December 12, 2017

Scott, Rubio, Bush, Corcoran … What top Florida Republicans say about Roy Moore


via @learyreports

It's all about Alabama today as the U.S. Senate race comes to a dramatic conclusion.

Here's what some prominent Florida Republicans had to say about Roy Moore, who would have easily won the race against Democrat Doug Jones had sexual misconduct allegations not surfaced.

Sen. Marco Rubio:

"I think these accusers are very credible. … I think we're going to learn even more as this goes on, and even if he's elected to the Senate, I think there's going to be a process … that could reveal more and be very potentially problematic for him. In fact, I guarantee it would be."

Gov. Rick Scott:

"Whether it's Roy Moore or what you read about the media reports from California or D.C. or Tallahassee, it's disgusting. So, if any of those allegations are true, he ought to resign."

The governor was then asked if a different threshold exists regarding predatory behavior with minors.

"I think whether it's minors, whether it's women, anybody. I mean, let's think about it. We all have children. We have nieces and nephews. I have daughters. Now I have grandsons. I expect people to be treated with respect. That's what you always expect. So, if the allegations are true, he has to get out," Scott said.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran:

"As the father of two teenage girls, there can't seriously be a question of my position. Roy Moore should step aside."

Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam:

"I find the accusations repulsive. I believe that for the good of the people of Alabama, Roy Moore should drop out of the race."

Jeb Bush:

"This is not a question of innocence or guilt like in a criminal proceeding, this is a question of what's right and what's wrong. And acknowledging that you're dating teenagers when you're 32 year old as assistant state attorney is wrong. It's just plain wrong."

September 19, 2017

New York crowd gets glimpse of President Jeb(!)


via @katieglueck

He was gracious and measured, stern but sober—and tough on Russia—as he addressed the greatest challenges facing the United States.

Standing in a hotel ballroom a few blocks from the spot where Donald Trump was threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea, Jeb Bush offered a glimpse of the presidency that could have been.

“At some point the president is going to have to go from this ad hoc diplomacy, or whatever the foreign policy is, to something that’s clear and coherent,” Bush, one of Trump’s vanquished 2016 opponents, told a hawkish hotel ballroom audience gathered Tuesday for the United Against Nuclear Iran conference. “Because at the end of the day, too much chaos, and being unreliable, creates real dangers.”

Bush, the former Florida governor, was once considered the overwhelming favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination. Instead, he was forced out well before the primary season was over, his efforts at a “joyful” campaign rooted in a muscular view of American leadership trampled by the nationalist Trump and his rowdy, populist-leaning campaign.

The sharp contrasts in tone and ideology that played out during that race—which have divided the Republican Party ever since—unfolded again Tuesday morning, within the span of two hours and less than a mile apart here in Manhattan.
As Trump mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “Rocket Man” who is “on a suicide mission for himself,” Bush opted for the traditional if overused term “rogue nation,” noting that Pyongyang needs “to be called out.”

As Trump glossed over threats from Russia to focus on other adversaries, Bush referred to Moscow as a “curse for President Trump”--remarks that come as Trump's White House grapples with probes into Russian influence in the 2016 election and possible ties to his campaign.

And as Trump leaned into his longtime campaign message of “America First,” Bush warned of dangers when the U.S. leaves “a void,” embracing the more internationalist view the Republican Party has recently represented, until now.

“Our vacillation, our pulling back…there was a big void and Russia took full advantage of it,” he said, when asked by MSNBC host and former George W. Bush communications director Nicolle Wallace whether America is doing enough to make Russia play a more constructive role in Iran.


Read more here.


August 17, 2017

Bush, Ros-Lehtinen to speak at summit on Iran

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will be among the speakers at summit on Iran next month.

The Florida Republicans will appear at the Sept. 19 event in New York hosted by United Against Nuclear Iran and timed for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly.

"The day-long event of interviews and discussions will examine the political and economic environment since the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran -- with particular focus on Iran's role in the region, its relationship with North Korea, and the future of Iran policy in the Trump administration," UANI said in a release.

Other speakers include David Petraeus; HRH Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies; former Gov. Bill Richardson; John Bolton and Joe Lieberman.

Bush sits on the UANI advisory board.

"Comprised of former diplomats and lawmakers, UANI is spearheading a global education campaign focused on the risks of doing business with Iran, warning hundreds of international companies that may be contemplating Tehran as a new investment opportunity," the group said.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

August 09, 2017

Jeb Bush ends joint pursuit to by Miami Marlins baseball team

via @flasportsbuzz

Former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter and Miami businessman Jorge Mas have made progress in assembling the financing needed to buy the Marlins, but the Wayne Rothbaum/Jeb Bush group has quietly exited the race, multiple industry sources told the Miami Herald over the past three days.

The reason for Rothbaum’s decision to stop his pursuit of the team was not immediately clear, but an associate indicated he grew impatient with the process after bidding $1.17 billion for the team.

His remaining investors - including Bush and Shoney’s CEO David Davidpour - could not go on without him because Rothbaum was the primary money man. Another of their partners, Massachusetts businessman Tagg Romney, previously left their group.

Rothbaum, a billionaire with homes in New York and Delray Beach, declined to comment.

His departure leaves Jeter and Mas as the only remaining bidders for the Marlins.

More here.

Photo credit: Phil Coale, AP file


August 08, 2017

Jeb Bush calls Trump's first 200 days 'exhausting'

via @learyreports

Jeb Bush said in an interview Tuesday that President Trump's first 200 days have been "exhausting" and again faulted the president for his Twitter habits.

Bush also reacted to immigration policy, saying he does not support the proposal to significantly limit legal immigration. At the same time, Bush said moving to a merit-based system is a good idea -- and one he's supported before.

"A merit-based system would be helpful for our country," Bush said in the Univision interview, "but I think we ought to take full advantage of it and not just restrict the number of legal immigrants coming in."

Bush's position is similar to Sen. Marco Rubio, who has said the Trump-backed proposal has no chance of passing Congress. On DACA, Bush said President Obama didn't have authority to offer protection to young immigrants but there is broad public support for doing so. The issue, he said, should be "dealt with in the proper channels, through Congress."

Asked to grade Trump's performance at 200 days, Bush said: 

"It's exhausting. I mean it's an incomplete grade in the sense that not much has been done. But it feels like the whole world has been turned upside down. He's created controversy where there is no need for it. He should lead. All of this tweeting and the pushing down people to make himself look better is not helping ... I hope and pray for him and his family and I pray for my country and I hope that he assumes the mantle of leadership that he has not yet done.”

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

July 24, 2017

Bush: Scaramucci will help Trump

via @learyreports

WASHINGTON - Before he discovered unyielding love for Donald Trump, Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, was a Jeb Bush man.

"Jeb has the forward-looking vision and executive experience to lead our country and ensure our economy grows at its full potential,” Scaramucci said in September 2015 after joining Bush’s national finance commiteee. He had initially been with Scott Walker.

“As governor of Florida Jeb turned words into action and brought real reform to the state, creating an environment for job growth and economic prosperity, I know he will do the same as president,” Scaramucci said in a news release from Bush’s campaign.

Bush was eager to show strength — and not scare off donors — as his poll numbers were weakening. “Anthony’s decision to join our organization is evidence of Jeb’s appeal as the executive with the most conservative, results-oriented record in this entire race,” Jack Oliver, Bush’s national finance co-chairman said.

Bush’s prospects never turned around and Trump overtook the Republican primary field. Scaramucci, the hedge fund manager and TV commentator known as the Mooch, eventually turned to Trump, whom he had criticized as a “hack” and other things in the past (he’s been deleting negative tweets).

He steps into the White House at a critical time.

“Anthony is a real talent,” Bush told the Tampa Bay Times in an email on Monday. “He is quick, smart and a whole lot of fun. I think he will help the president.”

Bush crossed paths with Scaramucci in May, when the former governor attended Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in Las Vegas. Trump naturally came up and Bush offered some advice: Stop tweeting.

“When he tweets he also gives our enemies all sorts of nuances and insights,” Bush said. “These things matter. We are living in a dangerous world. He is the leader of the free world. There are lots of reasons that you don't want to send out signals to our adversaries.”

Scaramucci on Monday signaled the return of on-camera White House press briefings.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

Photo credit: Associated Press

May 30, 2017

Jeb Bush makes endorsement in special Florida House race


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made a foray Tuesday into a special Florida House election in Miami, endorsing one of two Republicans who have entered the race so far.

Bush backed Jose Mallea, one of his former aides, for House District 116. 

"There is no question Jose Mallea is the right leader for District 116," Bush said in a statement. "Jose has an inspiring personal story of working hard to achieve success in both business and public service, and now wants to ensure that same American dream is attainable for everyone, not just a select few. I know that Jose will effectively put his conservative principles and leadership skills to work in Tallahassee for the community he loves and for our great state.”"

Mallea was senior adviser to Bush's 2016 presidential campaign. He also worked as special assistant in the White House for Andrew Card, former President George W. Bush's chief of staff.

The other Republican candidate in the contest is Daniel Anthony Perez. Qualifying for the ballot ends June 6.

Jeb Bush drops bid for Miami Marlins

via @doug_hanks

Jeb Bush has dropped his pursuit of purchasing the Miami Marlins, according to a source close to the talks.

The source, confirming a report by the Associated Press, did not offer an explanation for Bush’s change of course. “He just decided to take a step back,” the source said.

The former Florida governor and candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination had teamed with retired New York Yankees star Derek Jeter in a bid to buy the franchise from Jeffrey Loria, the current owner.

Bush and Jeter faced competition from a team assembled by Tagg Romney, son of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

The source close to the Bush talks said he did not think Jeter was withdrawing from the chase for the Marlins.

“I think he will try to do it on his own,” the source said of Jeter.

The news removes the only known local suitor for the Marlins. The team has suffered from weak attendance and political backlash still lingering from the 2009 deal to use local taxes to build the team a new stadium in Little Havana.

This developing story will be updated here.

Photo credit: Andrew Harnik, Associated Press file

April 25, 2017

Marlins expected to finalize sale to Jeb Bush, Derek Jeter

0104241457via @flasportsbuzz

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria reached an agreement in principle to sell the team to a group led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and including former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter, pending Major League Baseball approval and other details to be worked out in the drawing up and execution of a contract, according to an MLB source.

According to the source, Bush’s group has agreed to pay $1.3 billion for the team.

A source said the Marlins and Bush group are very optimistic a deal will be finalized, but the process could take months to conclude.

Bush plans to be the Marlins’ “control person,” the individual who would have ultimate control over franchise decisions, according to the source.

Jeter, the former All-Star player who lives in Tampa, plans to take an active role with the franchise. 

Bush’s group includes at least five investors, and it’s unclear which of those investors has the most money invested in the bid.

Loria does not plan to retain a piece of the team he has owned since 2002, the source said.

Bush was informed this week that his bid was selected over overtures from at least two others — New York businessman Wayne Rothbaum and a group led by Massachusetts businessman Tagg Romney, son of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

The Marlins declined to comment on where the process stands.

“I have not commented on the process and plan to keep it that way; thank you,” Marlins president David Samson said.


Photo credit: Phil Coale, Associated Press

April 17, 2017

Does competition lift public schools as Jeb Bush says?


via @PolitiFactNH

As New Hampshire considers the merits of a universal Education Savings Account bill, education reformers nationwide are watching - and weighing in.

Senate Bill 193 would allow parents to use 90 percent of the per-pupil grant the state gives to local public schools and instead put it toward alternative educational expenses, including private school tuition or homeschooling.

ESAs function basically like vouchers, but they give parents more options about how the money can be spent.  

Proponents of ESAs tout them as the next evolution in school choice. If SB 193 is passed by the House (it cleared the Senate in March), it would be one of the most expansive school choice laws in the country.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose Foundation for Excellence in Education is backing market-based education reform efforts nationwide, submitted an op-ed in New Hampshire papers this week, urging passage of the bill.

"This legislation (will not) hurt public schools. In fact, a large body of research, including that done in my home state of Florida, indicates quite the opposite. When public schools face increased competition, they get better and kids learn more," he wrote.

Critics of choice typically say that diverting funds from public schools hurt those schools. So putting aside the question of whether vouchers actually help the kids who use them, we wondered: Does research show that school choice, and specifically vouchers, help public schools get better?

See what PolitiFact New Hampshire found.