Former Florida governor meets voters at a college in Las Vegas
♦By Andy Donahue, Chickenfriedpolitics.com contributor
LAS VEGAS (CFP) — In one of his final public appearances before drastically rearranging his presidential campaign, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush visited the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas on October 21, saying his experience as governor of Florida shows he has the ability to “disrupt the old order.”
Bush recalled an experience while campaigning for governor of Florida in which he spent four days living with the family of a disabled child that was dependent on a state program. In light of that immersive experience, he requested permission from a judge to work with the legislature when the same program was about to be taken over by the federal government.
Bush credited this assertive action for making his state one of the national “models for the developmentally disabled” and said it was an example of how as “a consistent conservative … taking care of the most vulnerable in or society should be a core value for this country” and “shift power away from Washington.”
Bush also talked about a young woman he met in 2014 who grew up in difficult circumstances but found success with support from a Christian school funded by Florida’s school voucher program, one of the largest in the country. He said implementing the voucher program took a “lot of fighting” to overcome the opposition of teachers’ unions, but it enabled the woman to become the first member of her family to graduate from college.
“Don’t let anyone tell you children can’t learn,” Bush said. “Your precinct, your zip code, the level of income of your family should not create the destiny of your life.”
Bush also recalled a campaign visit to Colorado during which he met with Latino business owners worried about the survival of their “because of Obamacare” and “confusion and uncertainty of regulation.” He said the Obama administration was making things worse by imposing new regulations, citing specifically new EPA measures intended to lower the nation’s carbon footprint.
Bush said a 10 percent reduction in America’s carbon footprint was not the result of “anything government does but because of the revolution of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.” He said shifting industrial oversight from regulators to innovators could boost annual economic growth could from 2 percent to 4 percent.
The former governor also said he supported a consumer-directed health care system that allows patients to pick doctors, clinics and hospitals with low premiums and higher deductibles for catastrophic coverage. This will “tear down the barriers of innovation,” he said.
Bush also said as president, he would strive to “make legal immigration easier than illegal immigration” so that people will “come out of the shadows.” Specific measures he will take include introducing a guest worker program and an expedited process for so-called Dreamers, children brought to the United States illegally who grew up here.
He said there has been “political motivation to keep this (immigration) as a wedge issue,” but he believes that effort “has run out of gas.”
Bush also commended Nevada’s program of education savings accounts, which he saluted as “incredibly ambitious.”
“It is one of a kind in the country, it is very provocative, it’s bold. It’s the kind of reform you seldom see anymore,” Bush said.
Nevada will hold its presidential caucuses on February 23, 2016, with 30 delegates at stake. It is the fourth event in the 2016 primary calendar–after Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina–and the first test of strength in the West.