Jeb Bush 2016: No Thanks


Does America really need another Bush in the White House? The likelihood has become possible with recent 2016 speculation centered on Jeb Bush, former Republican governor of Florida. Unlike his Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton, who has repeatedly said she has no plans to run (despite CNN’s Wolf Blitzer’s predictions), Bush has said he wouldn't "rule out" joining the fray. While former President George W. Bush’s younger brother would be competition for rising GOP superstar Marco Rubio, in the end, he is not much better than the latter.

Bucking against the tide on the bipartisan bill promoting a path to citizenship for the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants, Bush recently said he is against giving those immigrants rights to become citizens of the United States. No one really likes flip-floppers, as evidenced the disastrous position-flipping exhibited by recent GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Bush appears to be another one, as he once supported similar legislation to the one he is now criticizing. Instead, Bush supports allowing immigrants nothing more than legal residence. He outlines these stances in his new book Immigration Wars. Furthermore, in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper revealed Bush’s support for a measure that would essentially deny undocumented immigrants without health insurance emergency room care. He also backs allowing local authorities near the borderlands to take on the monitoring duties of border patrol.

His record as a former governor can also be called into play. Education reforms that Bush pioneered as governor have met controversy in the form of lobbyists connected to his Foundation for Excellence in Education using for-profit funds to benefit companies. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush, were supporters of Latin America’s most wanted terrorist, Luis Posada.

Following his older brother into presidential politics may not be the best option for Bush Junior. After all, George W. Bush left the White House with the lowest approval rating of any living president. He left incoming President Barack Obama a $1.2 trillion dollar debt after initially coming into office with a surplus of over $300 billion. With that sour memory still weighing heavy in the minds of the American consciousness, Bush would come into the 2016 race with baggage outside of his control in addition to the baggage within his control. With this latest update, the future of the GOP continues to be an enigma in its quest to revitalize its identity. However, reassuming the tarnished Bush legacy might as well be taking three steps back.