2016 Presidential Candidate Profile: Jeb Bush

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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Follow this link to read about my 2016 Presidential Candidate Profiles.

Candidate Profile: Jeb Bush

Current Office: None

Age: 62 (Born February 11, 1953)

Party: Republican

Real Clear Politics Poll Average (as of November 30, 2015): National 5.3% (5th); Iowa 4.7% (5th); New Hampshire 7.5% (6th)1

Campaign Website: jeb2016.com

Jeb Bush is running in the Republican primary for President. He was the Governor of Florida for two full terms from 1999 to 2007. He is also known for being the son of former President George H.W. Bush and the brother of former President George W. Bush.

Jeb Bush on the Key Issues:

Immigration:

Unlike many of his opponents in the primary, Jeb Bush supports a path to legalization, and ultimately citizenship, for many immigrants who are in the United States illegally. Bush's path to legalization would require applicants to pass a criminal background check, pay fines, pay taxes, learn English, work on a provisional work permit, and not receive government assistance. However, Bush is proposing this in conjunction with policies to buttress immigration enforcement. He proposes numerous interesting policies to make it easier for border patrol agents to prioritize the more porous stretches of the border. He seeks to implement E-Verify nationwide, but with provisions to increase identify theft protection and not punish employers for good faith mistakes based upon incorrect information. He seeks to increase immigration enforcement against visa overstays.2

Bush supported both the DREAM Act and the gang of eight immigration reform efforts. He opposes President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

Israel:

Much like his brother was, Jeb Bush promises to be a strong friend of Israel. He vehemently opposes both the Iran deal and the Obama administration's treatment of Israel. Bush understands the broader importance of having a strong U.S. presence in the Middle East.

Issue of Interest — Education Reform:

Jeb Bush had an impeccable record as an education reformer as Governor of Florida. His efforts to dramatically increase school choice not only benefited children in Florida, but continue to serve as a model nationwide. While all conservatives laud these efforts, some of his positions on the federal role in education are not popular with many conservatives. In particular, there is a definite tension between his support for the common core education standards and the conservative inclination that education is an issue best left to the states.

Conclusion:

Jeb Bush was an exceptional Governor and has an impressive command of the complicated issues that our next President will face. While I am wary of plans that end in effective amnesty for people here illegally, Bush is committed to improving immigration enforcement. Readers should note that in Bush's proposal to expand E-Verify, he actually highlights some of the flaws with the system (unlike the majority of his rivals) that I discussed in this blog post.

However, many voters seem to be unenthusiastic about the prospect of a third Bush Presidency in the last 28 years. In addition, for all of his qualifications, Bush has been in many respects an underwhelming presence on the campaign trail compared to some of his exceptional rivals such as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Nevertheless, Jeb Bush makes up for his lack of charisma with his record and policy acumen. He is worth your strong consideration.

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  1. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html (retrieved on November 30, 2015)
  2. Jeb Bush discusses these proposals on the “Border Security” section of his campaign website.

Resources and Materials:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Jeb_Bush.htm