Jeb Bush's Political Views
The son of former President George H.W. Bush (and younger brother of former President George W. Bush), Jeb served as the governor of Florida from 1999-2007 before leaving politics to pursue a career in business and working with companies such as Barclays, Lehman Brothers, and Tenet Healthcare. Jeb was also one of many politicians running to become the Republican Presidential Candidate in 2016 before dropping out of the race in February after disappointing finishes in a number of key early primaries and caucuses. This hub will take an unbiased look at Jeb's political views, including a number of the key issues that may decide the 2016 Presidential Election. How does he compare to his brother George W and other leading politicians such as Donald Trump and Marco Rubio?
Jeb on the Issues
1. Jeb on Health Care: Jeb is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as Obamacare) passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2009. He described the bill as "flawed to its core." He elaborated on his opposition during an appearance on ABC News in 2013, stating: "We could do this in a much lower cost with improved quality based on free market principles. And show how ObamaCare, flawed to its core, doesn't work. It might actually be a politically better approach to see the massive dysfunction." While
2. Jeb on Budgeting and Taxes: Jeb generally falls in line with most Republicans on issues of taxing, though his record as governor of Florida is mixed. He was awarded a "D" rating by the Cato Institute (a right-leaning think-tank) for the growth in government spending that occurred while he was governor. Also while serving as governor, he did away with an "intangibles tax" on investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, calling it "evil and insidious." However, he has criticized the unwillingness of Republicans in Congress to compromise on potential tax increases, telling Fox News in 2013, "don't think that you should automatically say, "No. Heck, no." We have to find in a divided country ways to forge compromise. [Reagan] did exactly that, he forged consensus, he compromised, he didn't violate his principles. So, the idea that you have to have this doctrinaire view, but you're not necessarily going to be able to solve these pressing problems that we have."
3. Jeb on Defense and Foreign Policy: Bush has generally been quiet on foreign policy matters in recent years, preferring to focus on domestic issues. In 2014, he posted a criticism of President Obama's budget on Facebook, stating " President Obama’s Pentagon budget: Plenty of cash for entitlements, but not enough for defense.” Jeb generally supported his brother's foreign policy positions while serving as Governor, including his pursuit of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
4. Jeb on Gun Control: Jeb is an opponent of gun control legislation and signed Florida's "Stand Your Ground" legislation (cited in the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case) while serving as Governor of Florida in 2005. Jeb has not made many recent statements on his position on specific gun control measures, though he did favor "instant background checks" at gun shows while running for Governor in 1998.
5. Jeb on Social Issues: Bush opposed gay marriage while running for Governor in the late 90s. However, in recent years he has embraced a more mixed position on the issue, telling Charlie Rose in a 2012 interview: "I don’t think people need to be discriminated against because they don’t share my belief on this, and if people love their children with all their heart and soul and that’s what they do and that’s how they organize their life that should be held up as examples for others to follow because we need it. We desperately need it and that can take all sorts of forms, it does not have to take the one that I think should be sanctioned under the law." On abortion, Bush described his position as follows in a questionnaire submitted before running for Governor: "legal only when pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered." Jeb also opposed a Florida amendment to fund stem cell research while serving as Governor.
6. Jeb on Immigration: Jeb has embraced relatively moderate positions on immigration as compared to many of his Republican counterparts. In 2014 remarks he described immigration as "an act of love" and has repeatedly stated his support for a pathway to citizenship for certain categories of immigrants. He described his position on the issue in an interview with Fox News in 2013, stating "The difference is that we are suggesting that there be a path to legalization, that people that are here come out from the shadows. That is a far cry from telling people they have to go back to their home country. And the other thing I would say is that our proposal also says for children of illegal immigrants, those who can't come here illegally that were children, that they should have a path to citizenship on a far faster basis. The so-called "DREAM Act" kids."
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