After months of dragging his feet on supporting weak frontrunner Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush today held his nose and gave Romney an unenthusiastic nod – much like the GOP electorate across the country. Bush previously criticized Romney and the Republican field for running too far to the right on the issues that matters to women, seniors, and Hispanics. While Romney’s values may be as lasting as an image on an Etch-a-Sketch, he can’t shake away the extremist positions that are certain to dog him with the independent-minded voters that decide general elections in Florida.
Bush has endorsed Romney, but will he endorse his extreme positions? See background below.
Jeb Bush Endorsed Mitt Romney, But Will He Endorse His Policies?
Jeb Bush may have endorsed Mitt Romney today but will he endorse the “severely conservative” positions Mitt Romney’s taken during the GOP primary? Or, will he encourage an “Etch-A-Sketch” reset on those policies on which he’s disagreed with Mitt Romney? Here are just a few of the areas in which Jeb and Mitt disagree:
JEB BUSH: “I USED TO BE A CONSERVATIVE”; ROMNEY: “I WAS A SEVERELY CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR”
Jeb Bush Said He “Used To Be A Conservative And I Watch These Debates And I’m Wondering, I Don’t Think I’ve Changed, But It’s A Little Troubling Sometimes When People Are Appealing To People’s Fears And Emotion.” “Jeb Bush seems a little confused by some of the rhetoric being tossed around by the GOP’s 2012 presidential frontrunners in debates and out on the campaign trail. ‘I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that’s kind of where we are,’ said the former Florida Governor. ‘I think it changes when we get to the general election. I hope.’” [Fox News, 2/23/12]
Romney: “I Was A Severely Conservative Republican Governor.” “Romney delivered what sounded like a front-runner’s address to a full ballroom at a Washington hotel, emphasizing the conservative actions he took as Massachusetts governor. They are a contrast to what he called the failure of President Obama. ‘I fought against long odds in a deep blue state, but I was a severely conservative Republican governor,’ he said. ‘I have been on the front lines and I expect to be on the front lines again.’” [USA Today, 2/10/12; Romney, Conservative Political Action Conference, 2/10/12]
Jeb Bush On 2012 GOP Presidential Candidates: “I Think It’s Important For The Candidates To Recognize Though They Have To Appeal To Primary Voters, And Not Turn Off Independent Voters That Will Be Part Of A Winning Coalition.” [CBS (Dallas, TX), 2/23/12]
JEB BUSH CALLED THE DREAM ACT “A FAIR POLICY,” BUT ROMNEY SAID HE’D VETO IT
Jeb Bush Called The Dream Act “A Fair Policy” Saying The Undocumented Students It Benefits Were Brought To America Through “No Fault Of Their Own.” “With Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry under attack for supporting tuition breaks for children of illegal immigrants, former Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday offered some solidarity by calling a similar proposal in Florida ‘fair policy.’ In 2001, Perry signed the first state law in the country that allowed the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates. Former Florida state Rep. Juan Zapata said the Texas law was ‘the model’ for legislation that he repeatedly—but unsuccessfully—pushed in his state. Two of his key allies then are now among the GOP’s most sought-after stars: Bush, the subject of perpetual draft movements to run for president, and his fellow Floridian, Sen. Marco Rubio, a sure bet for the GOP’s vice presidential shortlist in 2012. ‘I think that is a fair policy,’ Bush said in an e-mail to National Journal on Tuesday, adding that the students who benefit from the tuition breaks find themselves in the United States through ‘no fault of their own.’” [National Journal, 9/27/10]
When Asked If He Would Veto The DREAM Act, Romney Said, “The Answer Is Yes.” “‘The question is if I were elected and Congress were to pass the Dream Act, would I veto it and the answer is yes,’ Romney said.” [Reuters, 12/31/11; Le Mars, IA Meet & Greet, 12/31/11]
JEB BUSH OPPOSED THE RADICAL ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW, WHILE ROMNEY CALLED IT A MODEL FOR THE NATION
Jeb Bush Called Arizona’s Controversial Immigration Law “The Wrong Approach.” “Jeb Bush, younger brother of former president George W. Bush, announced over the weekend that he does not support Arizona’s controversial immigration law, saying that his half-Latino children might represent potential suspects according to the intended strictures of SB1070. ‘It’s the wrong approach,’ Bush, who is married to a Mexican, said Saturday at a National League of Cities convention in Denver, according to the Denver Post’s report. ‘The net result is not much has been done.’” [Huffington Post, 12/6/10]
Romney Called The Arizona Law “A Model” For How To Enforce Immigration Laws. In a Republican debate, Romney was asked, “Should there be aggressive, seek them out, find them and arrest them as the Sheriff Arpaio advocates?” Romney said, “You know, I think you see a model in Arizona. They passed a law here that says — that says that people who come here and try and find work, that the employer is required to look them up on e- verify. This e-verify system allows employers in Arizona to know who’s here legally and who’s not here legally. And as a result of e-verify being put in place, the number of people in Arizona that are here illegally has dropped by some 14 percent, where the national average has only gone down 7 percent. So going back to the question that was asked, the right course for America is to drop these lawsuits against Arizona and other states that are trying to do the job Barack Obama isn’t doing.” [CNN Arizona Debate, 2/22/12]
JEB BUSH WARNED DEPORTATION WOULD COST BILLIONS, WHILE ROMNEY CALLED FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS TO “SELF DEPORT”
Jeb Bush Warned That Deportation Of Undocumented Workers Would Cost Billions. “He said if the U.S. deported 12 million illegal immigrants from across the country, it would cost billions and not be very effective.” [Denver Post, 12/5/10]
Romney Said That He Favored Immigration Laws That Would Lead Illegal Immigrants To “Self-Deport.” BLITZER: “Governor Romney, the few times and I think it was only once, that they experimented with self-deportation, only a handful of individuals voluntarily left. What makes you think that — that program could work?” ROMNEY: “Well, you’ve just heard the last two speakers also indicate that they support the concept of self-deportation. It’s very simply this, which is for those who come into the country legally, they would be given an identification card that points out they’re able to work here and then you have an E-verify system that’s effective and efficient so that employers can determine who is legally here and if employers hire someone without a card, or without checking to see if it’s been counterfeited, then those employers would be severely sanctioned. If you do that, people who have come here illegally won’t be able to find work. And over time, those people would tend to leave the country, or self-deport.” [CNN Florida Debate, 1/26/12]
JEB BUSH CALLED COMPLIANCE TO DIRECTIVES REDUCING CLASS SIZES A “MORAL REQUIREMENT,” WHILE ROMNEY OPPOSES SMALLER CLASS SIZES CALLING IT A SOP TO THE TEACHERS’ UNIONS
Jeb Bush Said He Thought It Was “A Moral Requirement To Comply” With Directives To Lower Class Sizes. “Though the constitutional amendment puts the onus on the state to pay for smaller classes, [Florida Governor Jeb] Bush would shift the penalty for noncompliance to districts. Those that don’t begin reducing classroom averages by at least two students per year would be required to implement one of four unsavory options: rezoning, dual class sessions, year-round schools and vouchers to private schools. And those that don’t meet constitutional class size limits by 2008 would have to contend with a plan written for them by the state Board of Education. ‘I think there is a moral requirement to comply,’ Bush said.” [Fort Meyers News-Press, 1/24/03]
Romney: Smaller Class Sizes Are A “Nonreform Reform” Supported By Teachers Unions To Get “More Teachers”, “More Union Dues”, And “More Power.” Romney wrote in his book No Apology, “Given the very persuasive data, why do politicians continue to promote and fund the massive investment required to reduce class size? To a certain degree, they are playing to the pervasive public perception that smaller classes mean better education. Politicians may also wish to curry favor with teachers’ unions. Smaller classes mean more teachers, more union dues, and more power, so teachers’ unions are almost always supportive of the idea, claiming that small classes are an education reform they can support. Embracing such a “nonreform reform” also spares many the hard choices involved in making real productive change in our classrooms.” [Romney, No Apology, Pg. 208]