September 27, 2016

Jeb Bush heads to Harvard

From the Associated Press:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be spending some time at Harvard University this fall.

Harvard's Kennedy School announced on Tuesday that Bush, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican party's 2016 presidential nomination, will be a visiting fellow in the Program on Education Policy and Governance.

Bush plans to serve as a guest instructor and presenter on education issues during several visits to the Ivy League university during the fall term. He is the founder and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

Bush is scheduled to deliver the annual Edwin L. Godkin Lecture at Harvard on Thursday. The school says he will discuss problems with economic and social mobility in the U.S. The more than century-old lecture series is named for the founder of The Nation magazine.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

September 22, 2016

Bush is fundraising at the Biltmore. No, not Jeb.


A politician from the Bush family will be asking donors for money next week at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. But it's a different Bush than the one most South Floridians know. 

George P. Bush, the Texas land commissioner, will hold a "fundraising roundtable" in his dad's hometown. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is listed on an invitation as the event's "special guest." (The elder Bush's office is at the Biltmore.)

The younger Bush is requesting $500 per person. The fundraiser will take place at 6 p.m. Sept. 27, according to an invitation obtained by the Miami Herald.

Bush is up for reelection in 2018.

September 20, 2016

Kimmel blooper video features outtakes from Bush Emmy appearance


So successful was Jimmy Kimmel's opening video to the Emmy Awards Sunday night that on Monday he released a blooper reel -- which he titled "boners and boo boos" -- featuring the TV stars who participated, and Jeb Bush.

In one outtake, presidential-candidate-turned-limo-driver Bush called Kimmel a "godless, shameless, stinking hippie" -- instead of the final line, "godless Hollywood hippie."

"He was great," Kimmel told the audience of "Jimmy Kimmel Live." "Very high-energy, by the way."


Will George H.W. Bush vote for Hillary Clinton?


A member of the Kennedy family told Politico late Monday that former President George H.W. Bush, the father of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, had told her he plans to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend also posted on Facebook about meeting the elder Bush and hearing from him about his voting preference, according to CNN.

A Bush spokesman didn't confirm or deny the claim to either news outlet, saying the ex-president is a private citizen who will keep his choice at the ballot box private.

Jeb Bush has refused to back Donald Trump -- but he's also said he won't vote for Clinton.

September 18, 2016

Jeb Bush makes surprise, hilarious Emmys cameo


Jeb Bush's funniest moment of the presidential campaign happened seven months after he dropped out, at the Emmys.

He appeared Sunday night in a taped cameo on the opening video of television's yearly wards, as part of host Jimmy Kimmel's opening video. 

The gag had Kimmel trying to hitch a ride to the awards show. He walks up to the motorcade of "Veep" President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). A driver's voice tells him there's room in the front. The driver? Bush, gamely donning a chauffeur's cap.

"I'm in between jobs right now," Bush says. "You know you can make $12 an hour driving for Uber?"

He asks Kimmel if he's nominated: "Wow. What's that like?" 

When Kimmel tells him there's a lot of competition to win, Bush offers advice: "If you run a positive campaign, the voters ultimately will make the right choice," Bush says at one point, playing the straight man. 

Kimmel starts talking about his psychic  

"Jimmy," Bush interrupts, "that was a joke."

He kicks the bearded Kimmel out the car.

"And shave that wig off your face, you godless Hollywood hippie," Bush barks, as the limo peels off and shows a bumper sticker with "2016" crossed out -- and "2020" scrawled over it. "JEB EXCLAMATION POINT!"

Photo credit: Matt Rourke, Associated Press

September 08, 2016

Jeb Bush endorses in his local Florida House race


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush backed a state House candidate late Thursday to represent the Coral Gables-based district where he lives. 

His choice was hardly a surprise: Bush endorsed Republican John Couriel over Democrat Daisy Baez. The two candidates are battling to replace term-limited Republican Rep. Erik Fresen in District 114.

"Having known John since he was a college student, I'm delighted that I get to vote for him to be my state representative," Bush said in a statement. "He speaks with clarity and optimism about the challenges we face as a community and nation: promoting economic opportunity for all, making our kids career-ready, and making health care more affordable and transparent."

Couriel is a GOP establishment darling who's certain to use the big-name endorsement as a way to introduce himself to voters. But Bush's lone local legislative endorsement in the primary didn't seem to do much good for Republican Lynda Bell. She placed third in District 118, behind David Rivera and Anthony Rodriguez.

UPDATE: Bush is headlining a fundraiser for Couriel Sept. 23 at the Biltmore Hotel.

September 06, 2016

Former Rubio donors shift to Trump. Former Bush donors, not so much.

Rubio (2)via @learyreports

John Angelbeck of Ocala wanted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to succeed in his presidential bid and twice contributed $100 to Rubio’s campaign. But after Rubio bowed out following a landslide defeat in Florida’s March primary, Angelbeck shifted his allegiance — and money — to Donald Trump.

In June, he sent checks to Trump’s campaign for $40 and $80. “Anything to beat Hillary Clinton,” Angelbeck, 78, said Friday.

He is one of 640 Floridians who supported Rubio financially but have given to Trump since the primary, a Tampa Bay Times analysis of campaign finance data shows. That illustrates Trump’s appeal among dedicated Republicans in the state.

By contrast, only 113 donors to former Gov. Jeb Bush have given to Trump since Bush withdrew from presidential contention in February.

More here.

Photo credit: Alan Diaz, Associated Press

August 29, 2016

Ahead of tough reelection, Curbelo taps big guns Bush, Rubio

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Florida's primary election will be on Tuesday. But Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo isn't waiting to find out whom his Democratic opponent will be before kicking off his reelection campaign in earnest.

Curbelo's campaign put out a Spanish-language radio ad featuring one of the congressman's most prominent political backers: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Curbelo was one of Bush's early backers for the Republican presidential nomination.

"We need honest and hard-working leaders like Carlos Curbelo, who has fought to improve the education our children receive and to reform our country's immigration laws," Bush says in the spot. "I know Carlos, and I know he will continue representing us with integrity in Washington."

On Monday, the Curbelo camp also emailed supporters with a letter from another big-name friend: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the man Curbelo endorsed after Bush dropped out of the presidential race.

In the fundraising pitch, Rubio says Curbelo is part of "a new generation of leaders."

"He understands the need to empower people, the private sector, and our local communities to drive prosperity and innovation," Rubio says. "Carlos and I have been working together to respond to the Zika crisis and prevent wast, fraud, and abuse in our refugee assistance program. After seeing him in action, I know Carlos will continue to be a strong voice for South Floridians and that is why I'm behind him 100%."

Curbelo's 26th congressional district, which stretches from Westchester to Key West, is one of the country's most competitive seats -- and now leans more Democratic than it did when he won it two years ago. He'll learn Tuesday if his Democratic opponent will be former U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia or Annette Taddeo. National Democrats have already reserved significant air time ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.


Photo credit: Marsha Halper, Miami Herald

August 26, 2016

Jeb Bush on Trump's immigration shift: 'I find it abhorrent'

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush said Donald Trump looks like “a typical politician” as the nominee has shifted on immigration and appears to hold views similar to Bush’s, despite attacking Bush as soft on the issue.

“I can only say that whatever his views are this morning, they might change this afternoon, and they were different than they were last night, and they'll be different tomorrow," Bush said on WABC.

"Sounds like a typical politician, by the way, where you get in front of one crowd and say one thing, and then say something else to another crowd that may want to hear a different view. All the things that Donald Trump railed against, he seems to be morphing into. It’s kind of disturbing.”

Bush will not change his view on Trump. “I don’t know what to believe about a guy who doesn't believe in things. ... This is all a game," Bush said. "His views will change based on the feedback he gets from a crowd, or, you know, what he thinks he has to do."

"For me, I couldn't do that. I have to believe what I believe, and if it’s popular, great. If it’s not, I try to get better at presenting my views. But shifting my views because it’s political to do it? That’s what politicians do in this country. That's what Trump is trying to do right now. I find it abhorrent.”

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

August 13, 2016

Pence met with Bush in Coral Gables, to try to mend fences


Donald Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, has quietly tried to smooth things over with Trump's Republican primary rivals who have refused to endorse him, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pence recently met with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the Journal reports, at Bush's office at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

Pence, the Indiana governor, has also reached out to Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. None of the Republicans commented to the Journal about their conversations.