In a move similar to his brother, who packaged the term “compassionate conservatism,” Jeb Bush is now laying out his vision for a campaign platform with a softened conservative message. Speaking in Detroit on Wednesday, Bush laid out many positions, specifically dealing with the economy, and touched on many themes which will likely be the basis for his campaign message.

Report from CNN:

Jeb Bush on Wednesday introduced the core principles of an economic platform that could become the central tenant of an eventual presidential campaign.

In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, the former Florida governor tapped into the struggles of “too many Americans (who) live on the edge of economic ruin,” debuting what Bush dubbed a “new vision” to create more economic opportunity in the U.S. and give Americans “the right to rise.”

“The recovery has been everywhere but in American paychecks. The American Dream has become a mirage for far too many. So the central question we face here in Detroit and across America is this: Can we restore that dream — that moral promise — that each generation can do better?” Bush said Wednesday in the financially faltering city of Detroit. “We believe that every American and in every community has a right to pursue happiness. They have a right to rise.”

Bush played off those words throughout the speech — he said “right to rise” six times on Wednesday — as he harped on a theme he unveiled when he announced his potential candidacy in December and established a PAC by the same name: The Right to Rise PAC.

The potential presidential candidate also appeared to distinguish himself from the 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Bush defended the millions of Americans struggling financially, testing his brand of what aides called “reform conservatism” that appears similar to his brother’s “compassionate conservatism.”

Bush said those Americans are not held back by a “lack of ambition” or “hope” and “not because they’re lazy or see themselves as victims.”

But Bush also used Detroit to highlight the failure of Democratic policies, calling it an example of “decades: of big government politics and “chronic mismanagement.”

“The troubles of Detroit are echoes of the troubles facing Washington, D.C.,” Bush said.

The message is quite populist in overtones speaking directly to the masses regarding stagnant rates of pay and income mobility. This, in some ways, is the message Barack Obama ran on in 2008, and somewhat in 2012, when he posited himself against whatever forces were harming the middle class and benefiting only certain tax brackets over others. However, Bush also slays the dragon of a burgeoning federal government so as to cement some kind of territory in the limited government camp.


  1. If it had not been for 9/11, I think George Bush might have been a very popular and effective domestic president, because he had the wealth from the 90s that could have been turned into experimental programs, in the way that Nixon tried so hard to “bring us together again.”

    He could have established a health-care plan, for instance, and coming from the Right, it could have been adopted without 50+ attempts to overturn it. W did, after all, add the Medicare drug benefit. If we didn’t near-bankrupt ourselves in Middle East adventurism, we could have rebuilt our own country.

    If we can extricate ourselves from the ongoing foreign war games, a President JEB could easily overshadow his father and brother, and be very popular, indeed–as a conservative with a heart.

  2. Jeb Bush has inherited the silver tongue of his father and the rough charm of his mother. Just as Bush41 captured the voter’s hearts with his “points of light”, Jeb has found his voice with the “right to rise”. Who of the downtrodden doesn’t crave the “right to rise” and be counted. But none ask “how you gonna do this Jeb”?

    In his Detroit speech, Jeb kept referring to Lincoln and his dream for America. Lincoln’s humble background is often misread. He worked as a corporate lawyer and joined the Whigs, a party of wealthy Eastern
    elites and was no enemy to the well-off.

    Jeb Bush has come up with a vague solution, which he calls “reform conservatism”. He said it this way: “Let’s embrace reform everywhere, especially in our government. Let’s start with the simple principle of who
    holds the power. I say give Washington less and give states and local governments more.” How you gonna do this, Jeb?

    Self-declared conservative “reformers” are still dedicated to tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, so that’s nothing new. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s first tax cut legislation will add about $100 billion to the deficit, If you were President Bush, would you sign this bill?

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