I haven't blogged much on the GOP 2016 presidential nominating race as yet. When other candidates have made their announcement speeches I've passed on commenting. I liked Marco Rubio's announcement address in April when he said "yesterday is over." But maybe April was still too early to pique my interest in a wider discussion. The time has come to begin the process of examining the candidates more closely.
I wasn't planning to do much with Jeb's announcement either but his speech was so strong and well written I couldn't pass up the opportunity to post some excerpts and comment.
Jeb Bush AnnouncementBush went on to cite his record in turning Florida around as proof he had not just the right plan but the ability to get it done. He said "if I am elected President, I'll show Congress how that's done." I like the focus on the Middle Class. You know Obama talks alot about the Middle Class yet the policies of his Administration will leave a lasting legacy of damage and setback for that group.
Miami Dade College
June 15, 2015
We are 17 months from the time for choosing. The stakes for America's future are about as great as they come. Our prosperity and our security are in the balance. So is opportunity, in this nation where every life matters and everyone has the right to rise.
Already, the choice is taking shape. The party now in the White House is planning a no-suspense primary, for a no-change election. To hold onto power. To slog on with the same agenda under another name: That's our opponents' call to action this time around. That's all they've got left.
And you and I know that America deserves better.
They have offered a progressive agenda that includes everything but progress. They are responsible for the slowest economic recovery ever, the biggest debt increases ever, a massive tax increase on the middle class, the relentless buildup of the regulatory state, and the swift, mindless drawdown of a military that was generations in the making.
So many challenges could be overcome if we just get this economy growing at full strength. There is not a reason in the world why we cannot grow at a rate of four percent a year.
And that will be my goal as President – four percent growth, and the 19 million new jobs that come with it.
Economic growth that makes a difference for hard-working men and women – who don't need reminding that the economy is more than the stock market.
Growth that lifts up the middle class – all the families who haven't gotten a raise in 15 years. Growth that makes a difference for everyone.
It can be done.
Bush also cited another key to restoring focus on the Middle Class as opposed to rich established elites when he declared:
We will also challenge the culture that has made lobbying the premier growth industry in the nation's capital.Strong words and ones that will appeal to the GOP base. But can Bush deliver? More specifics are needed on how he would tame the Washington elite beast!
The rest of the country struggles under big government, while comfortable, complacent interest groups in Washington have been thriving on it.
A self-serving attitude can take hold in any capital, just as it once did in Tallahassee.
I was a governor who refused to accept that as the normal or right way of conducting the people's business.
I will not accept it as the standard in Washington.
We don't need another President who merely holds the top spot among the pampered elites of Washington.
We need a President willing to challenge and disrupt the whole culture in our nation's capital.
I will be that President because I was a reforming governor, not just another member of the club.
After discussing his credentials in education reform Bush went on to discuss religious freedom in a way that will appeal to the GOP base:
We made sure of something else in Florida – that children with developmental challenges got schooling and caring attention, just like every other girl and boy. We didn't leave them last in line. We put them first in line because they are not a problem. They are a priority.Transitioning between religious freedom and foreign policy:
That is always our first and best instinct in this nation filled with charitable hearts. Yet these have been rough years for religious charities and their right of conscience. And the leading Democratic candidate recently hinted of more trouble to come.
Secretary Clinton insists that when the progressive agenda encounters religious beliefs to the contrary those beliefs, quote, "have to be changed." That's what she said, and I guess we should at least thank her for the warning.
The most galling example is the shabby treatment of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Christian charity that dared to voice objections of conscience to Obamacare. The next President needs to make it clear that great charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor need no federal instruction in doing the right thing.
It comes down to a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother, and I'm going with the Sisters.
It's still a mystery to me why, in these violent times, the President a few months ago thought it relevant at a prayer breakfast to bring up the Crusades.I'm certainly not ready to get on the Bush bandwagon but if he is the eventual nominee I will be happy to vote for him. I expect the same from every member of the GOP primary base that may support another candidate. If you can't promise to support whoever the eventual nominee is, you dilute any appeal you may make on behalf of your preferred candidate. Those are the rules and I'm sticking with them.
Americans don't need lectures on the Middle Ages when we are dealing abroad with modern horrors committed by fanatics.
From the beginning, our President and his foreign-policy team have been so eager to be the history makers that they have failed to be the peacemakers.
With their phone-it-in foreign policy, the Obama-Clinton-Kerry team is leaving a legacy of crises uncontained, violence unopposed, enemies unnamed, friends undefended, and alliances unraveling.
This supposedly risk-averse administration is also running us straight in the direction of the greatest risk of all - military inferiority.
Bush's candidacy is not without problems, both tactical and strategic. But he had a good launch with this speech. But as we've learned over the past six years of Obama a great speech isn't the same thing as effective, competent government!