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. kite005

    I will definitely support Obama but finally this is a reasoned voice coming out from the right. I wouldn't have expected that.

    August 24, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Bush is a coward himself.' You can't just be against the President' that's true, but where are his ideas? Obviously, he's among those against Obama. What ideas is Bush against? What are his ideas? They all in the same bag of beads

    August 24, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. Slightly Left of Center

    Smartest thing I've heard from a Repub (and a Bush no less!!!) in a good, long time. Or so I thought. It sounded good until I got to the line: "No matter the candidate, Bush said he would support his party all the way to the White House."

    Again..party first and screw the American people. They don't care if he/she is a raving lunatic as long as they have an R after their name. The GOP will have to come up with someone better than this current crop of crazies before they can sway my independent vote their way.

    August 24, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. Max

    That's true for everyone including Jed Bush himself. 'You can just be against the President' No, but where are his ideas as well???? Isn't he also against the President? They are ALL in the same bag of beads.Ain't they? who's making the difference here by coming up with constructive ideas against the President's? No one!

    August 24, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. BeverlyNC

    WOW - an intelligent statement from someone named Bush!
    Sorry Jeb – that's all Republicans know how to do – criticize President Obama and be against everything he says or does even if these Republicans were for the same exact thing the week before. These Republicans even refuse to show any patriotism when we have major foreign policy wins. John McCain and Lindsey Graham called the freedom on Libya "a failure". Really? The Libyan People are THANKING PRESIDENT OBAMA....but not Republicans. They have NO solutions for anything, have obstructed ALL JOBS bills Democrats tried to bring up for a vote. They destroyed our economy for the 2nd time in 5 years by refusing to raise the debt ceiling like they did every year under Bush. They want to RAISE TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS but keep ZERO taxes going for corporations and billionaires. They want to kill Social Security and Medicare but see no conflict in keeping their 6 figure Congressional salary, expensive healthcare plan, and the best pension plan available in the nation – and they get it all FOR LIFE after only working for 6 YEARS. The rest of us have to work for 30 YEARS to get our smalll pensions and reduced benefits – if they even will still be there when we retire.
    Republicans HATE the American People and will destroy us just to destroy our BLACK President Obama. They are hate and fear-mongers, liars, and intense racists.
    Hating our black President and opposing everything he does is NOT LEADERSHIP. It's disgusting arrogance and hypocrisy and the reason we need to remove ALL Republicans from every local, state, and national seat in 2012.
    Republicans have NO SOLUTIONS for restoring America. If we do not get these traitors out of office they will totally destroy our nation with their extremist agenda and racist hatred.
    President Obama is a good and decent man and has saved us from total depression, has renewed our respect in the world, has created a new successful foreign policy where we help other nations without dictating our will on them. These Arab countries now THANK the U.S. instead of hating us. That reduces terrorism.
    Shame on Republlicans for betraying America and the PEOPLE they swore to serve.

    August 24, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  6. Roger

    Max, you're so right. That's all we are hearing from the candidates and their cronies. They are ALL against the President. Everything Obama does is wrong. They ALL are critics of his ideas and Policies.They ALL tear him down. Jed Bush also is critical of his ideas, however, we haven't heard of his counter ideas on Obama's strategies and Policies. In this respect, is he in any position to criticize the criticizers when he doesn't present them or the listeners with HIS own ideas?

    The resounding answer is NO. So what his his point then. This is why it is obvious that they are ALL, including Jed Bush, like peas in the same pod. No Republican nominee will never beat Obama if all he/she does is criticize without presenting constructive ideas...Isn't this what we call 'Constructive Criticism'?

    August 24, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Jeb has a point. We are all Americans, and they can't accept that Obama isn't for this country (the only reason to run for president) for what ever reason. I don't know if they don't like him for his education or his background. We need to tone down the hate filed speech. If they, on the other hand, can't come up with something that can help the country, I don't see the point in them running for president. They all seem to have all the same tried and true ideas which haven't really worked. If it did, then were are the jobs based on the Bush tax cuts? Regulations keep the companies that would rather cut costs rather than have a safe business; they protect people from unethical and unsafe practices.

    August 24, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Mindie from India

    but...but....but....that's all we have against Obama – is that he's President and DANG IT that's enough!!!

    The GOP counted on "White Christian" racism to push their agenda in order to finish destroying America and you fools fell right in line. Good Grief anyone can see that.

    August 24, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. Geema

    I just can't wait until the presidential debates when whomever gets the top with the GOP tries to talk intelligence with the president and offer they're crazy solutions.

    August 24, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. macallen23

    Oh yeah. He's the smart Bush. Refreshingly correct. Unfortunately, "having ideas" seems to be the difficult part.

    August 24, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  11. LacrosseMom(real one)

    SO true. But the TEAPUBLICANS (aka GOP) do not have an intelligent message, no new ideas, nothing...... zip........nada!

    The TEAPUBLICANS do not realize that they are the minority and the far-right-extremists like Perry & Bachman, wont appeal to a Nation of ........Moderates!

    August 24, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. Darron R. Brown, M.D.

    Sorry Mr. Bush; the President's policies have not failed. What has failed is your party in their juvenile attempts to drag our country down. I've never seen anything like it in my 42 voting-eligable years.

    August 24, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  13. Bobk

    Had Al Gore beaten GWB, Jeb Bush might very well be POTUS right now. His brother ruined Jeb's chances by winning

    August 24, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. Angy

    NO TRUER WORDS WERE EVER SPOKEN BY A BUSH. the rethugs/teabaggers can only say what PRESIDENT OBAMA is not doing, but it is funny that they can't say what they would do. THAT IS BECAUSE THEY CAN OR WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR THE WORKING CLASS. IF THE teabEgers and other haters would listen to what their own rethugs are saying. the only tax they want to change is the payroll tax. that means we the REAL WORKING CLASS would come up short again. SO PEOPLE IF YOU PAY TAXES AND I MEAN REALLY PAY TAXES THE rethugs are NOT WORRIED ABOUT YOU. they couldn't care less.

    August 24, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. Palin Power

    Jeb Bush will never be president. Sarah Palin will be our next President and she will completely clean out the corruption in our govt and remove the Bush taint out of the GOP.

    August 24, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. max

    What else do they have to run on except being against Obama? No concrete ideas from any of them, just bumpersticker slogans and incindiary retoric.

    August 24, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  17. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

    All this venom and hostiltiy directed at Bush/TEA Party/Republicans....

    You are all going to be very disappointed in 15 months.

    It's going to be a landslide & YOU ALL KNOW IT.

    August 24, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  18. AAA

    The president is doing all he can to save the economy but he has met a road block as high as Mount Everest that is built by Republicans who are running scared of the Tea Party and a Tea Party that does not have and constructive solution for our country. So what do you think a president has to do when he does not get cooperation. I thi8nk there is a inside agenda planned to make these president a one time president. The republican candidates are so dug in criticizing he president, calling him names and I have not seen nor heard a constrictive plan to save our economy. Mr. Boehner run scared in the deficit, budget discussions and showed us he does not have what it takes to be House Speaker. I think the time has come to have term limits for congress as we do with our presidents. The Republicans are acting like a bunch of Parana's biting the president at every occasion they have and it is looking ugly and we should act civil, work with the president and fix our economy. First lets give the president respect, the presidency and give him the chance to present his job plans to put the country to work and work with him.

    August 24, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. FIELD1stSGT

    OKAY! Now you're settled that with all your idiotic remarks about Republicans. It's all their fault they're not telling Obama how to correct the problem. SO! Let's hear the Democrat's plan. WOW! Won't that be great, you'll get to do something on your own. Reckon Obama has ever come up with a solid ideal he could present to the house. He hasn't yet. What he has passed has been by executive order. You can tell he's really interested about the damage the earthquake has done to Washington. He didn't let it interfere with his playing golf. Hmmmm. Hitting the ball every now and then, I meant.

    August 24, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. "The GOP biggest deception is getting the Poor and Middle class to believe they are out to help them"

    wow he said a mouthful for those idiots. LOL

    August 24, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. CA Dream USA

    Governor Bush the Tea Party are not listening to you ,the working class or the working poor..More jobs ..Less Cuts...

    August 24, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  22. T'sah from Virginia

    2 BUSHES are ENOUGH!!! Even though Jeb makes a lot of sense here – as far as the "Rascally Radical Right" – we do not need another BUSH in office!!!

    August 24, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  23. Little Tin God

    Jeb Bush, who is far brighter then his dim-bulb older brother, assumes that the current crop of GOP candidates are actually brighter than his dim-bulb older brother. NOT!

    August 24, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  24. dplandry

    So, Jeb is the smart one. Who knew?

    August 24, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  25. Garnered

    A Bush with half a brain, how novel.

    August 24, 2011 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
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