An optimistic Jeb Bush delivered a yes, energetic speech before a largely supportive crowd at the Sunshine Summit in Orlando Friday afternoon. The former Florida Governor always notes his time in leading the Sunshine State, but seemed to throw in even more references to his accomplishments in office before the home state crowd.
The message is that he accomplished a lot between 1998-2006, and that he can replicate that on the federal live.
Twice in the speech he seemed to take a shot at Donald Trump, saying that leadership was about listening and learning.
“Leadership traits by the way, that are grossly underestimated in the world we’re in today where you’ve gotta be the big guy on stage and talk trash and talk in a way that disparages people. Listening and learning is the way that you lead,” he said with emphasis.
After discussing the lives of some vulnerable Floridians that he’s encountered along his political career, he told the crowd that the reason he was talking about them was because that’s what it was all about — the people, and not the slick speakers, again a shot at the GOP front-runner.
“It’s not about the big personalities on the stage. It’s not about who can give the great quip. It’s not about that. It’s about building a society that is loving, that is caring, that is aspirational. Where people believe again in the American dream. Where they have the tools to achieve earned success their own way.”
the most vulnerable in our society need to be in the front of the line, “we need to be on their side.”
He took plenty of shots at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and “the left” overall, making the argument that liberalism is about giving up on people and trusting too much in Big Government.
“Hillary was a United States Senator for eight years. You know how many bills she sponsored that became law? Three. Naming a highway, naming a post-office, and naming and monument,” Bush said, before comparing it to his record in Florida of “taking on very powerful interests,” specifically saying he took on the teachers unions when he implemented his education reforms that included school vouchers.
“Should I be president of the United States, I promise you I won’t be a divider in chief,” he said in knocking Obama. “I won’t be an agitator in chief. I’ll be a commander in chief, because that’s what we need,” with some in the crowd particularly enjoying that line.
Bush said he would fight for a balanced-budget amendment, implement a six-year lobbying ban on elected officials after they leave office and propose a version of a line-item veto system. He also said he’d freeze federal employment, “just like we did in Florida.”
But the question remains if the GOP primary electorate cares what Bush did in Florida a decade ago. He believes that they ultimately will.