President Barack Obama made a bad situation worse, Jeb Bush contends, but the former Florida governor also advises Republican presidential candidates to advance their own ideas instead of just attacking the president’s performance.
Extreme verbal assaults risk turning off moderate independent voters, Bush told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Tuesday night.
“I think when you start ascribing bad motives to the guy, that’s wrong. It turns off people who want solutions,” said Bush, who declined the urgings of some Republicans to run for president himself next year.
“It’s fine to criticize him — that’s politics,” Bush said. “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.”
As for the GOP field, Bush said he remains neutral but admires former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
“I’m excited that he is laying out a jobs agenda to try to set the agenda a little bit, because the conversation needs to get to how do we grow, so that we can create jobs over a long period of time, not just short run,” Bush told Cavuto. “Because every one of these things in Washington that has been tried: cash for clunkers, and home incentives, and stuff like that, the net result is, it gets a little burst and then it creates a worse problem.
“And I hope that the Republican candidates, when they are offering their solutions, it’s good to — to be critical of the president,” he said. “I think the president means well, but his policies have failed — and to point that out, nothing wrong with that — that is politics. But just to stop there and say: Well, I’m going to win because I am against what is going on — is not enough.”
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