Mitt Romney never let voters know genuinely cared about them during his unspectacular 2012 presidential run – a mistake Jeb Bush says he wouldn't make on the stump.
"I have to show my heart," the former Florida governor said Thursday during a private Q&A at Ramaz School, an Orthodox Jewish prep school in Manhattan, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
"I have to talk about my life experience."
The former Florida Republican governor noted Romney, however, "made it about a referendum on the president’s policies rather than about himself. He didn’t show his heart. He didn’t send a signal that he cared about people, when he did."
"A lot of it is just connecting on a human level with people, not being behind some protective shield," Bush added. "Campaigning in a way where you’re outside your own comfort zone. Taking questions, not having it all scripted out, not having it all part of some narrative that producers made. Be more spontaneous."
But the likely 2016 Republican candidate didn't just critique the party's former standard-bearer, vowing he wouldn't compromise values to win a primary.
"I know how to win a primary, I think," he said, the Free Beacon reports. "But the easy way to win a primary is the hard way to win a general. So you have to be true yourself."
Even with "views that are a little unorthodox in my own party, I’m going to express them. I’m going to try to persuade people and have the courage in my convictions to persuade people," he said.
Bush has taken heat from fellow Republicans for his support of Common Core and immigration reform. But he maintains high education standards "shouldn't be imposed from Washington," and that for illegal immigrants, there should be "earned legalized status."
As for his run for the White House that he's "seriously considering," Bush says he won't glide on name recognition.
"It’s first of all a blessing to be the son of George and Barbara Bush," he said, the Free Beacon reports. But "if it’s just about Bush versus [Hillary] Clinton, or if I give some sense that I’m trying to break the tie between the Bush family and the Adams family for the number of presidents, it doesn’t work."
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