Jeb: Rightward and Upward

Jeb Bush articulated a positive and markedly conservative message at Americans for Prosperity’s 9th annual Defending the American Dream Summit in Columbus.

We are on the verge of living in the greatest age in history, Jeb’s speech could be summarized as, but the meat of the preso was that we cannot do it using the last generation’s policies.

Jeb put up his governing record in Florida as a template for an agenda in president. He created the first, second, and third state voucher programs, balanced the budget, reduced the state’s workforce by 11 percent, and generally led the state down the path of conservatism. “We didn’t say every problem needed a government solution,” he said.

The culture of Washington is rotten, he said, to paraphrase. To change the culture of corruption, he called for a slate of major reforms near and dear to conservatives: a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a line item veto for the President to weed out wasteful spending, and a lifetime ban on lobbying by elected officials.

He also called for approval of the XL Pipeline, expedited permitting for natural gas, repeal of Obamacare, unraveling of Obama’s executive orders, and simplification of complex rules that slow economic growth.

He also stressed the vacuum created by the slinking tide of American leadership under Obama. As everyone in the room knew, but that bore repetition, Jeb said, “When we lead, we create peace and security…we must rebuild the military.”

“I do believe we are on the verge of the greatest time to be alive,” he concluded, bookending the speech’s tone of optimism. Scientific breakthroughs, technology, bottled up economic advancements – all are waiting for the right time to change the world.

Jeb started clunky, but he grew smooth, confident, and energetic as the speech went on. That’s all I have to say about style.

Echoing the messages of panelists and activists, Jeb told the crowd that conservatives need to reach out to minority communities in order to win.

Striking another familiar tone of the confab – Americans of all stripes are going through a tough time and solutions should be agnostic to red versus blue, urban versus rural – Jeb said we are going to win as conservatives if we solve problems with conservative reforms that help all Americans.

That’s the key to defending the American Dream and the key to winning in 2016.

About the writer: Chris Rochester has worked in communications and finance for a state Senate and congressional campaign, consulted on numerous Assembly and local races, and has held leadership roles in his local Republican Party. He's communications director for the MacIver Institute. Commentary here is strictly his own.