The younger brother of President George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, a longtime darling of the Republican Party, veered sharply left this week, stocking the president’s re-election campaign quiver full of arrows to use against Mitt Romney and congressional GOP candidates.

Bush criticized his fellow Republicans saying Ronald Reagan and his father, George H.W. Bush, would not have fit well in the modern Republican Party.

Jeb Bush

Jeb went on to say, “Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican Party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground.”

Bush’s comments set off a firestorm on the political blogs and around the GOP, with many saying his words will now end any speculation of Jeb Bush joining the Romney ticket.

The former Florida Governor clarified his comments on Tuesday and blamed Democrats for failing to compromise during Obama’s term.

“The point I was making yesterday is this: The political system is hyper-partisan. Both sides are at fault,” Bush wrote on his Twitter page.

Tuesday Bush tried to shift the blame towards Democrats for political gridlock.
“Past 4 years, Democrats have held leadership roles w/opportunities to each across the political aisle,” Bush tweeted. “For sake of politics, they haven’t.”

“My dad & Reagan sacrificed political points for good public policy,” he added.

Bush’s comments make him seem out-of-touch. Does Jeb forget that for Obama’s first two years he had large majorities in both the House and the Senate? What did the Democrats do with their majorities? They enacted the most unpopular legislation in a generation: Obamacare and passed a stimulus bill that stimulated nothing other than Obama’s donors.

Bush’s father’s famous “Read my lips, no new taxes,” followed by him caving to tax increases, is hardly something to tout. Comparing his father’s foibles to Reagan shows Jeb has a very a selective memory.

Ronald Reagan did great things not because he found middle-ground, but because he controlled the battlefield. Reagan dragged his opponents to his side of the argument. Reagan was famous for saying, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally; not a 20 percent traitor.” Jeb’s father apparently read the saying in reverse.

While George H. W. Bush served as Reagan’s Vice President, any comparison to their legislative achievements is ludicrous. Jeb Bush’s slip-of-the-tongue shows that he’s much more H.W. than Ronny.


Read more of Mr. Kaplan’s articles at
Read Mr. Kaplan’s personal blog at Conservatively Speaking
Email Mr. Kaplan at
Join Mr. Kaplan on Facebook at ConservativelySpeaking
Follow Mr. Kaplan’s tweets at ConsSpeaking