May 22, 2015

In Oklahoma, Jeb Bush urges Republicans to 'get outside our comfort zone'

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush played up his reputation as “Veto Corleone” in a speech today and said Republicans need to “get outside of our comfort zone” and reach Hispanics, African-Americans and college students.

“I think we need to get beyond preaching to the choir,” the former Florida governor said at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma. “Get outside of our comfort zone,” and into the Latino barrios, black churches and college campuses.

Bush also said he supports reauthorization of the Patriot Act, now before the U.S. Senate, saying there is “ample evidence” it has protected Americans.

In touting his record as governor, Bush is attempting to show Republican voters that he has accomplished things and draw a contrast with elected officials in Washington. He mentioned how he vetoed projects sought by Democrats and Republicans.

One of those projects explains why billionaire Norman Braman of Miami loathes Bush, and loves Marco Rubio.

In 2004, Bush vetoed $2 million for the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at the University of Miami. “I wasn’t too happy with that veto,” Braman recently told our colleague Patricia Mazzei.

Rubio pushed for the money and secured funding the following year. “Marco,” Bush wrote in an email to a lobbyist, “strongly wanted the Braman Cancer money.”

So began the relationship between Rubio and Braman, who has employed Rubio and his wife and now plans to pour millions into a Super PAC supporting Rubio’s presidential campaign.

Rubio is to address the SRLC later today. He'll do it by video as votes on the trade deal are pending in Washington.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

The time Jeb Bush's house appeared in a Toyota commercial


The scouts looking for filming locations in 2013 came back with the perfect place to shoot part of a Toyota television commercial: a row of stately townhouses in Coral Gables.

Little did they know one of the residences was home to Jeb Bush.

The production company pulled a permit from the city and filmed the bilingual commercial, which shows a young woman admiring — and taking a selfie with — her new love: a beaming red Toyota Corolla parallel-parked in front of the houses. (Talking to her on the phone, her Hispanic parents think she’s referring to a boyfriend, before they realize the love in question is a car.)

More here.

Was only one person fired at VA for withholding services as Jeb Bush says?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says that the Obama White House has seen "scandals of epic proportions" at the Veterans Administration under its watch.

"It is scandalous that we treat our military coming home from service in the veterans’ department and veterans’ administration in a way where people should be fired," Bush said at a GOP Lincoln Day dinner in Iowa May 16. "One person has been fired. There should be scores of people fired for withholding services for people who truly need it."

Has only one person been fired related to the VA scandal? PolitiFact Florida decided to check.

May 21, 2015

WaPo: Jeb Bush calls human role in climate change 'convoluted'

From the Washington Post:

BEDFORD, N.H. -- Jeb Bush believes that the Earth's climate is changing -- but don't just blame humans.

The former Florida governor, whose state bears the brunt of rising seas and a changing climate more than most, conceded Wednesday evening that humans are partly -- but not entirely -- responsible for the changes.

"The climate is changing. I don't think the science is clear on what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It's convoluted," he told roughly 150 people at a house party here Wednesday night. "And for the people to say the science is decided on this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you. It's this intellectual arrogance that now you can't have a conversation about it even."

The issue of climate change came up as the host of the house party asked Bush to comment on a speech given Wednesday by President Obama, who said that climate change is a "serious threat" to national security.

More here.

May 20, 2015

The Hill: Pitbull, avoiding 2016 endorsement, tells funny Jeb Bush story

From The Hill:

Rapper Pitbull appears to have a keen appreciation for a borderline R-rated joke Jeb Bush once told him.

The “Fun” singer recalled a “funny story” about the likely GOP presidential candidate during a Tuesday interview with Howard Stern on the radio host’s SiriusXM show.

According to Pitbull (whose real name is Armando Perez), the former Florida governor inquired as to how he got his stage moniker.

“I said, ‘Well, I was on the way to a pitbull fight, and a Dominican friend of mine was like, ‘Yo, that should be your name — you're always out here fighting these guys and battling in rap and this,’ ” the Miami-born entertainer says.

Pitbull continued with a laugh, “And Jeb goes, 'Well, good thing you weren't on the way to a cockfight.’ ”

“I was [like,] ‘Jeb, that was pretty slick!’ ” Pitbull exclaimed.

More here.

'I'm running for president' flub draws third FEC complaint from liberal group against Jeb Bush

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush’s retracted flub about running for president has earned him another complaint before the Federal Election Commission.

The liberal American Democracy Legal Fund, which has already filed two complaints against Bush for his coordination with a Super PAC, says, “it was clear before, but it is now crystal clear that Mr. Bush and Right to Rise Super PAC, Inc. have violated the Act in the following ways:

“(1) Mr. Bush, now a self-declared candidate for federal office, has been soliciting and raising funds outside of the federal limits for Right to Rise Super PAC, Inc., and (2) Right to Rise Super PAC, Inc., an independent expenditure-only committee that was established and is directed and controlled by Mr. Bush and his agents, has been soliciting, receiving, and spending funds not subject to the limitations and restrictions of the Act.  And even if Mr. Bush stops raising money for Right to Rise Super PAC, Inc. and completely separates himself from the committee now that he has publicly declared his candidacy, Right to Rise Super PAC, Inc. will still be in violation of the law if it raises or spends soft money because it was established by and will be controlled by Mr. Bush and his agents.

“Without action, Mr. Bush's illegal behavior will set harmful precedent that would allow independent expenditure-only committees established and controlled by candidates to wholly finance a candidate's campaign using funds that are not subject to the law’s limitations or requirements, a clear violation of the law’s prohibition on federal candidates establishing, directing, and controlling a soft money entity.”

The FEC, deadlocked with 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans, is unlikely to do much.

Here is the Bush camp's standard response: "Governor Bush is not a candidate for office. We are taking a conservative approach and fully complying with the law in all activities Governor Bush is engaging in on the political front and will continue to do so."

Read the complaint here.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

Did Jeb Bush hold $1 million hostage abstinence education as Emily's List says?

A Democratic political action committee ripped Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign, saying his positions as Florida’s governor preview what he’d be like as commander in chief -- particularly when it comes to women’s issues.

Stephanie Schriock, president of the group Emily’s List, said in an essay on Mediumthat Bush spent his two terms curbing women’s reproductive and health rights. (Emily’s List helps Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights.) Schriock ticked off several actions that ran counter to the group’s stance, including Bush’s support of abstinence-only sex education.

"And let’s not forget that Jeb once held $1 million in family planning grants hostage until the programs receiving the money agreed not to discuss birth control at all," she wrote.

We wondered what Schriock meant about Bush holding grant money hostage, so we took a closer look at the books.

See what Joshua Gillin of PolitiFact Florida found and here is our full Truth-O-Meter record for Bush

How liberal opposition research groups target GOP presidential hopefuls

via @lesleyclark

WASHINGTON -- Jeb Bush was in New Hampshire, talking to voters about the education standards called Common Core.

Back in Washington, ears perked up on a team that spends all day, every day, scouring television and the Internet for appearances by Republican presidential candidates. A check of the team’s vast video archive unearthed a 2011 clip of Bush seemingly saying something different.

Days later, a 30-second video of the clips appeared on a political blog under the headline: “Jeb Bush’s shifting words on Common Core.”

The quick hit by the Democratic political action committee American Bridge was the latest shot from an opposition war room in the digital age. As their counterparts do on the other side, liberal and Democratic groups such as American Bridge are working to turn every move and utterance by a burgeoning field of Republican presidential hopefuls into a viral tweet, a damaging video or a scathing TV or newspaper story.

Their monitors track every move by the Republicans, research public records and record the hopefuls at campaign events – all in a quest to define the Republican field in a way to make them look bad.

“We constantly are digging,” said American Bridge’s research director, Steven D’Amico. “You don’t always find the silver bullet every day, but the truth is we find much smaller things that push a narrative.”

More here.

May 18, 2015

After tough week, a warm Miami embrace for Jeb Bush

Bub19 JBush NEW PPP


Jeb Bush felt the welcoming embrace of Miami on Monday as he tried to put behind him a difficult week of campaigning without yet being a presidential candidate.

His political action committee, Right to Rise, held a political fund-raiser in the overwhelmingly Hispanic, working-class suburb of Sweetwater, where the former Florida Republican governor was greeted as a old friend in need of a little TLC. 

"Aquí está la vieja guardia -- no tan vieja," Bush joked in Spanish after being introduced by former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart. The old guard is here -- not that old. (Not all of it was there: The two other co-hosts, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, were stuck on Capitol Hill. More than 500 people RSVP'ed for the event, according to a Bush spokeswoman.)

Last week, Bush took heat for repeatedly bumbling a response to a question about the 2003 Iraq invasion authorized by his brother, former President George W. Bush.

There was no mention of the incident Monday from Jeb Bush during his brief speech to the crowd, who had paid $25 each to attend -- a pittance compared to receptions that have asked donors for six-figure checks.


Continue reading "After tough week, a warm Miami embrace for Jeb Bush" »

Jeb Bush's claim about leaving 10,000 troops in Iraq under Obama

During a tough campaign week focused on the Iraq War, former Gov. Jeb Bush shifted blame for problems there to President Barack Obama, saying that Obama’s actions helped hand the country over to Islamic State.

A University of Nevada student attending a town hall-style meeting in Reno asked Bush why he was placing the burden on Obama, at one point telling Bush, "Your brother created ISIS." Bush countered that the Obama administration hadn’t followed through on proper planning.

"We had an agreement that the president could have signed that would have kept 10,000 troops, less than we have in Korea, that could have created the stability that would have allowed for Iraq to progress," Bush said. (Watch video of the exchange above.)

The claim came in the middle of a rough few days for Bush, who was being criticized for his changing answers on whether he would have invaded Iraq. We wondered if it was true that Obama could have signed a deal to leave 10,000 U.S. troops in the country after the war’s end.

Turn to Joshua Gillin's fact-check from PolitiFact Florida and here is PolitiFact's story about what Bush said over several days about the war in Iraq and Hillary Clinton.