Jeb Bush: 'You can't just be against the president'
August 24th, 2011
01:19 PM ET
11 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. CullThePopulace

    That's his name?
    What's next... Gomer, Goober, Bubba, BillyBob, T-Nut and what else from Texas.

    August 25, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  2. Kira in VA

    I think he is scared.... He has taken a good look at the GOP line up and their RANTS and he is thinking OMG they are really crazy and they are going to mess it up for all of us. Sometimes i hear them talk and I read post from articles (yahoo is the worst) and see all the fanatic religious talk, EXTREME racism, hate against Gays. They HATE HATE HATE everything and I say for the love of GOD please don't let this group represent a majority in Americans of any race... They are a sad bunch.
    I believe in God and I think that God is not happy with the way the use religion as control and scare tactics. I do not think that is what GOD is about nor what he intended religion to be used for. The bible says CLEARLY do not force religion on people, let them chose for themselves. I see this with a lot of religions and I am sorry I just cannot get down with EXTREMISM and I do not support it. You know they are taking the republican party down the drain when someone from the Bush Family slaps them on the hand........ Yet, He still says he will support them no matter who is elected to run.. Don't fall for this bait..... He is still one of them, he said so himself!

    August 25, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. josh rogen

    they don't have to bash the president the way the dems did his brother..that didn't work did it? oh yeah only gave them a super majority. this time around all they have to do is point out his economic failure and the election should be in the bag.

    August 25, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. Maxine

    Oh dear god! Not another Bush. Pleeeeze CNN, can we not have a Bush-free country for a while???? This family is a perfect example of genetics gone wrong. Please let them crawl into a hole somewhere and leave us alone.

    August 25, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Shel in GA

    Jeb is right on target about the negative comments. If all candidates do is attack their opponents, I am left with the thought that their comments do not tell me they deserve my vote. If fact, I am left with a total lack of respect for them and will not vote for them. Also, I research statements by those candidates who are most negative and usually find that their comments are either totally wrong or totally misleading.

    August 25, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. Blackman in America

    @ least he's tryen to tell these crazies the truth, I have to respect Jed Bush for that.

    August 25, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. Rex Raptor

    Wow. I thought rational Republicans where extinct.

    August 25, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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