September 22nd we went to Gravy's Diner in Cedar Falls, Iowa for a Meet 'n Greet with Governor Jeb Bush. We arrived just as the last booth was being filled, and soon the entire front room of the restaurant was crowded with chairs down the aisles. After all the chairs were filled, more people stood.
I had the opportunity of seeing President George W. Bush at a campaign rally in 2003 (from a distance--binoculars would have helped), so I was excited to meet his brother. Governor Jeb Bush arrived exactly 10 minutes late, and was greeted with cheering and enthusiasm. After he was introduced by a campaign worker, he began his speech.
Miscellaneous Facts: Jeb Bush is 62 years old. He's the son of President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, and a younger brother of President George W. Bush. He's a Roman Catholic, has been married to Columba Bush since 1974, has three children, and is 6 feet 3 inches tall.
Jeb Bush Timeline
|Created with www.readwritethink.org's Timeline Generator. Click to enlarge.|
Governor Bush began his speech by saying he intends to be a disrupter in Washington D.C. He has experience, cut taxes as governor, and in a swing state proportionately reduced the size of government by 11% during his tenure. He became known as the "Veto Corleone," vetoing 2500 separate line items in the Florida budget.
When he became governor, Florida was ranked 50th out of all 50 states in education. Bush realized something was wrong with the system, so under his leadership, Florida created the first, second, and third voucher programs in the nation. He stopped social promotion where students were promoted regardless of whether they could pass the grade, and turned the system upside down. The average graduation rate went up every year when parents were empowered to make choices in their children's education.
Bush supports the Balanced Budget Amendment, and believes a line-item veto should be established on the federal level. There should be lobbying reform and transparency, with a 6-year ban on elected officials lobbying.
More power should be given to the states, and a regulatory budget should be instituted.
America needs to lead the world, not be nice to our enemies and ignore our friends. The Iran deal was very bad. We need to back Israel and our allies. We must have a strong military, so our enemies will fear us, and we can achieve peace through strength. Our word must be our bond. We need to "Speak quietly and carry a big stick."
Governor Bush may not be the loudest voice on the stage--though he hopes the election has been entertaining for all of us. But his campaign, he says, is not about him; it's about families, veterans and those serving in our armed force, and ordinary every-day Americans.
Question about the U.N.
A: Bush does not believe the U.S. should give up sovereignty to the United Nations. He was against the Iranian deal, and thinks it is terrible. We need to confront Iran and support Israel.
Q: Will you support Breast Cancer Deadline 2020?
A: "I've already endorsed it." The federal government should be a partner in research to end breast cancer. We're on the verge of finding a cure.
Question about Education.
A: The federal government should play no role in curriculum creation or standards. The federal government should give the states money for education, but the states should have flexibility. There should be no strings attached. Higher education should be reformed, and the federal government should be a partner in lowering costs.
Q: ISIS is a problem. How can we help our allies? Do we need to go in?
A: Absolutely. We're a part of this mess. Obama made a commitment and then backed away. We need to have a strategy and unite the world to take out ISIS and Assad. It will be a hard struggle. We can't just do it with air strikes. We need to be vigilant. It's good the Patriot Act was modernized, but we need it for our national defense, and should not have allowed it to expire. We need to embed trainers, and we need our military commanders to be people who know about the military, not lawyers. We also need to get our allies in the Middle East working with us.
Q: As president, would you help our cause to promote childhood education through the world?
A: I will consider it, but I'm not making a commitment.
Q: Trump says we should build a wall. What do you think? (This question was asked in Spanish. Governor Bush interpreted the question to everyone else, and then answered in English.)
A: I don't think it's feasible. It would be very expensive. A wall can be part of the strategy at some of the most strategic places, but 40% of illegal immigrants are people who have come legally and overstayed their visas. It's un-American to just send people back. Non-criminal illegal immigrants should have to pay a fine, learn English, and then they should be able to get legal residence, not citizenship.
Further Resources: Visit Governor Bush's website to learn more about him and read his stance on the important issues. You can also read about him on Wikipedia. His two books, Profiles in Character and Immigration Wars, are available on Amazon.
My remarks: Gravy's Diner was *crowded.* I wish the event had been held somewhere with a little more room. Governor Jeb Bush basically sounded like he would be another President Bush.
Disclaimer: Candidates' speeches are reconstructed from my imperfect notes. If you notice any mistakes, just let me know. I would not intentionally misrepresent anyone's position. I am not endorsing any candidate or candidate's position at this time, and no candidate has endorsed me. And yes, I do realize that often speeches are to some extent propaganda, but it's interesting to me to see the points candidates consider as most important.
For my personal political views, please see this article.
For my personal political views, please see this article.