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Jeb Bush: My kids don’t speak for me

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This is a huge but fascinating chunk from Jeb Bush’s interview with Neil Cavuto yesterday.

Cavuto presses the hardest on Jeb’s silence over Crist vs. Rubio that I’ve heard.

Also, note that Charlie Crist came out today to say he supports Florida AG Bill McCollum’s lawsuit over the individual mandate provision in the health care legislation.

One more thing: Jeb clears up the idea that his sons sometimes speak for him. He says George supported Fred Thompson and Jeb Jr. supported Rudy and that families disagree.

He also says George didn’t speak for him when he said (March 10) that his Dad wasn’t interested in running for Prez.

That’s not to say Jeb is interested in a run, but he wants to make sure people know that he doesn’t live in a Stepford family.

Full transcript here. Relevant exchanges after the jump.

BUSH: But I have talked to a lot of people that are lawyers, that are Constitutional lawyers, and they think that there’s real good grounds to — to file suit in this case.
CAVUTO: The leading Senate candidate in your fine state, Marco Rubio, agrees with you. Your successor, the present governor, Charlie Crist, does not.

Should we read anything into the fact that you disagree with your successor?



I know that Governor Crist is advocating repeal of the bill. I know he opposed the bill that passed yesterday. And, so, I don’t think you could read much into that. There’s — amongst Republicans in Florida and across the country, there appears to be almost unanimous opposition to this, because it raises taxes. It puts a burden on the producers that are going to create the jobs.

It will limit people’s aspirations in terms of economic growth in their own families and in their own businesses. It will create a huge new entitlement. I believe it undercounts the costs going — going forward. And it will create an even bigger role for the federal government in our lives, which is deeply disturbing to a whole lot of people.

And I think, in November of 2010, we will see the reaction to it. I think there’s going to be a massive uprising against this government takeover of our lives.

CAVUTO: If you don’t mind me revisiting the Charlie Crist situation, while you have not declared for — for either candidate, I know your son has indicated — George P. Bush — that he is for Marco Rubio. And you have said on a number of times — or at least been critical a number of times of Governor Crist. And not too long ago, speaking to NewsMax, when you were talking about his support of last year’s stimulus bill, you called that unforgivable and you say — and I hope I’m quoting correctly, Governor — “I know I’m supposed to be politically correct, and I said I was neutral and all of that, but I have a problem with that.”

So, are you just for Marco Rubio, but you just aren’t saying it?

BUSH: Well, look, the Governor embraced the stimulus package, literally embraced the president the day before the Republicans, in a principled way, were opposing this $800-plus billion stimulus package that has not stimulated the economy, but has expanded the role of government in all sorts of areas.

Because the agenda is not just to stimulate the economy in this case. It’s to redefine who we are as a nation through a much bigger role for government. And, so, when Republicans were fighting in a principled way against that, Governor Crist — incorrectly, in my opinion — supported the stimulus package, embraced it, and was the only — that I know of — only statewide figure in the country that did so — that was a huge mistake.

And, look, I respect the Governor. He’s got a difficult job. The downturn has created real challenges for the state of Florida. He’s doing the best he can in Tallahassee. But that was a mistake. And I consider it unforgivable, in the sense that we’re now in a battle for our country’s future. And many people are willing to say, let us give up our own freedom to be able to have security for the larger good through government.

And I think that’s a false choice. I honestly believe that we should have an agenda of much significantly higher growth, and go back to our roots as a nation and as a people to have more optimism about our ability to produce, to create, to innovate, and not to expect government to be the solution to our problems.

CAVUTO: So, when your son George P. Bush, your oldest son…

BUSH: Yes.

CAVUTO: … says, “I like Marco Rubio…”

BUSH: And my youngest as well, by the way.

CAVUTO: I know. It’s a family affair — so, everyone but you. And I am wondering, they have to bounce this off dad.

BUSH: No. Look, my…

CAVUTO: At least give you a heads-up. They never did?

BUSH: George, my son, supported Fred Thompson. Jeb Jr. sported Rudy Giuliani. They didn’t ask me. And they’re adults. They were involved.

CAVUTO: But did it come up at dinner and say, by the way, we’re going to do this?


BUSH: No, we talk about sports.



Well, I will save you from giving your bracket choices, Governor, but I will ask you, if you don’t mind indulging this political questioning, when — when your son — I’m talking about George — had said that he did not believe you were going to run for president in 2012, did he get that from you?


BUSH: No, he didn’t. He didn’t talk to me about that either.

But I have no — I don’t wake up each day thinking about running. And I’m involved in policy, which I love. I’m involved in helping others that are principle-centered, that want to believe in conservative principles and have a passion for reform, particularly in education.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.

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