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. obandon

    Well, at least there is one Republican out there that realizes that all the negative bashing turns people off!

    August 24, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. diridi

    Is this a drama?????Bush idiots, stop it, you do not have nay locus standi to speak...you messed this nation like crazy and hell along with all GOP thugs...o.k, Republicans are for corporate thugs, and Oil mongrels...o.k,

    August 24, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "'You can't just be against the president'"

    Why not? It is ALL they have done since January 20, 2009. I think it pretty much sums up everythign they stand for, which is to say a whole bunch of self-serving NOTHING.

    August 24, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Jay

    'You can't just be against the president', he said of the Rep. candidates. Oh yes they can and are! Why? Because they've got nothing of substance to offer up instead of mud-slinging. "All hat, no cattle." to borrow a Texasism.

    August 24, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Anyone for a three-peat ???? Another Bush in the White House and we will have a monarchy of our own. Frankly, we cannot afford another as the last one drove the economy into the ditch.

    August 24, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Alex

    I am not a republican, but I really appreciate what Jeb Bush has to say!

    August 24, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    It sounds to me as if he thinks the Bush family wrote the legacy for which all presidents should follow. The only advice any Bush should EVER give is how to NOT run for POTUS. I wish on behalf of many Americans that he and his entire clan would all just disappear from the face of the earth and let our most intelligent and capable president continue to fix the "voodoo economics" left behind by his predecessor. As much as most of us would love to just forget about the years 2000-2008 we can't not as long as there if a Bush to remind us. Maybe Jeb doesn't know any chance he had has been diminished with his stupid brother. The Bush name will always be synonymous with FAILURE.

    August 24, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Jon

    With a little help from family, have the chairman of the campaign count votes and hire Data Base Technologies to knock voters off that aren't likely to vote the way you want. Still didn't get the majority of votes? Go to the supreme courts, where you got some of daddy's buddies, they'll vote you in. Election won, or rigged, or,,,, whatever, You're in!!!!

    August 24, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Henry Miller, Libertarian

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

    Absolutely!

    Of course, that was a lot of Obama's position in 2008–"I'm the one who isn't George Bush. Vote for me."

    August 24, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Jode

    Interesting... I just checked and Fox News is not covering this story. I wonder why.

    August 24, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Billy Davis

    The reason the only bash the POTUS is because they have absolutely nothing to offer. That has been the GOP's mantra since Obama was sworn in. Say no to everything and offer nothing.

    August 24, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. jon

    The Republicans should just save their efforts and their money for 2016.

    August 24, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. Wanderer

    It is not hard to be critical neighbor’s backyard, it is easy to bash President Barack Obama. What the Republican candidates can do and will do for the majority of Americans (middle class working Americans) is what the majority of Americans is looking for. The wealthy and big businesses are Americans and other than that just like any other Americans. The Republican candidates don’t like the president because he is not treating the GOP's friends (wealthy and big businesses) differently.

    August 24, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. humtake

    It really is a shame W. beat Jeb to office. I think W. did a decent job with what he had to work with, but Jeb is by far the best person for the job. I live in Florida and Jeb was the best Governor we ever had. This man not only had the skills but he didn't play "Mr. PC" with every word he said. He says it like it is. He isn't afraid to get dirty. You can bet he would be one of the best Presidents of our era. But, of course, the media was able to spin W. around to be so bad that Jeb really doesn't have a chance based on name alone.

    August 24, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. lefty avenger

    Jeb should know, as his Brother Dubya took a record Clinton Surplus and turned it into the biggest deficit in history. Engaging in wars of choice for oil profit and cutting taxes for the wealthy corporations has decimated america, thank you republicans.

    August 24, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. texan

    Politicians – I don`t know about you but I`ve had it with the whole self-serving bunch. - Next election they ALL need to be retired.--

    August 24, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. dirtygopfleabaggers

    Liar. You and you're treasonous father and turd of a grandad ain't shit. Bush is a sneaky racist and I feel sorry for the Mexican grandkids, they must leave the room when whites are talking.

    August 24, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. demogal

    Personally I think he would like to see another Obama term so he can run in 2016!

    August 24, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Lampedusa

    Bush's other campaign advice: Steal the elections. It's the greatest, nobody will call you on it because if Americans don't have at least a modicom of faith in democracy the whole thing will unravel.

    August 24, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. FactCheck

    So he's advocating support for either Ron Paul or Huntsman? Because these are the only two candidates that have put some ideas on the table (other than "a promise to lower the price of gas to $2/gallon").

    August 24, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. Republican never again

    Bush. Enough said.

    August 24, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. vic , nashville ,tn

    Thank god he is not running. Only qualification GOP candidates need just attack the president

    August 24, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Peter E

    He's right, you know. The GOP is making all the mistakes Democrats made in 2004. In 2004 Bush's failing policies were already apparent, and yet the Democrats couldn't find a single coherent message other than attacking Bush's policies. The Democrats didn't have an original idea or plan of their own, just like none of the republicans have any ideas right now. Unless they can come up with a coherent message, and specific plans, republicans will suffer the same kind of defeat as the democrats did in 2004.

    August 24, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Bashing President Obama is enough when you don't have anything else to offer and that's all we've heard from Republicans, "you can cry wolf only so many times and eventually nobody is listening".

    August 24, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Me

    Why couldn't this have been the Bush running in 2000?

    August 24, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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