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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Presidential campaign announcement speeches typically rehash well-worn themes politicians have long championed. They rarely include shockers or attempts to wholly redefine a candidate. Not so for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — his announcement address at Miami Dade College this week was an extreme makeover that included passages that likely had America doing a double take.

To start, Bush slammed politicians for being too close to what he called Washington’s “swarms of lobbyists.” Yet, Bush has relied on that multibillion-dollar influence industry to bankroll his political campaigns.

The New York Times reports that during his campaigns for Florida governor, “Bush received at least $237,000 from hundreds of lobbyists, lawyers, political consultants and others in the capital.” In his presidential run, the Times also notes, he has already held “seven private fundraisers and meet-and-greets in the Washington area,” proof that “he seems to have mastered a skill that is crucial in this city: tapping into the money-raising clout of the K Street lobbyists.” The Washington Post followed up with a lengthy list of lobbyists now working to help Bush win the Republican presidential nomination.

Bush also slammed “pampered elites” and insisted he is “not just another member of the club.” Those lines, of course, came from the millionaire grandson of a senator, son of a president, and brother of another president. Later in the speech, in fact, Bush actually highlighted part of that biography, noting that he is “a guy who met his first president on the day he was born and his second on the day he was brought home from the hospital.”

Bush highlighted education, which he considers one of his signature causes when he was governor of Florida. But in his presidential campaign speech, he veered away from his own record, insisting he believes that “every school should have high standards, and the federal government should have nothing to do with setting them.” That declaration came from the same politician who has been an outspoken supporter of his brother’s No Child Left Behind Act, which included a host of controversial federal education mandates. Additionally, Bush has been a strong supporter of Common Core education standards, which have been pushed — and financially incentivized — by the federal government.

Then there was Bush’s criticism of President Obama. He said “it’s still a mystery to me why, in these violent times, the president a few months ago thought it relevant at a prayer breakfast to bring up the Crusades.” That seems straightforward, except that Bush did not mention similar concerns when his brother, George W. Bush, made headlines for using the term “crusade” to describe his invasions of Muslim countries.

Bush also criticized the Obama administration for having “failed to be the peacemakers” in international affairs. But, of course, Bush is the brother of a president who initiated two wars — including the longest in modern American history — and who was, in the estimation of some critics, responsible for helping create the Islamic State group. Bush has been a supporter of those policies, which few describe as “peacemaking.” And let’s remember: Bush’s support hasn’t been tepid. Indeed, he recently reiterated that he would have authorized the invasion of Iraq, and said of his brother’s war policies: “News flash to the world: If they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.”

Give Bush credit for one thing: He did not offer voters a run-of-the-mill speech. He delivered a tour de force of sheer audacity. The trouble is, it’s the kind of audacity that assumes America will never bother to consider even the most basic facts about Jeb Bush.

David Sirota is a senior writer at the International Business Times and the best-selling author of the books Hostile Takeover, The Uprising, and Back to Our Future. Email him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website at 

Screenshot: C-SPAN/YouTube

  • Daniel Jones

    What’s to consider?

    There *ARE* no facts about Jeb Bush.

  • charleo1

    Republicans talking about wealth inequality! That’s rich, isn’t it? At the height of the deepest recession in 80 years, they were dismissing that kind of talk as divisive class warfare when President Obama said the very same things. As they bailed out Wall Street, opposed the stimulus package, and suffered fits of rage over financial reform, and the creation of the Consumer Protection Agency. This, as they were willing to hold hostage the entire economy over debt, while protecting at literally all costs, the budget busting, Bush Tax Cuts for the rich. Now, their pockets nearly splitting with Koch campaign cash. Here they come! Suddenly railing against lobbyists, and crying crocodile tears over the little guy not getting ahead? Really?

  • FireBaron

    Remember, it’s only hypocrisy when those same attributes and actions belonging to you are used to describe someone else. When explaining them about yourself, they are positive assets.

  • Paul Bass

    That Jeb is a liar and a hypocrite has been more than evident since he was governor.

    He’s for “small government” yet wants to keep 10 year brain dead Terri Schiavo alive against the wishes of the husband?
    “Hanging chads”, gave his brother the election.
    “Scarlet Letter for single mothers”, yes, let’s return to the 19th century.
    Miami mafia connections, some even convicted felons, let’s just ignore that…
    and we can go on and on.

  • gmccpa

    I’m pretty sure Jeb Bush believed the GOP nomination was his for the taking. Reality is setting in and his desperation is showing.

  • 1Zoe55

    Jeb has surrounded himself with the same “chicken-hawk” advisers that his brother

    George W. had, and we all know what that led to–war in Iraq. Perhaps that war criminal Cheney will have an active role too due to Cheney’s hostile personality. What a nightmare scenario. God help our country if this cabal gets elected.

    • RED

      I suspect a Republican Presidentwiould be the mail in the coffin of the US.

  • Sterling Harris


    Satan is to prompt you, me and everyone in the world to believe that he is not
    Satan. He manipulates us to accept something quite opposite. Satan wants people
    to believe that he is a righteous spirit being who has nothing but your interest
    (and the interest of all human beings on earth) as his chief desire and that his
    ultimate goal is to promote your welfare and prosperity. Truly, he wants you to
    succeed and be prosperous if you will only do things his way. Using the
    vernacular of the present day, though Satan is truly a bad guy (the worst of the
    worst), he projects himself to the world and to you and me as a good guy (the
    best of the best) and Satan has accomplished his task quite effectively.
    Truthfully, however, Christ Jesus accurately called Satan a murderer from the
    beginning. He goes about as a roaring lion to devour whom he might, but the
    impression that Satan wishes to give of himself is utterly different. He wants
    to express to the world (and to you and me) the very opposite characteristics.
    And believe me, Satan has managed to pull off the grandest subterfuge ever
    conceived in the history of the world.

    is not just a theory of paradox, but an actual entity that exists only for
    itself. From its ether of manifestation that is garlanded in perpetual darkness,
    it not only influences and seeks the ruination and destruction of everything
    that resides in our universe, but rushes to embrace its own oblivion as
    accomplish this, REPUBLICANS, must hide within the shroud of lies and deceit it
    spins to manipulate the weak-minded as well as those who choose to ally
    themselves with it for their own personal gain. For evil must rely on the
    self-serving interests of the arrogant, the lustful, the power-hungry, the
    hateful, and the greedy to feed and proliferate. This then becomes the condition
    of evil’s existence: the baneful ideologies of those who wantonly chose to
    ignore the needs and rights of others, inducing oppression, fear, pain, and even
    death throughout the cosmos. And by these means, evil seeks to supplant the
    balance of the universe with its perverse nature.
    once all that was good has been extinguished by corruption or annihilation, evil
    will then turn upon and consume what remains: particularly its immoral servants
    who have assisted its purpose so well … along with itself. And within that
    terrible instant of unimaginable exploding quantum fury, it will burn brighter
    than a trillion galaxies to herald its moment of ultimate triumph. But a moment
    is all that it shall be. And a micro-second later when the last amber burns and
    flickers out to the demise of dissolving ash, evil will leave its legacy of a
    totally devoid universe as its everlasting monument to eternal death

  • Sterling Harris

    is a common and hyperbolic refrain that Democrats have been (and still are) the
    anti-religion party. Now, however, Republicans may be running into religion
    problems of their own as evangelical and Roman Catholics become more engaged
    with issues such as poverty and climate change.

    a moth to a flame, Democrats can’t help themselves when it comes to denigrating
    and demonizing Christians,” said Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN), on the House floor in

    perceived hostility by Democrats to faith — Christianity, in particular — has
    been used as an effective wedge issue in tight political campaigns. In 2004, as
    an example, the Republican National Committee, then under the direct control of
    President George W. Bush, sent out mailers to voters in West Virginia alleging
    that his general election opponent, then U.S. Senator John Kerry, a life long
    Roman Catholic, would ban the Bible if elected President.

    Obama spent much of the 2008 election and his presidency campaign defending his
    Christian faith from other politicians and political commentators who charged
    that the president with either lying about his faith or being a secret

    rhetoric became so ugly towards President Obama that a coalition of diverse
    religious leaders, many of who did not support his policies, issued a statement coming to his defense:

    Obama has been unwavering in confessing Christ as Lord and has spoken often
    about the importance of his Christian faith. Many of the signees on this letter
    have prayed and worshipped with this President. We believe that questioning, and
    especially misrepresenting, the faith of a confessing believer goes too