April 14, 2015

Rick Scott's inviting GOP presidential contenders to Orlando

via @adamsmithtimes

Gov. Rick Scott is hosting an "Economic Growth Summit" in Orlando June 2, and has commitments from several leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination to speak about the vision for economic growth. Candidates who have confirmed they will attend:

Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker.

--ADAM C. SMITH, Tampa Bay Times

April 12, 2015

Jeb Bush hits Hillary Clinton on foreign policy in video


In advance of Hillary Clinton's imminent 2016 presidential campaign kickoff Sunday, Jeb Bush -- still technically not a candidate himself -- released a web video jabbing the "Obama-Clinton foreign policy."

"Abroad, America should be respected by our allies and feared by our enemies," he said. "That's why it's critical we change the direction our country is heading. We must do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies."


April 11, 2015

Politico: Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush sit next to each other on flight to Miami

From Politico:

In a sign of how literally close they are, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio sat next to each other on the same Friday night flight to Miami from Nashville, where they separately spoke at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention.

The coincidental encounter had a just-like-old-times feel to it, with the one-time mentor and one-time protégé talking like the friends they are – a stark contrast to the tensions being expressed by their top supporters, a source first told POLITICO.

“Jeb and Marco are friends. Jeb likes Marco and Marco has a great sense of humor,” the source said of the two likely presidential candidates.

Neither Bush nor Rubio’s spokesmen would comment for the record on what the two spoke about on the American Airlines flight 4229, which departed Nashville at 5:29 p.m. and arrived in Miami at 8:49 p.m. Aides said the two were serendipitously seated in the same row and decided to sit next to each other after an aide moved to make way. The two spoke for the entire three-hour flight.

More here.

Jeb Bush updates Miami-Dade voter registration that had listed him as 'Hispanic'


Jeb Bush is back to being a regular white guy.

The Republican former Florida governor has updated his Miami-Dade County voter registration to correct the "race/ethnicity" field, which used to list him as "Hispanic." Now Bush is, accurately, "white, not of Hispanic origin," according to a form filed with the elections supervisor's office.

Bush filed the amendment, filled out by hand, on Tuesday after news reports that he had registered in 2009 as Hispanic, which is his wife and children's ethnicity but not his.

"I guess I signed the form and made a mistake," Bush said in Colorado Springs. "Clearly I am who I am. It's kind of bizarre to think that there's some kind of plot here. ... I must have signed the form when we moved. I am who I am. I'm proud of the fact that I live in Miami. I'm proud of the fact that I'm bilingual. But I'm certainly Anglo. I'm not sure what the big deal is."

He told Univision's Denver affiliate in a Spanish-language interview that he didn't read the 2009 form -- which had apparently been filled out before someone else -- before he signed it.

April 10, 2015

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio speak at NRA event today

Republican presidential contenders will speak to a welcoming crowd at the National Rifle Association’s annual leadership forum on Friday. The guest list features almost every GOP hopeful:

  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

  • Ben Carson, former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital;

  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas;

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.;

  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee;

  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal;

  • Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry;

  • Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla;

  • Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.;

  • Real estate developer Donald Trump

  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

(Notably missing from the list is Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who announced his presidential campaign April 7.)

We’ll be watching their convention speeches for facts to check; email us your thoughts at truthometer@politifact.com. For now, here’s some claims we’ve checked about the NRA and from previous conventions.

At last year’s NRA convention, Rubio said, "No other country has a constitutional right" like the Second Amendment. It turns out that Mexico and Guatemala have the right to bear arms in their constitutions, but the Second Amendment is unique because it is the only one that doesn’t include restrictive conditions within the constitutional language. PolitiFact Florida rated this claim Mostly True.

Turn to Angie Drobnic Holan's preview from PolitiFact.

April 09, 2015

Jeb Bush and gun rights group top PolitiFact Florida's fact-checks in March

In March, readers flocked to PolitiFact Florida's coverage of a gun battle in the state Legislature, a claim by former Gov. Jeb Bush about affirmative action and claims about immigration, SeaWorld and solar energy.

Here’s a summary of our most popular reports posted this month, counting down to the most popular.

Spot a claim in need of fact-checking? #PolitiFactThis or truthometer@politifact.com.

April 08, 2015

BuzzFeed: When Jeb Bush campaigned for Dad in Puerto Rico

From BuzzFeed News:

Jeb Bush was nervous before one of his first campaign speeches ever.

The speech wasn’t in Iowa, or Texas where his family made their name, or even in Florida where he made his. It was at the El San Juan Hotel in Puerto Rico in 1979, before the birthday celebration for Gov. Luis Ferré. Bush was running his father’s presidential campaign in the new primary in Puerto Rico.

Luis Guinot, who served in the Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and wrote the speech for Bush, recalled that there were problems with the speech.

“I put the applause lines too close,” the now-retired, 80-year-old Guinot told BuzzFeed News from Puerto Rico. The lines — “¡Estadidad ahora!”, or statehood now, and “We hope that my father will be the president that will put the next star on the American flag!” — were winners to the pro-statehood crowd, even if the applause made them hard to hear. They loved him, as Guinot told him they would.

At the time, Bush told those close to him and even interviewers that politics wasn’t for him. He was just doing his father a favor.

More here.

Jeb Bush was on board of Bloomberg charity that funded left-leaning initiatives

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush’s role with corporate boards has raised a number of issues and seeming political contradictions, including Tenet Healthcare’s support for Obamacare. Now Bush’s position with Michael Bloomberg’s charity is under scrutiny from opposition researchers.

While Jeb Bush was on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charity funded some decidedly left-leaning initiatives, including partnering with Planned Parenthood and helping the Sierra Club with global warming projects, records show.

But as with Tenet, Bush says he didn’t agree with everything.

“Governor Bush was honored to serve on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which does a lot of good work across the world,” spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said. “Governor Bush and Mayor Bloomberg have great mutual respect for one another. While they disagree on several policy issues, both share a passion for improving education in America. As a board member, Governor Bush did not vote on or approve individual projects or programs.”

A Bloomberg spokeswoman, Meghan Womack, confirmed that board members do not vote on individual initiatives. Bush joined Bloomberg Philanthropies board in 2010 and stepped down at the end of 2014. Bush have a long relationship dating to when Bush was governor and it seems clear he was brought on the board for his education policy expertise.

Still, several initiatives seem out of step with a likely GOP presidential contender:

Continue reading "Jeb Bush was on board of Bloomberg charity that funded left-leaning initiatives" »

April 07, 2015

Jeb Bush PAC cuts checks for Miami members of Congress


For the second time, Jeb Bush's political action committee has disclosed donations to Republican parties and members of Congress as he rakes in the cash for his all-but-declared 2016 GOP presidential bid.

Among this round's recipients from Right to Rise PAC: Miami's three Republican representatives, Carlos Curbelo, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Curbelo is the only one of the trio who has yet to publicly endorse Bush's likely candidacy.

"I'm proud to support conservative leaders who are dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for all and restoring America's place in world," Bush said in a statement.

View the full list after the jump.

Continue reading "Jeb Bush PAC cuts checks for Miami members of Congress" »

April 06, 2015

Billionaire environmentalist intends to take on 2016 GOP presidential field, including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio


Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer plans to pour more of his fortune into defeating Republicans who deny man-made climate change, this time in the 2016 presidential race -- despite having limited electoral success last year.

NextGen Climate Action, Steyer's San Francisco-based political committee, announced Monday that it intends to target GOP presidential contenders in battleground states by highlighting their position on climate change and linking them to the billionaire industrialist brothers, Charles and David Koch.

Chris Lehane, NextGen's chief strategist, wouldn't tell reporters on a conference call how much Steyer is ready to spend, saying only it will be "what it takes" to "disqualify" any candidate who denies climate change or that it has been worsened by humans.

Last year, only three of seven governor and Senate candidates backed by NextGen won their races. The group spent heavily against Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who was nevertheless re-elected.

Continue reading "Billionaire environmentalist intends to take on 2016 GOP presidential field, including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio" »