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Jeb Bush: 'Washington has lost its way'

Published on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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Jeb Bush, likely Republican presidential candidate, is holding campaign-style events across South Carolina today and Wednesday. “I’m excited about the possibilities and looking forward to this journey,” Bush said.
 

Julie Bonds Photo

Jeb Bush, likely Republican presidential candidate, is holding campaign-style events across South Carolina today and Wednesday. “I’m excited about the possibilities and looking forward to this journey,” Bush said.

 

By KIM WOOTEN

GreerToday.com

Former Florida governor and likely Republican presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, made his first South Carolina appearance in Greenville this morning speaking to the Upstate Chamber Coalition.

“Washington has lost its way,” Bush told an audience of about 350 at a breakfast at the Embassy Suites. He said Washington needed leadership to break the political gridlock.

Bush engaged the crowd with a variety of answers to their questions.

The most important thing to do in foreign policy is to engage,” Bush said. “The first step would be to re-engage, to build confidence again, and to have personal relationships with leaders that they know the United States isn’t going to pull back.”

Consistent involvement and high sustained economic growth will help create better lives, according to Bush. “We need to nourish our allies that have kept safety and security at the forefront of our policies,” he said.

Common Core drew an impassioned response from Bush. “Not even half of our kids are either college or career ready.” South Carolina, among other states, has opted out of the policy. Bush said it’s wrong for the federal government to use Common Core to expect to get something in return and for the federal money to flow.

“The federal government should have no say in the creation of standards, no say in the creation of content, and no say in the creation of curriculum,” Bush said. “All these should be state or locally driven.”

Strategies for children to learn should be done in the classroom and there should be as few mandates as possible, he said.

ObamaCare is not the way for healthcare reform, Bush said. “We need to get back to the patient-doctor relationship, make it private again and simplify the system.” Americans need to invest in their own healthcare, which will empower people in decision-making, he said.

“All of this massive cost, massive complexity from Washington, D.C., is not what we believe in,” Bush said. “We believe in the exact opposite with empowering people to make choices on their own and for state and local governments to have more say, more power about how to correct policies and how to enhance them.”

Bush’s most pointed criticism of Obama was addressed in a question and answer with the media afterwards. “"Every chance he's had to validate his mandate, which was not that, 'I'm going to be the most hard-left president in American history.' It was there are no blue states, no red states, only the United States.

"He won because of that. And he has invalidated that every chance he's had. After every election he's not tried to develop personal relationships with people that don't completely agree with him. And our democracy has been hurt by that."

Responding to an immigration question from the audience, Bush said he hopes to unite his party on immigration policy. The borders need to be reinforced, E-Verify improved, petitions for family members and residents living outside the U.S. “We need to expand economic visits allowing illegals to earn legalized status by learning English and paying fines,” Bush said.

He is holding campaign-style events across South Carolina today and Wednesday. “I’m excited about the possibilities and looking forward to this journey,” Bush said.

 

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