Jeb Bush's record while serving as a two-term Florida governor offers plenty of evidence for conservatives that his credentials on the right are solid, The Wall Street Journal reported
As some debate whether his positions on education, where he has devoted years to reform, as well as on immigration, where he's been dubbed soft, make him a bad fit for the conservative wing of the Republican party, his record offers him "cover," said the Journal.
"As the two-term Republican governor of Florida, Mr. Bush was one of the country's most vaunted conservative champions," the Journal asserts, adding that as he begins to campaign, he need only to look to specifics of his leading the Sunshine State to make his case.
Bush pushed hard to expand his power while serving Florida from 1999 to 2007, dubbing his efforts as his "big, hairy, audacious goals," or "HAGS," the Journal reported.
"He gained sway over judicial appointments, state contracts, public schools, college admissions and budget appropriations, making him the most powerful governor in Florida history," the Journal's Beth Reinhard wrote.
"He's not running for president to be told he can't do things," Cory Tilley, who worked for Bush, told the Journal of his aggressiveness, citing his determination to bring people together and to find a way if, indeed, roadblocks persisted.
Among his successes were $19 billion in tax cuts, a Medicaid overhaul and a school voucher program that did not survive a court challenge, but one he doubled-back on to save through private finances, the Journal said. "He was willing to take on conservative reforms that no one else would touch at that time," his first-term policy director Brian Yablonski told the Journal.
Bush, in the early days of exploring a campaign, has sought to be transparent, releasing thousands of emails during his time as governor in an effort to put his experience and mindset on the table for a clear review. Their candor exposes a penchant for engagement and also straight talk, The New York Times said
, as Bush seeks to set himself apart from his family's political legacy.
A new CNN poll
, which asked voters whether a list of potential candidates represented the future or the past, found that 64 people saw Bush as representing the past.
By contrast, 50 percent said the likely Democrat front-runner, Hillary Clinton, represented the future, while 48 percent also put her in the past.
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