Former Florida governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush, and his son George Prescott Bush, who is running to be Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, have staked out opposing stances over the government shutdown and the tactics pursued by Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX.
With Cruz plainly the intended recipient, the elder Bush told ABC News: "Have a little bit of self-restraint. It might actually be a politically better approach to see [Obamacare's] massive dysfunction. But we don't even hear about that because we've stepped on that message. And I think Republicans need to just take a step back and allow – show a little self-restraint and let this happen a little more organically," BuzzFeed reported.
Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz's Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here.
During the shutdown, he referred to the tactics pursued by Cruz and the Tea Party faction as "embarrassing."
In contrast, George P. Bush lauded Cruz's campaign to defund Obamacare. "It's a monstrosity of a law," he said. "In terms of defunding it, that would be one way to reduce and mitigate the impact it's going to have on practicing physicians and hospitals here in Texas," The Dallas News quoted him as saying.
Speaking at a campaign appearance – he is running unopposed for the Republican nomination – the Houston-born 37-year-old George P. Bush said he also agreed with Cruz on keeping Texas "out of the program unless we can modify it to a Texas-specific solution."
The younger Bush graduated from the University of Texas with a law degree after returning from Florida where he lived while his father was governor. He served an eight-month tour in Afghanistan with U.S. Naval Intelligence in 2010.
The senior Bush said the best way to defeat the president's signature healthcare plan would be to "have an alternative" based on free market principles. Republicans lost political ground with their tactics of pursuing defunding – "something that couldn't be achieved," he told ABC.
The former Florida governor also disparaged how Washington Republicans handled the debt ceiling crisis which he said left the United States looking "untrustworthy" overseas.
Taking another indirect swipe at Cruz – and an open one at Obama – the senior Bush decried Washington's lack of civility and the failure to search for common ground. Jeb Bush said a "void of leadership is making it harder to get to a better place."
Former President George W. Bush has encouraged
his brother Jeb and nephew George P. in their respective political careers, The Houston Chronicle reported.
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