Jeb Bush warns GOP of “American passivity”

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In a recent Las Vegas donor conference hosted by billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, former Gov. Jeb Bush advocated a strong American foreign policy, blasting President Barack Obama and his approach to world affairs.

The former Florida governor was a featured speaker at the high-powered, closed-to-the-press conference of $25,000-a-year contributors to the Republican Jewish Coalition, reports Zeke Miller of Time Magazine.

RJC board member Ari Fleischer, the former White House Press Secretary, said Bush “showed a lot of knowledge about foreign policy that he must have been working hard to acquire.” 

Fleischer said he also brought up the delicate challenges in dealing with countries like Ukraine, Russia and Moldova.

“He was very rough on the president in terms of his handling of foreign policy,” Fleischer added, “referring to the dangers of ‘American passivity.’”

The audience of about 60 GOP donors also drew some top current and former Republican politicians, including Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Seen as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, Bush warned of the Republican push towards “neo-isolationism,” which seemed a veiled reference to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, another leading name in the talk of a White House bid.

Bush also talked of two of his most emotional issues, immigration and education reform.

”Bush discussed the challenges facing our nation and the need to create high, sustained economic growth through policies that foster social and economic mobility,” according to a spokesperson who attended the event in the private airplane hangar owned by Adelson’s Sands Corporation.

When asked, Bush did not reveal his 2016 intentions, bringing the topic back to policy challenges facing the country. One supporter told Miller, Bush’s political operation remains “dormant,” but could be quickly reactivated.


Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.