February 27, 2015

W'S PLAYBOOK:

Jeb Bush Defends Stance on Immigration, Education (PATRICK O'CONNOR, Feb. 27, 2015, WSJ)

[H]e stuck by his support for two stances at odds with those of the Republican base. He backed a set of education standards known as Common Core and touted the economic benefits of increased immigration, restating his belief that immigrants in the country illegally should eventually be granted some form of legal status.

The timing of his remarks—on the eve of a highly anticipated appearance before conservative activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington—suggests Mr. Bush is willing to court confrontation with some of his party's most committed activists.

"I'm not backing down from something that is a core belief," he declared to rousing applause here at the Club for Growth's annual retreat. "Are we all just supposed to cower because, at the moment, people are upset about something? No way, no how."

The comments were a nod to Mr. Bush's decree in December that, in order for Republicans to reclaim the White House, the next GOP presidential nominee must be willing to "lose the primary to win the general" election.

In a likely preview of the themes Mr. Bush will highlight Friday at CPAC, Mr. Bush touted his efforts to reduce the state government workforce by 13,000.

Mr. Bush told the crowd he lowered taxes every year as governor and drew loud applause when he said he vetoed $2 billion worth of line items in the budget during his eight years in office, rejecting projects and programs advocated by Republicans and Democrats alike.

"They called me Vito Corleone," he joked," referring to the movie "The Godfather."

He also pointed to his efforts to rework Medicaid and end Affirmative Action in higher education and government procurement.

Throughout, Mr. Bush pitched himself as a conservative reformer with a proven record of enacting big changes.

Posted by at February 27, 2015 11:52 AM
  

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