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