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. Jilli

    I heard the interview with cavuto – and I had to laugh. Here sits a Bush – arguably the smarter bush, but a bush nonetheless stating that Obama made the economic situation worse. His lame brain brother nearly brought our country to it's knees – left such a disaster that it will take us a decade to recover from – led the nation into two needless wars at exhaustive costs in lives and limbs – and he says that Obama made things worse!! Give me a freaking break. He may be the smarter bush, but he's still a bush, so the bar remains pretty low.

    He's taking to a resistent crowd seething in racial resentment – they're not listening jeb. Facts and reality don't matter – they have their seething vitriol, nothing else matters.

    August 24, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Colorodan

    The Republicans seem to have constructed a narrative that President Obama has been some sort of failure. Are you kidding?
    Just a few facts. The last month Bush was President we lost 700,000 jobs, we have now had at least 12 consecutive months of private sector job growth. Not as many jobs as we would like but certainly not losing a half million jobs a month as we were when the Republican held office. The stock market is up over 75% since March of 09 a few weeks after Obama took office. When he took office we were in recession, we have now had at least 6 consecutive quarters of economic growth. If Obama is a failure, what would you call the state of things when the GOP last held the Presidency. And don't suggest that Democrats taking congress after 6 years when Republicans held every branch of the government is what caused the mess. Democrats didn't have veto proof majorities in the House or the Senate, buck stops at the top. I know it helps Republicans sleep at night to believe that things have gotten worse, it just isn't true. Not as good as we would like but certainly not the mess we were in when Obama took over. Let us not forget!

    August 24, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. thomas

    Always knew you were the smart one !
    You should have run instead of your brother.

    August 24, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    @Four and The Door

    But the Administration has no idea what it is doing. The "massive government spending" strategy of Obama, Reid and Pelosi did nothing but get America's debt downgraded. No Jobs. No economic stimulus. Nothing.

    The Republicans have ideas and strategies that are proven over and over to work. They know more about managing government than Obama's, " Bigger must be better" idea. They know what makes the American economy work. It is efficiency and productivity. They will put Americans back to work.

    Managing government better? Are you kidding? Perry and Daniels have been selling construction and management of highways in their states to Spanish companies: how does that create jobs? How does creating min-wage jobs that offer no benefits help the standard of living in the country to increase? As far as "bigger is better" is concerned, how does lowering tax rates on the weatlthy when they are at their lowest rates in over half a century help government to be managed better? You do nothing on these boards but snipe every day, and you prove on a small scale what Jeb talks about on a large scale: where are the solutions? You use these comments as a punchline. It was not just Obama that got us downgraded, but the infantile actions of the Hose GOP that caused us to be downgraded: S&P said it was a failure of our process, and it was a failure because the GOP is so hell-bent on ending Obama's presidency rather than trying to solve the problems we face. Its all short-term-tactical moves that don't solve long-standng systemic problems the GOP has had a huge role in creating. Your strategies don't work in creating jobs and eliminating debt: they ahve created the mess we are now living with. The unwillingness of the conservatives to admit their own role in this is nauseating.

    August 24, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    I curse Prescott Bush for these moronic grandchildren of his.

    August 24, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Observer

    We elected the dumbest of the Bush family. We should know better.

    August 24, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Joe from Ohio

    Therein lies the quagmire. The GOP have NO ideas except to bash Obama, and it aint gonna work in 2012

    August 24, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. GD

    History will mark Obama's presidency among the worst...even below GWB's. He'll be known as the "Empty Promises President," the "Excuse President," and/or the "Speech President." Promise the world, blame Bush, give speech...repeat process. It's comical to watch liberals fall more deeply in love with him with every speech...even as the house of cards comes crashing down around them.

    August 24, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Joshua Ludd

    Yeah, you might want to have some policies of your own that aren't just regurgitations of your previous policies which failed spectacularly.

    August 24, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. BigJim

    Globalization has closed the "trickle down" faucet forever. New jobs in China, India, Mexico, etc. do not provide addition federal income tax revenue to off set tax cuts for the so called "job creators" and replacing USA jobs with jobs created in foreign countries does nothing to increase demand from consumer spending that is necessary for small businesses, the real job creators, to be successful !

    August 24, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    @ Four and the Door.....

    right now major corporations DO have more money sitting on TRILLIONS of dollars, YET why are they not hiring? You act as if these tax cuts were just given a few months ago when you know full well they were given out YEARS ago. And sorry I can't buy that line about uncertaincy in the economy, they aren't uncertain when they are paying their CEO's millions upon millions of dollars. Tax cuts DO NOT stimulate the economy and you should well know this. Especially the ones that are not paid for.

    August 24, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. sf

    2012 Republican Presidential Nominee Agenda

    1. Bash anything President Obama is for even if it's your own idea.

    2. Screw the Middle Class and blind them with lies on how you're running to..get this..."save the american people"

    3. Promise Jobs....but don't have a plan to produce can insert bashing President Obama here to distract the "American People".

    4. Offer TAX CUTS TO THE RICH...that will completely and totally help the "American People"...Corporations are people too, right romney? but yet, tax cuts for the rich have been in place for 10 years now and yet we have 9.8% unemployment? oh ya, insert Bashing President Obama here.

    5. Do more bashing of the one will no the difference.

    August 24, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    The Real Tom Paine
    ...Managing government better? Are you kidding?
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________ The Republican House making Obama and Reid reduce the 2011 federal budget by $100 billion. No kidding. We haven't imploded or fallen off the edge of the earth. But that's $100 billion of our tax dollars that stay in the economy helping to create real jobs.

    August 24, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. TEA PARTY Mike

    @The Real Tom Paine
    I did not blow by thoughtful post at all with my second post.
    My second post again demonstrated common ground with Obama and that Republicans should work with Obama on that common ground.
    I also agree with Jeb Bush's point that Republicans can not just disagree with Obama, they need to also put forth solutions.
    My second post demonstrated that Republicans have in fact put forth solutions. Jeb Bush did not say Republicans have to agree with Obama or Democrats on issues where the do not. Jeb Bush did not say Republicans could not be critical of Obama or Democrats, just that when they are, they also need to provide their own plan or solution.
    Blaming Obama or Senate Democrats for what Republicans believe are mistakes is not inconsistent with Jeb Bush's comments. Not admitting to common ground where there is some or blaming Obama and Democrats for things while at the same time not putting forth Republican solutions would be inconstant with what Jeb Bush said.
    You agree that Senate Democrats were correct in blocking the Republican bills and stated why. I stated why I believe Democrats should have passed the Republicans bills. I don't think Jeb Bush would find anything wrong with either one of us stating our positions and standing by them.

    August 24, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Republican Robber Baron

    What plan? The GOP is all about laissez-faire Corporatistism. That IS the plan – to do NOTHING and let the Big $ Corporatists call the shots. Period.

    August 24, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. thomas

    @ Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country
    Your fondness for Guns and Boots is obvious. However you're sniveling about a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit is irresponsible . You wasted 3 trillion in Iraq looking for WMDs.
    LOOK IN THE MIRROR , your lack of insight and long-term strategy is that of a child in day care.

    August 24, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Duke

    Poor Jeb would never make it in today's republican party. According to the tea baggers and the other pinheads who are in the field, there is no room for compromise or for points of view, or for intelligence, or for having an original idea and bringing it to legislation. They would automatically brand him a democrat because in their black and white primitive thinking, if you're not 100% behind the stupidity that they sling, then you're against them. It's ashame too because as a democrat, I could at least respect someone like Jeb even though I may not agree with his policies. The republicans have been taken over by their self created taliban.

    August 24, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Luke Brown

    Jeb, buddy, this is not the Republican party that nominated your daddy or even your brother.,

    August 24, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. BigJim

    @four and the door "businesses will have more to spend and hire the people they want "
    What planet do you live on?
    Turn off Fox "news" and you will learn some actual facts, like corporations are reporting record profits and are hoarding trillions of cash. Why are they not hiring now? What will make them start hiring, more and bigger tax breaks? Hasnt happened so far. Could it be that their relentless and on going transfer of Amercan jobs (and the pay checks of USA consumers) to communist Chinese workers has caused American consumers to fear for their future income prospects, resulting in their cutting spending and paying down debt reducing the demand that is key to an economy where consumer spending accounts for 70% of our GDP.

    August 24, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. TiAmo

    Is this guy really a Bush? He sounds like he has sone sense.

    August 24, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. REG in AZ

    The reality is that it is all they really have; so they bash Obama to the extreme and hope the people don't see the fallacy in it. The only other choice they have, which isn't likely to ever occur, is to cut from performing as "puppets" and turn away from catering only to Special Interests and the powerful, influential and extremely wealthy few who strongly support them and "pull their strings". Now can anyone really imagine the Republicans /Tea Party actually putting their political ambitions aside and responsibly and honestly cooperating to solve the problems and to benefit the majority? As I said, not very likely in fact, dreamland.

    August 24, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Peggy Munro

    You are correct sir, even though I would never vote Republican.

    August 24, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. Repubs prey on the middle & working class

    BigJim – you are wasting your rational thought on these tea-baggers/GOPers they don't care about reality, or they wouldn't spout all the blantant lies they do. Just breifly follow their mindless rants – it has nothing to do with honesty or deliberate thought – they are pushing their agenda – just like on fox TV and hate radio.

    August 24, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. Darth Vadik, CA

    What else are Republicans going to run on?


    These are the freaks that look at the 1800's (before the civil war) as the good ole times...

    August 24, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. Bushtard

    Obama's policies haven't worked? Wow, really ?
    If not for the retarded Bush family, Bush snr and Dubya destroying USA beyond repair, USA would have been in great shape.
    Bush tax breaks for the rich to create jobs? Where are the jobs then ?
    Bush's resilient housing market ? All a SCAM.
    Bush lying the nation into 2 unfunded Wars , costing Trillions when all is said and Done. The same retards are trying to be responsible stewards of the nation's purse , Are you nuts ?

    August 24, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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