Jeb Bush Says He Opposes Closing Gitmo, Doesn’t Read New York Times

Jeb Bush Says He Opposes Closing Gitmo, Doesn’t Read New York Times

By Michael Bender, Bloomberg News (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Traveling through Texas on Thursday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush aired his side of a live interview on Fox Radio by using a social media app known as Meerkat. He attracted more than 300 viewers while he weighed in on a handful of issues. Among them: Bush said he watches “Fox & Friends” in the morning, doesn’t read The New York Times, and said the U.S. should not continue “disparaging” Israel’s prime minister.

Here’s a roundup:

  • On closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility:

“The president is totally focused on closing Guantanamo as an organizing principle, and it’s all based on politics. It’s not based on keeping us safe, which should be his first obligation. We shouldn’t be closing Guantanamo. We shouldn’t be releasing Taliban that are openly organizing once again to attack us. This is just not the right policy.”

  • On James Baker, one of Bush’s foreign policy advisers, criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his lack of support for a two-state solution and the U.S.’s negotiations with Iran:

“(Baker) has a different view. I did not believe it was appropriate to go speak to J Street, a group that basically has anti-Israeli sentiments, but I have a vast array of people advising me and I’m honored that Jim Baker is doing so. The fact that I have people that I might not agree with on every subject advising me shows leadership, frankly. I don’t think we need monolithic thinking here.”

  • On Netanyahu’s opposition to a two-state solution:

“It turns out he didn’t quite say that. That was how the narrative was built here in the United States. What he said was as long as the Palestinians don’t recognize Israel, their right to have secure borders as a Jewish state, that a two-state solution is not possible. Look, Israeli politics is rough and tumble, maybe more so than here. And so, he apologized for what he said about Arab Israelis, and we should take him at his word. We shouldn’t be continuing to disparage him.”

  • On the desertion charges facing Sargent Bowe Bergdahl:

“My first reaction is to the people who lost their lives trying to get him back and their families that didn’t get the same attention from this administration and this president. It’s heartbreaking to think about people, the blood and treasure of our country, being lost in any circumstance. But to try to bring back someone who turns out to have been a deserter is just heartbreaking.”

  • On a perceived weakness with the evangelical base of the Republican Party:

“There are very few people that can actually tell that story the way that I can, because for eight years I served and consistently advocated my views on moral issues. This will all sort out. In order for a conservative to win, we have to unite the conservative cause, not divide ourselves up into spare parts, and then go after and persuade people that aren’t as conservative. I mean, we got to get to 50. Winning is what this should be about so that we can govern in a way that allows people to rise up again.”

  • On Senator Ted Cruz’s announcement this week that he’s running for president:

“He’s an articulate, good man. And everybody will have their chance to make their case going forward. He’s the only one that’s announced, and that may have been a smart move, but I’ll let others make the determination of who is the good candidate is, who can win and all of that.”

  • On lessons from Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful 2012 campaign:

“Governor Romney’s team thought that making this an election about a referendum on the president’s failed economic policies, exclusively focused on that, was enough. And I think the lesson learned is, yes, that’s important to point out the failures of a policy that has kept us down. But you also have to show who you are, and connect with people, and understand the plight that they’re in. And offer an alternative that is hopeful and optimistic, and give people a sense that if you’re elected you can fix things. I wish that Governor Romney was president of the United States….We’d be growing faster and people’s incomes would be growing and we would be safer internationally.”

Photo: Jeb Bush via Facebook


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