March 19, 2015

Politico: Tracking down the family of Jeb Bush's late, estranged father-in-law

From Politico:

SILAO, Mexico — Jeb Bush often mentions his wife’s family, how he fell in love with her in nearby León, and her immigrant challenges coming to the United States.

Only rarely — and critically — do the likely front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination or his aides mention his wife’s father, José Maria Garnica Rodríguez

Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell reiterated Tuesday that Columba Bush’s father abandoned his family. “Mrs. Bush did not have a relationship with her father after he left her mother and their family when Mrs. Bush was just a young teenager,” she said. And published accounts, including one in The New York Times recently, largely have taken that line, calling him a migrant worker and nonpresence in his daughter’s life.

But relatives here say it’s not true.

More here.

James Carville's claim about Jeb Bush's emails

Hillary Clinton might be in a bit of hot water for using a private email account for official business as secretary of state, but Democrats eagerly point to similar email issues with presumptive Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. As governor of Florida, Bush burnished his tech and public access credentials by using a personal email account to supplement the one the state provided.

Prior to Clinton’s troubles, Bush set up a special website for the public to browse any of those emails that dealt with official business. Like Clinton, Bush himself determined which ones were private and which would be made public, but the move was largely seen as a way to mark Bush as a candidate who walks the walk when it comes to transparency.

This led Democratic activist James Carville to challenge how transparent Bush really is.

"Jeb Bush has released 10 percent of his emails," Carville said on ABC’s This Week, on March 15, 2015. "He had a private email server. He destroyed his emails."

We decided to check Carville’s numbers. Turn to Jon Greenberg's fact-check from PunditFact to see what he found.

March 18, 2015

Barbara Bush now wants Jeb to run for president, asks supporters for money

via @learyreports

Remember back when Barbara Bush was stepping all over son Jeb's presidential dreams? She's come around and is now lending her stature to his fundraising machine. An email from her circulating today begins:

Subject: I changed my mind!

When the idea of Jeb running for President first came up, I was hesitant. You may have heard about that. When you see the pounding candidates take these days, what mother wouldn't be?

But our problems are so profound that America needs a leader who can renew the promise of this great nation.

Which is why today I’m starting the Run Jeb Run fund.

Florida Senate approves March 15 primary date; Scott will sign into law

The Florida Senate on Wednesday signed off on a plan to make March 15 the date of the 2016 presidential primary.

The proposal (HB 7035) would put Florida in line Republican Party rules -- and enable the state to award all of its delegates to the winner of the GOP primary.

If Florida holds its primary election on March 1, as current law dictates, it would have to allocate its delegates proportionally. As a result, Florida would yield less influence in determining the Republican nominee for president.

"It makes Florida meaningful in the presidential primary elections," Republican Sen. Garrett Richter said of his proposal.

The bill won the unanimous support of the House last week, and passed 39-0 in the Senate.

Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday afternoon that he planned to sign the bill "as soon as it gets to my desk."

Some Democrats on Wednesday alleged the proposal was only meant to help possible Republican candidates -- namely former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. (The Democratic Party awards delegates on a proportional basis regardless of the state's primary date.)

But Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, said the bill would help the Democratic nominee, too.

"When you look back, when Hillary Clinton and then Sen. [Barack] Obama were running, they essentially boycotted the state of Florida," Gardiner said. "They came here and raised money, but they didn't participate in the election."


The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

AP: Jeb Bush rejects idea of federal minimum wage hike

From the Associated Press:

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that minimum wage increases should be left to businesses and state governments, opposing a hike in the federal pay floor as an impediment to individuals trying to escape from poverty.

"State minimum wages are fine," said Bush, making his first extended foray into the state that holds the initial Southern primary of the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

As governor, Bush opposed a 2004 ballot measure approved by voters in Florida that tied increases in the state minimum wage to inflation. Asked about the minimum wage at a pair of appearances on Tuesday, he said he doesn't want to abolish the existing federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, but also opposes raising it.

Democrats generally favor raising the minimum wage, while many Republicans oppose it.

More here.

March 17, 2015

Texas Tribune: On Jeb Bush's early years in Texas

From the Texas Tribune:

Before Jeb Bush was a likely White House contender, or the governor of Florida, or a wealthy real estate broker, a banker, a college tennis player or even a pot-smoking prep school student — before all of that, he was in the newspaper business.

Ten-year-old John Ellis Bush was co-editor of the “Neighborhood Round-Up,” a handwritten periodical he created with best friend Rob Kerr and distributed door-to-door for “only 5 cents” apiece in the wealthy Tanglewood subdivision of Houston. In the Feb. 23, 1963, edition, slipped discreetly between scribbled articles on new neighbors moving in and boyhood shenanigans, there was a news nugget of particular importance:

“Mr. Bush wins unanimously as head of Harris County Republicans.”

The fifth-grade scrawl marked what would become a landmark moment in the Bush family legacy: the launch of a political career that would land George H.W. Bush in the Oval Office. 

More here.

Jeb Bush sharpens Obama critique in South Carolina

From the Associated Press:

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- On his first extended trip to South Carolina this year, Jeb Bush on Tuesday blasted President Barack Obama as a failed leader and pitched himself as a principled conservative who gets things done.

"It's the president's responsibility to reweave the web of civility and to improve the discourse, and this guy does not believe it's his priority or his mission to do that," Bush said.

The former Florida governor has yet to formally declare his intention to run for president in 2016, but winked at the idea during his speech to a chamber of commerce breakfast, telling the crowd "you'll be seeing a lot of me."

Bush said he would be more personally engaged than Obama with world leaders and members of Congress. Those "personal relationships," he said, pave the way for better governing outcomes.

More here.

March 16, 2015

Fact-checking American Bridge claim about Jeb Bush emails

While all the attention is on Hillary Clinton’s email records, one left-leaning political action committee wants to remind everyone about a correspondence flap from another potential presidential candidate -- former Gov. Jeb Bush.

American Bridge 21st Century posted on its website a reaction to a March 2 tweet Bush sent out about Clinton’s use of a private email account while she was Secretary of State. The PAC pointed out that Bush also had used a private account as governor, and had repeatedly defended his own editing of what emails would become part of the Florida public record.

"Media accounts establish that Bush, not the State of Florida, decided which private emails to disclose – apparently nothing would have stopped the Bush team from selectively leaving out politically problematic emails," the American Bridge website read.

Does Florida’s open records law allow Bush (and all other of the state’s elected officials) to hand-select what emails they make available to the public? Sure enough, it does, but there’s more to it than just letting politicians self-report emails.

Turn to Joshua Gillin's fact-check from PolitiFact Florida.

March 15, 2015

Jeb Bush's 'first date' with New Hampshire

via @adamsmithtimes

DOVER, N.H. -- Jeb Bush completed two jam-packed days of campaigning across New Hampshire on Saturday, making this abundantly clear: He’s bringing his A game, and he will campaign for president on his own terms.

The 62-year-old son of one president and brother of another has not had to court Republican primary voters in Florida for more than two decades, let alone in the most wide-open presidential primary in modern history. But after recent appearances in Iowa, before a conference of conservative activists in Washington and this weekend in the Granite State, it’s clear plausible predictions that Bush might prove to be another Fred Thompson, lethargic and half-hearted, are unfounded.

Amid melting snowbanks and wall-to-wall throngs of reporters at stops in New Hampshire, Bush — looking at least 30 pounds trimmer than when he was governor — took pointed questions about his views on immigration and the Common Core education standards without a hint of defensive.

Like an anti-Mitt Romney, he firmly stood behind positions that are toxic to many likely Republican primary voters.

“You don’t abandon your core beliefs. You go persuade people, and that’s what I’m trying to do right now, about why I’m for higher standards,” he told a woman who asked him about his support of the Common Core standards adopted by Florida and more than 40 other states. “I think you need to be genuine. I think you need to have a backbone.”

More here.