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.

Jeb Bush on same-sex marriage: 'This has been accelerated at a warp pace'


Same-sex marriage is not a constitutional right, Jeb Bush said in an interview over the weekend in which he spoke about the issue in moralistic terms.

Bush, a devout Roman Catholic, told the Christian Broadcasting Network that "traditional marriage is a sacrament" and that society has moved too quickly to abandon that view.

"Do you believe there should be a constitutional right to same-sex marriage?" host David Brody asked. "Because that's the argument in front of the Supreme Court."

"I don't, but I'm not a lawyer, and clearly this has been accelerated at a warp pace," Bush said. "What's interesting is four years ago Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had the same view that I just expressed to you. It's thousands of years of culture and history is just being changed at warps speed. It's hard to fathom why it is this way."

Bush has said in the past that legalizing same-sex marriages should be decided on a state-by-state basis.

Last month in New Hampshire, a college Republican told Bush he is worried the GOP is losing younger voters by opposing same-sex marriages.

"I have no animus in my heart," Bush said at the time. "I have no hatred or bitterness in my heart for people that have a different view."

"I think that we need to be finding ways to unite behind broader issues where there's broader support."


May 16, 2015

Jeb Bush's Iraq stumbles set off GOP alarms

@lesleyclark @PatriciaMazzei

WASHINGTON -- Jeb Bush is suddenly prompting questions among Republicans about the suitability of one of their top tier prospects for the 2016 presidential nomination.

Insiders were alarmed by his stumbling and bumbling this week to answer a seemingly obvious question about the most controversial element of his brother's legacy, the Iraq war. They warned at week’s end that his loyalty to his family limited his flexibility as a candidate and perhaps as president and risked reinforcing a damning narrative that he would merely offer a third term of his brother.

“The big challenge now is, you don’t want to start your campaign with a re-litigation of the past,” said Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist who says that Republicans knew Bush’s challenge would be to clearly distinguish himself from his father and brother’s administrations. “Elections are inherently a contest about the future.”

Supporters privately expressed puzzlement at his performance and worried it might not be a one-time incident if the former two-term Florida governor, never one to submit to coaching or handling by aides and advisers, fails to adequately adapt for the brewing Republican primary fight.

More here.

May 15, 2015

Columba Bush enters the social media fray


In case you were not yet convinced that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is (almost) running for president: His famously private wife, Columba, joined Twitter and Instragram on Friday.

She will travel Saturday with her husband to Iowa, and then attend a Miami fund-raiser with him Monday.

A Bush spokeswoman said Columba Bush will "post photos, stories, and recipes in English and Spanish. Mrs. Bush will also be focusing on the issues that are of great importance to her: domestic violence, mental health and drug prevention, the arts and education."

Here's her first tweet: