Jeb Bush’s center-right vision gets muted CPAC response

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Jeb Bush, whose potential 2016 presidential candidacy would be the third from his immediate family, told a conservative gathering Friday that the Republican Party must embrace “inclusion and acceptance” in order to regain power.

“All too often we’re associated with being anti-everything: anti-immigration, anti-women, anti-gay,” Bush said in an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, being held near Washington, D.C. “The face of the Republican Party needs to be the face of every American.”

In a new book, Bush outlines an immigration policy that puts him at odds with Congressional Republicans – he favors legal status, but not citizenship, for adult illegal immigrants. But a recent round of speeches and interviews to publicize the book and explain his position has fueled speculation he may be considering a run for president in 2016.

At CPAC, Bush made little mention of immigration but did call on Republicans to “reignite social and economic mobility in this country. It’s called the right to rise.”

Bush advocated school choice and voluntarism.

Democrats have demonized wealth, he said, and Republicans must make the case that individual prosperity comes from creating, not taking.”Success desperately needs to be cool again.”

Bush also highlighted economic developments that he says put the nation on the brink of a century of success: a potential energy surplus, technological supremacy, and, thanks to immigration, a younger population than overseas economic rivals.

“We potentially find ourselves at the threshold of our nation’s greatest century,” he said. “The fundamentals are aligning in a way that could allow us to race past our global competitors.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.