Jeb Bush made his first ‘presidential campaign speech’ today. Although it was not officially labeled as such, he outlined many of the policies he would implement if he was in the White House. He separated himself from most other hopefuls because of a singular fact; he was not extreme in his ideas. Unlike wannabes Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Perry, his ideas were based on logic and common sense, and left room for deliberation about the issues. He will be heavily criticized by members of the TEA Party for his stand on several issues, which are more centrist than they would themselves suggest. But he is aligned more with the average voter, and this alone will create an element of fear within the GOP ranks.
Bush previously discussed immigration reform, much to the dismay of many other Republican politicians. He believes in sensible action, and stated that they would help increase the nation’s economic future. However, he is against President Obama’s executive order which allows nearly five million undocumented residents the opportunity to obtain legal status.
Today, at the Detroit Economic Club, Bush spoke about issues such as income inequality, poverty, and education. He said that more working men and women were entrapped in jobs with little or no upward mobility, which precludes them from moving up to a higher level, or in many cases simply to the middle. He also discussed the frustration of the working class who want to become more financially secure and increase the lifestyles of their families, but are trapped in a menial income level through no fault of their own.
Bush stressed a decades old GOP philosophy that power needs to be returned to the states, local government, and competition between private companies. He suggested that the country’s focus be on education, insinuating that he would adopt similar policies which proved successful when he was the Governor of Florida.
Bush claims he will not shy away from issues or conflicts within the Republican Party. He has been advised not to attend the Iowa caucuses; however, he plans to campaign in that state. In the last election Iowa displayed its inclination to support the extreme right by supporting candidates championed by the religious right; Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum.
Bush pointed to the futility of Washington to address the issues facing America today. He says that because of politicians taking a hard line on the issues a stalemate exists. The American people are in despair and are weary of finger pointing and name calling. He believes that if the four or five major issues were addressed and solved, the United States would return to a vaunted position in the world.
Speaking about the economy, he said that America must experience a minimum of four percent growth per annum; twice what it is at present. He believes that a higher growth rate would allow the working class to be more upwardly mobile.
Although he was not asked and did not discuss a possible battle between himself and Hillary Clinton, recent polls have created an interest. Quinnipiac revealed that Clinton would handily defeat all other Republican hopefuls, as well as Bush in most states. However, in Florida, Clinton would win over Bush by a 44-43 margin; in political terms; ‘too close to call.’
By James Turnage