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

    The Obama did this and Obama did that is not going to work,he not the only person in Washington working....Okay the Republican do not like Obama, we get it. Just did not realize they would vote against everything to make him look bad, even if it hurts us all...Selfish....

    August 24, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Baby Boomer

    I'm not a Jeb Bush fan. (Or any other Bush for that matter.) However, I saw part of his interview and he is right about this: You can't just be against the President and win. You have to tell the American people what you stand for and what you will do. Frankly, it had better not be just tax breaks for the wealthy. It had better be about jobs. One last thing. Most of the "Little People" have figured out that Corp. CEOs are holding the jobs hostage as long as President Obama is in office. They will make it look like a Republican was able to turn things around simply by being elected. Sad part about that is so many people are suffering now and it's all because of politics...

    August 24, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Terry - Indiana

    At the end of the day, blaming everything on a sitting president may be fine for school yard arguments, but adults must have answers to gain the vote of everyone other than that far right wing of the GOP. Why is it that average Americans can offer up three or four viable ways to create jobs, and the GOP Candidates offer rhetorical answers that always suggest that it is the president's fault that people are out of work? I would like the GOP Candidates to sit together, not in debate, but as founders of real solutions to the U.S. and Worldwide economic mess. We can decide later which one to vote for, but none of them get vote today, because I have offered more ideas for job creation than all of them combined. Stop pointing fingers and get to work!

    August 24, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Michael Q

    Obama's policies have not failed because due to the GOP negatives, the policies had to be compromised or just never got implemented. So the GOP is equally responsible for the failures over the past two and a half years. But, I give this Bush credit for an ingenious spin to having the GOP return to the White House.

    August 24, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |

    Who listens to a Bush? The same carnival barker chasers who ran after Trump now want Perry and Bachmann. Snookie Palin is coming after Bachmann's money and media attention. The teabagger/wingnut implosion is great entertainment.

    August 24, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. maf

    Even stalwart GObP representatives don't think the current crop of potential nominees have any platform to run on. If the establishment (Bush et al) are asking the candidates to stop maligning the President and come up with some (any) strategy, maybe the Party of NO simply doesn't have a platform. Continue painting! That corner is becoming smaller and smaller. So many people, other than those staunch Democrats, know that the deficit equation has two sides, that compromise is NOT a dirty word, that the "my way or the highway" approach is off putting, there will be little wiggle room for the eventual Republican nominee.
    Nice to know that some Republicans (Huntsman, Jeb Bush) can see the forest through the trees. They are already heading up damage control for 2012!

    August 24, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Boo-Yah

    When he says, "I think the president means well, but his policies have failed," Bush spouts the typical non-sensical GOP rhetoric. Exactly how have any of his policies failed? If you mean his attempt at getting legislation through but was thwarted by GOP blantant, irrational stubborness, then yes, I can agree with that.

    August 24, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. JustMe

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

    Gee, Jeb, what a concept – thank you!

    August 24, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. 2cents4free

    Awwwwww Jeb, you're ruining all the fun by talking too much sense.

    August 24, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. JOE

    I give Governor Bush credit for his objective point of view but when you win a midterm election by a landslide on lies, propaganda and divisiveness and hate, that is on your own failed and broken record, then the reality is that the GOP and their Tea Party do not need to worry about persuading and defending their positions. There are enough dumb, incompetent and complacent Americans out here who are ignorant and stupid enough to vote on stuff not relevent to the issues at all. Just imagine the GOP failed America for eight straight years and still won the House of Representatives by a landslide on their own failed and broken record. Only in America!. And we think foreigners are dumb and stupid? We need to think again.

    August 24, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Dave

    The Bush way...throw legitimate voters off of the rolls and play Banana Republic with the voting machines.

    August 24, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. JOE

    But I have one question for Governor Bush. How did you manage to pull it off for your brother in the 2000 presidential election? I mean, manipulating and altering the "Hanging Chads" and rigging the election? You're darn good Governor Bush.

    August 24, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. Beantown Bully

    Just a question.... Why would we care about this guys opinion. He speaks of conservatism as if it has unequivocally benefited our country. Regan ushered in AIDS, Crack, and trickledown economics. The conservative governance stance addresses nothing an individual is going through, it shifts the responsibility to either the individual, or the states. Basically, conservatism tries to find someone else to fix the problem. Then, these conservatives talk about how inefficient the government is. The response to Katrina was conservatism at its finest, and I DARE ANYONE TO DISAGREE!!!!!

    August 24, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. Grundoon

    The GOP has done its level best to keep any of the president's policies from coming to fruition or of gaining traction is he's been able to get things passes. Obstruction is not leadership, GOP. When are you going to start working on the JOBS, JOBS, JOBS legislation you campaigned on in 2010, GOP? Guess y'all forgot about that promise after the election. Figures!

    August 24, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. JOE


    Very well stated!

    August 24, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    Hey jdebm, STFU!!! Your father and even more so your brother destroyed this country. Even your idiot brother was not that conservative. They bash the president because that is all they have on their plates arse hole!! They wouldn't know an idea or solution if it hit them in their brainless upper body. Go hide from wherever you crawled from under.
    Is little jeb looking for a vp spot? You are pathetic.
    I like your mom but she really spawned a bunch of losers!!

    August 24, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. steve a,new braunfels,texas

    ...and I will support the Democrat cadidate, hopefully Obama, all the way to the White House..............

    August 24, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Michael MN

    The GOP since 2008 have been if Obama says water is wet they come out and argue it is dry and it is Obamas fault

    August 24, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. JOE

    Beantown Bully

    Very well stated!

    August 24, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  20. Stacey

    "I hope that the Republican candidates, when they are offering their solutions,"

    Solutions? What solutions? The GOP doesn't know what that word means! What a joke!

    August 24, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. bob

    The one Bush who should've been president, but will never be president because his last name is Bush. Two Bush's are enough for America. Let's hope 50-100 years down the road, the future will read history of how bad these two were.

    August 24, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Ron In CA.

    Jeb Bush for Presiden.!!!

    August 24, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Gavin

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

    And there lies the problem with politics. To support your party NO MATTER WHAT. It's not a sports team. If you party is a poor choice for the would NOT support them. Period. The one who can do that....would be a trully great leader.

    August 24, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Howie76

    Jeb Bush is as much of a moron as his drug addicted brother George. He tore a part the state of Florida. His family owns the FCAT testing business as well as other things he privatized. The charter schools are a disaster and the misuse of funds has been criminal. We thought is could not get worse then the crook Rick Scott came along. Who cares what he thinks.

    August 24, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. Gavin

    Beantown Bully-

    Well put!

    August 24, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12