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As usual, Jeb Bush is making sense. One of America’s most successful (and conservative) governors, Jeb Bush of Florida is (for me, anyway) a kind of heartbreaking figure. He should be president. He would be a great one. But for whatever reason — it’s hard to imagine a third Bush winning the White House — he’s not running.
But that doesn’t mean he isn’t still a smart, principled, accomplished leader. Here he is, giving some sound and thoughtful advice to the rest of the Republican presidential field, from Politico:
Asked by Fox News host Neil Cavuto if some Republicans go too far in their criticism of Obama, Bush said flatly, “I do. I think when you start ascribing bad motives to the guy, that’s wrong. It turns off people who want solutions.
“It’s fine to criticize him, that’s politics,” said Bush, the younger brother of former President George W. Bush, who again reiterated that he won’t run for president himself. “But just to stop there isn’t enough. You have to win with ideas, you have to win with policies. … He’s made a situation that was bad worse. He’s deserving of criticism for that. He’s not deserving of criticism for the common cold on up.”
“If you’re a conservative, you have to persuade. You can’t just be against the president,” he added.
And then he adds:
Breaking with the GOP field, Bush said he’d be willing to accept new revenues as part of a deficit-reduction package.
“I think the problems are so severe in this country that leadership is required to find common ground and solutions,” he said.
But he pushed back against billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s suggestion that taxes be raised on the rich.
“The problem with Warren Buffett’s attitude is he’s talking about people who are already rich, and his policies I think may create a lid on people who are aspiring to be rich,” Bush said. “There are 10 other aspiring Warren Buffetts that will find it harder to become rich.”
I’m not sure I know exactly what he has in mind here, but I’d certainly like to hear more from Jeb Bush, on spending cuts, debt reduction, education reform, and a bunch of other issues we face. He’s a smart guy, and a leader. Republicans would be smart to listen to him.