Jeb Bush: Reagan wouldn't fit in today's GOP
June 11th, 2012
10:34 AM ET
11 years ago

Jeb Bush: Reagan wouldn't fit in today's GOP

(CNN) – One of the GOP's leading voices said Monday that former President Ronald Reagan, considered an idol among Republican politicians, would struggle to mesh with today's hyper-partisan attitude among some elected officials.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, speaking to editors at Bloomberg, also said his father, former President George H.W. Bush, would have trouble fitting in with today's Republican Party.

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"Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad – they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party – and I don't – as having an orthodoxy that doesn't allow for disagreement, doesn't allow for finding some common ground," Bush said, according to the website Buzzfeed.

The remarks were nearly immediately highlighted by President Barack Obama's re-election team, which emailed the comments to a press distribution list. Obama's team has itself struggled in recent weeks with off-message comments from campaign surrogates, including former President Bill Clinton and Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker.

Jeb Bush said an attitude of bipartisanship existed during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

"Back to my dad's time and Ronald Reagan's time – they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support," Bush said, according to Buzzfeed.

Today's White House and Congress don't reflect the same attitude, Bush said, placing much of the blame on Obama.

"His first year could have been a year of enormous accomplishment had he focused on things where there was more common ground," Bush said.

Last week Bush made headlines when he broke with many in his party on taxes, saying he favored slight tax increases in return for large cuts in spending.

When pressed in the hearing, Bush said he also disagreed with popular pledges authored by Washington anti-tax heavyweight Grover Norquist and his group, Americans for Tax Reform.

"I ran for office three times. The pledge was presented to me three times. I never signed the pledge. I cut taxes every year I was governor," Bush said.

Also see:

Axelrod weighs in on Obama's private sector comments

Romney video goes after Obama's comments on economy

Daniels, Walker want Romney to go bold

McCain: Obama responsible for leaks, Holder has no credibility

Filed under: George H.W. Bush • Jeb Bush • Ronald Reagan
soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. Dadster

    How in the world could President Obama find common ground when the republicans only focus was to make him a 1 term president?

    June 12, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  2. Dadster

    One thing that will definitey come out of this year's Presidential election is the hatred that Americans will have for one another due to partisanship. It's no longer good enough to have a difference of opinion or ideology. One must now hate anyone who doesn't tote their line. All powerful nations are destroyed from within and America is certainly on that road.

    June 12, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  3. Name

    2016 Jeb Bush coming soon to an election near you.

    June 12, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. FLIndpendent

    His remarks on his party were also confirmed this morning when, on Morning Joe, they had a young Repub congressman from Illinois on the show and they asked him the question that was asked during one of the debates – "If you were offered 10 to 1 spending cuts to revenue would you take it" and, guess what, his answer was "NO" just like all the Repub candidates when they were asked. These Repubs, and I would say especially the young Cantor proteges, are all following the Tea Party line of no compromise and no revenue, just cuts, cuts and more cuts. If we allow them to take over then we will go the way of Europe, no doubt.

    June 12, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. Jill

    Finally someone has courage. At least Jeb Bush has the courage to try to take back the Republican party from the too right idealogues, the pantywaist warriers, and the T Partiers. Someone has to do it to move the party back where it belongs or it won't exist in another decade.

    June 12, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. Cayman Islands

    Jeb is 100% right. Reagan? heck Wallace is too liberal for today's Republican party. Barry Goldwater would be labelled a RINO. until the Republican party purges the crazies voting for them is wrong. Period. Even if your Republican rep is not so bad he/she being in office empowers the lunatic fringe who now lead the Republcans.

    June 12, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. Cayman Islands

    This is the party that is challeneging that kook Hatch from Utah as not being conservative enough.

    June 12, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. Cayman Islands

    Many posters rightly point out that even Jebs brand of conservatism is to the right of Reagan. Reagan had policies that gravely harmed most Americans, but he did at least have a glimmer of compassion somewhere beneath his crusty old exterior. And he did think we should get rid of all nuclear weapons.

    June 12, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
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