January 29, 2016


Editorial: Jeb Bush is best choice for Republican nomination (Tampa Tribune, January 28, 2016)

It's time to stop treating the election of the next president of the United States like a game show without serious consequences. After more than a year of constant fundraising, meaningless opinion polls and reckless rhetoric from so many candidates, voters finally will make their voices heard starting Monday in the Iowa caucuses and eight days later in the New Hampshire primary. For Republicans fighting for both the soul of their party and the White House, the best choice is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. [...]

Bush was one of the most effective governors in Florida's history and the first Republican to serve two terms. From 1999 to 2007, he reshaped the state with a steady stream of big ideas and unbending determination. He was a hands-on chief executive who overhauled public education by introducing standardized testing, a school grading system and the nation's first statewide voucher system that now relies on business tax credits to help pay private school tuition for low-income students. He cut taxes by $19 billion, eliminated thousands of state jobs and consolidated the governor's authority over higher education and the selection of judges. He ended affirmative action in university admissions and state contracting, and he initiated the transformation of the state's Medicaid program into a privately run managed care system. His credentials as a fiscal and social conservative are in fine order, and anyone who suggests otherwise distorts his record.

Let there be no mistake. The Tampa Bay Times editorial board had serious policy disagreements with Bush on many of his priorities. We opposed tuition vouchers and unwarranted tax cuts. We vigorously protested his unprecedented efforts to force a feeding tube to be reinserted into severely brain-damaged Terri Schiavo, which the courts overturned.

Those disagreements do not diminish our respect for Bush's intellectual rigor, leadership skills and genuine commitment to helping those less fortunate. 

Posted by at January 29, 2016 5:24 PM