November 05, 2015

Jeb Bush's Election Day ritual: Lunch with developer Sergio Pino


Meet the Press asked Jeb Bush five light-hearted questions when host Chuck Todd interviewed the Republican presidential candidate in Miami last week.

One of them: What's your Election Day ritual?

Having lunch with Sergio Pino, Bush said. That's the Miami developer and Bush political donor.


Jeb Bush's first concert was James Brown. See that and more in our #Take5 with him...

Posted by Meet the Press on Thursday, November 5, 2015

Does the middle class get the biggest break under Jeb Bush's tax plan?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said at a recent debate that his plan to streamline the tax system will benefit everyone, but it will benefit the middle class the most.

"Look, the simple fact is that my plan actually gives the middle class the greatest break: $2,000 per family," Bush said during the Oct. 28, 2015, CNBC debate. He added that simplifying the tax code will boost economic growth.

We wondered, does the middle class really stand to benefit the most from Bush’s proposed tax cuts? That could be accurate if you examine the rates in a particular way, experts told us, but in practice it’s likely the highest earners would see the real windfall from Bush’s plan.

See what Joshua Gillin of PolitiFact Florida found.

Jeb Bush tries to turn campaign around in New Hampshire


via @adamsmithtimes

RAYMOND, N.H. -- Journalists are writing Jeb Bush’s political obituary, asking him about dropping out of the race soon. Every day seems to bring ever-grimmer polls — fifth place in Florida, only 4 percent support nationally — and in all-important New Hampshire, voters are starting to profess pity for the former frontrunner.

Yet Bush appears strikingly upbeat on a three-day bus tour of the Granite State. The former Florida governor has never been adroit at masking his real feelings, and he hardly looks joyful in the role of sputtering longshot candidate, but neither does he look defeated or glum.

“Show heart. Campaign in a way that I can show that I’m a leader, not a talker. I’m a doer,” he said of his game plan 100 days before New Hampshire’s primary. It is widely seen as a must-win state for Bush, and he currently sits in fifth place, based on the average of recent polls.

“And just do it, go out and do it over and over again. Get better each and every day. We’ve got a long way to go.”

Bush, sporting his personalized cowboy boots and joking that an aide offering him M&Ms must think he needs more energy, chatted for more than 40 minutes with a handful of reporters Tuesday night aboard his campaign bus.

“I don’t mean this disrespectfully at all: I don’t follow every word of what you guys record or write,” he said, explaining how he stays focused amid the lousy press lately. “It doesn’t help me get better, per se.”

More here.

November 04, 2015

Jeb Bush on debate: 'It was just kind of an off night'

via @adamsmithtimes

Until this year, by far the two highest profile debates Jeb Bush participated in were the one in 1994 when the late Lawton Chiles left Bush flummoxed by declaring, "The old he-coon walks just before the light of day," and one in 2002 when the late Bill McBride was left flummoxed when pressed to give a cost estimate for a class size reduction mandate he supported. The moderator in both those memorable debates was the late Tim Russert, and Bush thought of him last night when talking about his weak performances in the presidential debates so far.

"Russert wouldn't let you up air if you tried to do anything like what's going on here," he said, while chatting with several reporters on his campaign bus. "You remember that last debate where could not answer one question? He kept bobbing and weaving. Russert just destroyed him."

Bush has a plan for how to approach next week's televised debate: "Not spending a lot of time preparing answers to questions. It's more 'What do you want to say, how do you want to say it?'

Rather than treat these like actual debates, he said, "I've got to train myself to say what's on my mind rather than what the question is."

"In our debate prep last time I don't think any question that we prepared for was a question that was asked, because they didn't do anything they said they were going to do," he said of CNBC, noting that he felt "really good" going into that debate.

"I wasn't nervous at all. I got shouted down when I tried to interrupt in the beginning, then I couldn't finish the sentence in the Marco deal, and then I never got asked a question that was relevant. It was just kind of an off night."

--ADAM C. SMITH, Tampa Bay Times

Ben Carson speaks about Cuba, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson who has soared in the polls ahead of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio will appear in Miami and Fort Lauderdale Thursday.

In a telephone interview with the Miami Herald Wednesday, he talked about why he believes he is ahead of Bush in the polls, border security and why chose to bring his book tour to the liberal bastion of Broward County. (Read our separate blog about how he was stumped on some questions about Cuba and was candid about it.)

When asked if he plans to compete in Florida despite Rubio and Bush having the homefield advantage, Carson said: “I don’t think they have the home field advantage because I am a Florida resident too. We will let the people decide. Right now they seem to look fairly favorable at me.”

Carson was in second place in the national GOP primary Oct. 24-29, according to a Real Clear Politics average of the polls. Donald Trump was in first place at 27 percent followed by Carson with 22 percent followed by Rubio, Ted Cruz and Bush. The results of a Wall Street Journal/NBC News national poll announced Monday showed Carson in the lead in the primary.

An Oct. 8-13 University of North Florida statewide poll of Republican primary likely voters finds Trump leading with 21.7 percent, followed by Carson 19.3 percent, Rubio in third with 14.9 percent and Bush at a distant fourth with 9 percent.

Why does Carson -- who has lived in West Palm Beach since 2013 -- think he has leaped ahead of Bush, a former two-term Florida governor?

Continue reading "Ben Carson speaks about Cuba, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio " »

Quinnipiac poll: Jeb Bush's unfavorables top presidential field


No candidate has a more negative rating in the latest national poll by Quinnipiac University than former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose popularity has tanked in a spate of recent surveys.

The Quinnipiac poll shows 25 percent of respondents have a favorable view of Bush, while 58 percent have an unfavorable view. That's worse than Donald Trump (37-56 percent) and Hillary Clinton (42-52 percent).

Of course, Trump and Clinton sit atop the poll despite being more disliked than liked. But that's not the case for Bush.

Clinton commands the Democratic side, ahead of Bernie Sanders 53-35 percent.

On the Republican side, Trump leads in the poll with 24 percent, followed by Ben Carson at 23 percent, a statistical tie given the poll's error margin of 2.9 percentage points. Marco Rubio garnered 14 percent support, followed by Ted Cruz's 13 percent (another tie). 

Bush drew 4 percent. That's fifth place -- in a statistical tie with Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina and John Kasich (all at 3 percent) and Rand Paul (2 percent). 

Two other polls released Tuesday and Wednesday are also troubling for Bush.

A Florida robopoll by SurveyUSA for Bay News 9 in Tampa found Bush in fifth place in his home state for the first time, behind Trump (37 percent), Carson (17 percent), Rubio (16 percent) and Cruz (10 percent). Bush drew 7 percent.

And a New Hampshire poll conducted for the WBUR public radio station in Boston found Bush dropped 2 percentage points to 7 percent in the Granite State since September, despite airing a slew of TV ads. Rubio, on the other hand, climbed 9 points to 11 percent, catapulting him to third place behind Trump and Carson. Bush is in sixth in a state considered a must-win for his campaign.

Tim Miller, Bush's spokesman, said on Twitter earlier this week that the campaign expects a poor showing in polls given that the candidate is trying to reboot.

"Comebacks take time," Miller wrote, "we recognize and are prepared for that."

Jeb Bush says he helped persuade Marco Rubio to stay in 2010 Senate race

via @adamsmithtimes

An upbeat Jeb Bush began a three-day bus tour through New Hampshire Tuesday night, and between stops he chatted with several reporters aboard his bus. One story we had never heard before concerned Bush's role in preventing Marco Rubio from giving up on his longshot U.S. Senate campaign against Charlie Crist when Rubio's prospects looked bleak in the summer of 2009.

Bush recounted the anecdote after we asked why he never publicly endorsed Rubio against Crist in that 2010 race.

"Actually Marco and I talked about this. I did everything I could. I sent as clear a signal -- no one thought otherwise. Everybody knew where I was. He believed, as I did, that he show his own way," said Bush.

"The record will show, and I think Marco - unless he's revising history - will show that I was one of two people that said, 'Stick with it' when there was a deal about ready to be cut to move him to attorney general or something like that. I said, 'What are you doing, man?' I called him up.'You want to be a United States Senator, don't you? And He said, 'Yeah.' I said, 'If you want to be a United States Senator you've got to run for the United States Senate. You can't leave (the race) to go become the attorney general. You can win.' "

Rubio has credited his wife Jeanette and his own gut with rejecting that deal to run for attorney general. We're not aware of him crediting Bush.

"Everybody knew that I care for the guy, that I supported him, but a public endorsement would have made it harder for him to beat the standing incumbent," Bush said. "And he beat him like a drum.And it warmed my heart. Beat him like a drum, crushed him."

--ADAM C. SMITH, Tampa Bay Times

November 02, 2015

PPP poll: Jeb Bush 'having a rough time in Iowa'


The latest Iowa poll by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows Jeb Bush tied for sixth place with many Republican respondents still holding an unfavorable view of him.

Donald Trump leads the field with 22 percent, followed by Ben Carson (21 percent), Ted Cruz (14 percent), Marco Rubio (10 percent), Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal (each at 6 percent) and Bush and Carly Fiorina (5 percent).

 Here's how the pollster summarized Bush's position:

Jeb Bush is having a rough time in Iowa. Only 30% of GOP voters see him favorably to 43% with a negative opinion, giving him the highest unfavorable rating of any of the candidates in Iowa. Among those who describe themselves as 'very conservative,' just 25% see Bush favorably to 53% who have a negative view. One measure of how Bush-resistant GOP voters are is that in a head to head with Trump he trails 55/37. By comparison Trump loses by double digits when matched up directly with Rubi0 (51/40), Cruz (53/36), or Carson (55/35).

Patience, preached Bush spokesman Tim Miller:

On second stop of 'Jeb can fix it' tour, Jeb Bush emphasizes his results as governor



WINTER PARK –- In an effort to emphasize his commitment to education and supporting programs that help people with disabilities, former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush brought his presidential campaign on Monday to an Orlando area school for children with motor-skill disabilities.

His visit to the Conductive Education Center of Orlando was part of his “Jeb can fix it tour,” which also included stops Monday in Tampa and Jacksonville. The tour is aimed at highlighting Bush’s accomplishments as governor and rebooting what’s viewed as an underwhelming presidential campaign, marred by low poll numbers and lackluster debate performances.

Referring to his work with the Florida Legislature to fund programs that help people with disabilities -- such as the McKay Scholarship program -- Bush said, "I venture to say, because of the catalyst of my first year in office, that the programs for disabilities, for education, for health, for services is significantly better than many states."

Bush’s guests at his stop in Winter Park included state politicians -- former Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings, state House Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran and Winter Park Congressman John Mica -- who used "Captain America" metaphors and biblical analogies to re-inforce Bush’s campaign message that he’s about action and results, not flashy rhetoric like other presidential candidates.

“If you want to measure the depth of an individual, you look at his actions, not at what he says,” said Jennings, who served under Bush from 2003-07. “There’s something in Corinthians that talks about, it’s the empty wagon that rattles the loudest. Lordy, do we have some empty wagons out there! And it the full wagon that is quiet. Well, the full wagon is the one that has the ideas, and the policies, and the accomplishments to play it forward. That’s what we’ve got in Jeb Bush.”

Continue reading "On second stop of 'Jeb can fix it' tour, Jeb Bush emphasizes his results as governor" »

Jeb Bush, Miami congressman call on GOP to reinstate Telemundo debate

@ByKristenMClark @PatriciaMazzei

WINTER PARK -- Jeb Bush told reporters in Orlando on Monday that the Republican National Committee should still hold a planned primary debate with Miami-based Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo.

"We should have the debate," Bush said in both English and Spanish. "I think we ought to have a Telemundo debate, or a Hispanic debate. It happened four years ago. Telemundo's not part of the problem of CNBC. They (CNBC) just didn't keep their word."

Bush was referring to last week's primary debate in Colorado. CNBC had billed it as a discussion on the economy; candidates criticized the network for also asking other questions, including some intended to highlight political contrasts among the rivals.

As a result, the GOP suspended its upcoming NBC/Telemundo debate, planned for Feb. 26 in Houston. 

Bush, who is fluent in Spanish, has made reaching out to Hispanics a centerpiece of his candidacy, so it's no surprise that he would push to reinstate a debate that could play to his strengths.

One of his local supporters, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Miami, tweeted Monday that the GOP should reconsider its stance. And he copied Reince Priebus, the party chairman.