August 12, 2015

Jeb Bush: more troops in Iraq 'may well be needed'

via @lesleyclark

Jeb Bush said more soldiers and marines “may well be needed” in Iraq as he laid out a muscular approach to defeating the Islamic State Tuesday night, calling for embedding troops with Iraqi forces as he sought to lay the blame for the terrorist group’s emergence on President Barack Obama and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Iraq war has bedeviled his campaign, but Bush sought to turn the tables, blaming Clinton and the Obama administration for allowing the Islamic State to grow by pulling out troops and leaving Iraq in a “blind haste.”

“They believe in soft power,” Bush said. “I don’t have a problem with soft power, as long as there is hard power behind it.”

At the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Bush laid out a more detailed plan for fighting the terrorist group than any of his Republican presidential rivals. But his speech carried risks, with Clinton’s campaign calling it a “bold attempt to rewrite history and reassign responsibility.” And he called for stepped up military involvement in Iraq and in Syria, including air strikes and enforcing a no-fly zone.

More here.

August 11, 2015

Hillary Clinton camp accuses Jeb Bush of 'false attacks' on Iraq

via @lesleyclark

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign says Jeb Bush is looking to fault Democrats for the emergence of the Islamic State when it was the invasion of Iraq ordered by his brother, George W. Bush, that gave the group its start.

In a conference call with reporters ahead of Bush’s remarks tonight at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Clinton senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan called the Republican presidential hopeful’s speech a “pretty bold attempt to rewrite history and reassign responsibility.”

Sullivan, who called it “curious” that Bush choose Iraq to engage in a foreign policy debate, said Republicans “can not be allowed to escape responsibility for the real mistake.” Bush earlier this year tripped over questions about the Iraq war, the most controversial element of his brother's legacy.

Bush will argue that Obama and Clinton as his Secretary of State left Iraq too hastily, but Sullivan charged that Republicans sent in too few troops to secure Iraq in the first place and disbanded the Iraqi army.

“It’s simply wrong to assert that ISIS arose in the vacuum after American troops left,” Sullivan said, contending that the terrorist group’s forerunner was al Qaida in Iraq, which he said emerged after the U.S. invasion and signed up former Iraqi army members.

Continue reading "Hillary Clinton camp accuses Jeb Bush of 'false attacks' on Iraq" »

August 10, 2015

Jeb Bush to take on Hillary Clinton in speech on 'global jihad'


Republican Jeb Bush will deliver a foreign-policy speech Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. It will be focused on "the threat of global jihad, in particular ISIS," according to his campaign.

In his remarks, Bush plans to criticize by name former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner.

"ISIS grew while the United States disengaged from the Middle East and ignored the threat," Bush plans to say. "And where was Secretary of State Clinton in all of this?  Like the president himself, she had opposed the surge…then joined in claiming credit for its success … then stood by as that hard-won victory by American and allied forces was thrown away.

"In all her record-setting travels, she stopped by Iraq exactly once. Who can seriously argue that America and our friends are safer today than in 2009, when the President and Secretary Clinton – the storied 'team of rivals' – took office?"

Clinton took direct aim at Bush in a Fort Lauderdale speech two weeks ago to the National Urban League.

Read more excerpts from Bush's speech below.

Continue reading "Jeb Bush to take on Hillary Clinton in speech on 'global jihad'" »

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio slam Hillary Clinton higher-education plan

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio on Monday blasted Hillary Clinton’s proposed overhaul of higher education funding as a massive tax increase.

"We don’t need more top-down Washington solutions that will raise the cost of college even further and shift the burden to hardworking taxpayers,” Bush said in a statement. “We need to change the incentives for colleges with fresh policies that result in more individualization and choices, drive down overall costs, and improve the value of a college degree, which will help lead to real, sustained four-percent economic growth.

"We also need additional pro-growth economic policies that will give more college graduates the opportunity to achieve earned success rather than continuing down the path of declining workforce participation and access to jobs."

Rubio, appearing on Fox & Friends, echoed criticism of the tax increases Clinton’s $350 billion plan would require. Rubio said it would pour money into an “outdated higher education system,” and said there needs to be more focus on nontraditional schooling, such as online or skill certification programs.


The AP outlines Clinton’s plan, which she detailed in New Hampshire:

The proposal centers on a $200 billion federal incentive system aimed at encouraging states to expand their investments in higher education and cut student costs. States that guarantee "no-loan" tuition at four-year public schools and free tuition at community colleges will be eligible to receive federal funds.

The cost of Clinton's plan would be offset by capping itemized tax deductions for wealthy families at 28 percent, like those taken by high-income taxpayers for charitable contributions and mortgage interest. That proposal, which has long been included in President Barack Obama's annual budget, would raise more than $600 billion in the next decade, according to the Treasury Department.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

August 09, 2015

Jeb Bush says Donald Trump should 'apologize' over Megan Kelly 'blood' remark

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush on Saturday condemned Donald Trump's comments about Fox News' Megyn Kelly, calling it "wrong" and saying RedState Gathering organizer Erick Erickson was right to disinvite Trump.

"Mr. Trump ought to apologize," Bush said.


A noticeably more energized Bush also alluded to Trump's ongoing complaints about questions in Thursday's debate. "You think that's tough. How about dealing with Putin?"

Continue reading "Jeb Bush says Donald Trump should 'apologize' over Megan Kelly 'blood' remark" »

August 07, 2015

Marco Rubio, made-for-TV candidate

2016 GOP Debate


CLEVELAND -- Skeptics had started to write off Marco Rubio leading up to Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate. He made little noise on the campaign trail. His national poll numbers stalled. His outside political cash came from a only a handful of very wealthy donors.

Then came Rubio’s first chance to respond to a debate question Thursday night. In a single answer, he deflected criticism of his limited experience, pivoted to attacking Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and dove into his endearing personal story.

“If I’m our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton going to lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck?” Rubio said. “I was raised paycheck to paycheck. How is she going to lecture me about student loans? I owed over $100,000 just four years ago. If I’m our nominee, we will be the party of the future.”

Rubio was back.

He never left, of course — just got temporarily drowned out by the clatter of the campaign crowd. Other candidates are better known and better funded. But Rubio is a candidate made for TV.

His hometown rival, Jeb Bush, is not — at least not when it comes to debates. And Thursday’s was the most-watched primary debate in history: About 24 million curious viewers tuned into the show, anchored by center-stage candidate Donald Trump.

More here.

Photo credit: John Minchillo, Associated Press

Fact-checking Jeb Bush's claim about defunding Planned Parenthood

Former Gov. Jeb Bush is using the recent release of activist videos criticizing Planned Parenthood as a chance to advertise his own record on restricting abortion.

During the first Republican primary presidential debate on Aug. 6, 2015, Bush sidestepped a question from Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly about his time on the board of the Bloomberg Family Foundation, which has donated millions to Planned Parenthood. Instead, Bush reiterated he had a long history of opposing abortion.

"Here’s my record: As governor of Florida I defunded Planned Parenthood. I created a culture of life in our state," he said. (Watch the exchange at 22:30 in the video here.) Bush earlier this week said the federal government should do the same.

We’ve documented Bush’s opposition to abortion before, as well as his preference for abstinence-only education. But we wanted to check if he cut off state assistance for Planned Parenthood while governor, long before the recent controversy. It turns out he did, long before recent calls to end federal funding for the group.

See PolitiFact Florida for the rest of Joshua Gillin's fact-check.

August 06, 2015

Cleveland eagerly awaits presidential debate


CLEVELAND -- If you’ve gone about your summer in peace — lucky you! — oblivious to the breathless drama of having 17 candidates running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, including a celebrity showman and the made-for-TV antics that come with him, now may be a good time to start tuning in.

Find Fox News on your cable. Tune in at 9 p.m. The first presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle has the GOP abuzz because it might offer something rare in modern politics: unpredictable moments.

The two candidates from Miami, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush, say they’re ready.

“I like to answer questions,” Rubio told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, one of the debate moderators, in an interview Wednesday. “I think people deserve it. I mean, we’re choosing the president of the United States here. This is not a county commission race.”

“I’m a big boy,” Bush told NBC News last week. “I’ll be showing up with my big-boy pants on.”

Debate host city Cleveland has been filling up with Republican Party staffers, politicians and their entourages for days, the anticipation building as the live, prime-time debate draws near. There’s even a warm-up act: a 5 p.m. forum for the seven candidates that didn’t fit on the main stage with the top 10. (Its relegated participants have dubbed it the “happy-hour debate.” Critics have derided it as the “kiddie table.”)

Continue reading "Cleveland eagerly awaits presidential debate" »

Did Jeb Bush cut back early voting? PolitiFact checks a claim by Arthenia Joyner

The Florida Legislature’s Democratic minority leader challenged former Gov. Jeb Bush’s commitment to voting outreach, accusing him of limiting access to polling places for black voters.

Sen. Arthenia Joyner of Tampa sent out a letter addressed to Bush, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination, ahead of his speech to the National Urban League in Fort Lauderdale on July 31, 2015, excoriating him for shortening early voting hours as governor. She also said he purged voter rolls and refused to restore voting rights to convicted felons.

"Also troubling was your decision to significantly cut early voting prior to the 2008 presidential election," Joyner wrote on July 30. She said legislation he signed was designed "to diminish turnout in minority communities that were increasingly relying on early voting."

PolitiFact Florida has addressed the Bush-era voting purges in 2000 and 2004 before, as well as the recent history of restoring felon voting rights. But did Bush cut early voting hours?

It turns out that while he signed a 2004 bill that allowed early voting, he also signed a bill the following year that set new limits on the practice.

See what Joshua Gillin of PolitiFact Florida found.