Jeb Bush: ‘You Can’t Make Up Charlie Crist’
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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says it’s time to stop blaming his brother for the economy, that he doesn’t second-guess his decision not to seek the presidency and that fellow former Gov. Charlie Crist is simply “unique.”
“You can’t make up Charlie Crist,” Bush said while on FOX Business Network Monday night from Tampa. Bush was speaking of Crist’s decision to endorse President Obama last Sunday and speak at the Democratic National Convention next week.
“He is unique,” Bush continued on Crist, while talking with host Neil Cavuto during "Election 2012: The Republican National Convention."
“He organized his life around his personal ambition and ran in a primary where he was the odds-on favorite, didn’t offer a compelling reason to be elected to the Senate.
“Marco Rubio cleaned his clock and beat him in the general and now he’s trying to find a way to get back into the political game. It has nothing to do with principles or ideas, it has to do with his ambition.”
Bush also dismissed suggestions that the decision by Mitt Romney to bypass Rubio as a running mate could be seen as a slight by the party toward Hispanics.
“You look at the rising stars in the Republican Party and they happen to be disproportionately Hispanic,” Bush noted.
“Susana Martinez, maybe the most popular governor in the country, Brian Sandoval who has an approval rating of over 60 percent, Marco, Ted Cruz is going to be, God willing, the next senator from Texas. We have great new faces that will allow us over time to regain our footing with Latino voters for sure. That’s a long-term challenge for the Republican party. Demographics are destiny and we can’t ignore it.”
Excerpts from the interview from Fox Business Network are below.
On whether he feels it’s getting old to keep blaming his brother, former President George W. Bush, for the country’s economic troubles:
“Absolutely. Look, the president has had three years, almost four years. It's time to start taking responsibility for his programs. They haven't worked, and I think the American people are kind of tired of blaming somebody else. It happens to be my brother, which is personal; I can’t deny the fact that I’m not objective about it. He’s my brother. I love the guy.”
On whether former President George W. Bush ever feels slighted:
“No he doesn’t. He has moved on with his life. I send him e-mails once every two weeks to say, ‘all I meet are people that love you,’ which is true. I am not making that up. In this hall people were saying, ‘I worked for your brother, history will prove him right on a lot of things.’ There’s a lot of good will for George W. Bush, but he also knows that he needs to stay out of the way. Back to this idea that you blame W. for everything, the common cold, breakout of acne, rain, so I think he smartly has taken a step back and let the Romney-Ryan ticket take the attention that they deserve.”
On whether he wishes he had run for president:
“No I don’t. I am really content with my life right now. I am excited about Mitt Romney running and winning and I don’t look back at all. That’s not a Bush trait, we don’t, by the way, as my dad would say, ‘meditate on our naval.’”
On President Barack Obama:
“He was dealt a tough hand, but he’s had policies that he’s tried to improve the situation and he’s made things worse. Look at the unemployment rate, lack of investment in our own country, look at all the indicators and you have to say, this is by far and away the most tepid recovery in modern times, so it’s the policies that are the problem. I don’t begrudge Barack Obama anything. I think he seems like a pretty nice guy.”
On former Florida Governor Charlie Crist:
“You can’t make up Charlie Crist. He is unique. He organized his life around his personal ambition and ran in a primary where he was the odds-on favorite, didn’t offer a compelling reason to be elected to the Senate. Marco Rubio cleaned his clock and beat him in the general and now he’s trying to find a way to get back into the political game. It has nothing to do with principles or ideas, it has to do with his ambition.”
On whether he has any ill feelings about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney choosing Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., as his running mate over Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.:
“No, not at all. Marco is a special elected official. He has a bright future ahead of him. I actually think Paul Ryan was an inspired choice because it changes the conversation to big things. Marco would have provided a lot of energy as you’ll see Thursday night. He's really gifted. But Paul Ryan is the one guy in Washington that I think has a command of the issues, the big challenges our country faces and has had the courage to outline specific proposals …That’s a big decision Romney made, he didn’t buy into every aspect of the so-called Ryan plan. By picking Paul Ryan, I think he said I want this election to be about transformational things. Kudos to him for doing it because I think it sets the stage for an interesting Fall election.”
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