Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jeb: I'm not "100,000 percent against President Obama"

Jeb Bush in an interview airing on CBS this morning, further proving that he's not in any rush to position himself for a base-pleasing run in 2016 or 2020.

Jeb Bush says he doesn’t “have to play the game of being 100,000 percent against President Obama,” although the former Florida governor has “a long list of things” that he thinks Obama has done wrong.

In an interview on “CBS This Morning,” Bush cited the selection of Arne Duncan as education secretary as an Obama success. “I think Arne Duncan has done a good job,” Bush told Charlie Rose. “And he clearly has the unmitigated support of the president.”

Rose asked if Bush worried about the direction of the Republican Party, and the governor cited immigration issues.

“I worry that it’s shortsighted because tonally, in terms of the tone of the debate, it sends a signal ‘we want your support but you really can’t join our team.’ … That’s the short-term implications of this,” Bush said. “Demographically, Latino voters, Hispanic voters, are gonna be important in this election but, going forward, even more so. … I think there needs to be a lot more intense efforts to recognize the demographics of the country are changing and our messaging, not our views, not our principles, … need to change as well.”

Jeb has become one of the most critical voices of intense GOP rhetoric and even seemed to ruefully note yesterday that it would have doomed him if he had decided to run in 2012.

"This was probably my time.

Although I don't know, given kind of what I believe and how I believe it, I'm not sure I would have been successful as a candidate, either.

These are different times than just six years ago when I last ran."

I wrote last week that over the past few years, Jeb's acquired a habit of slapping the GOP base to prove he's not interested in national office.

The most obvious example came during the red-meat-heat of the GOP primary when he said:

"I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I'm wondering, I don't think I've changed, but it's a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people's fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that's kind of where we are."

And there's more where that came from...