will definitely make Obama a 2 term POTUS !!!!

    August 24, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. joyluck

    Thank you sooooo much . J.Bush. I was noticing the exact same thing.The candidates should talk abouth what there are going to dofor the ountry not just bashing President Obama.

    August 24, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Geoz

    See... THAT is a reasonable point of view. Fellow Americans... disagree, but with merit!

    August 24, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. 60minman

    "I'm neutral in the presidential race, but I'm an admirer of Governor Romney's," Bush said, while noting he is looking forward to the unveiling of Romney's jobs agenda in September."

    Romney's jobs agenda: Put the whole nation to work bulldozing his old mansions and building new mansions in their place.

    August 24, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. one voice

    He forgot to mention how important it is to CHEAT AT THE POLLS like he did in florida for his scumbag brother.

    August 24, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Voiceinthewind

    What would one of The Shrub clan know about an honest election since none of them were ever involved in one. All The shrub and his family did was pay off the right people who make the voting machines for non paper votes and rigged the entire process and disgarced the American voting system in the eyes of the world. The Shrub and his crew belong in Prison including his brothers Jebby and Neal.

    August 24, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Bill from GA

    I wish Jeb Bush were right, but these days with the right-wing propaganda machine at work, that may be enough

    August 24, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Andy

    Regan was a president at a diff time. This is a different time,, you can be conservative all you want but you have to admit Jebb Bush that all your party does is criticize and offer no solutions. I can't wait till the conservative madness comes out so they can really see what Boehner, Cantor and co really are only for the wealthy. Middle class is a foriegn concept to them. I will take advice from Warren Buffet over these repub clowns anyday. After all he is 66 billion $ richer than anyone in the congress or senate.

    August 24, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. Mike

    Republican first, American second.

    August 24, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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