10 Things You Should Know About Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

Jun 12, 2015

Credit World Affairs Council of Philadelphia/Flickr

Jeb Bush is expected to announce his entrance into the presidential race Monday at Miami Dade College’s Kendall campus.

In contrast to Sen. Marco Rubio’s announcement, which took place in the cramped but historic Freedom Tower, Bush is heading to a community college that has multiple campuses spread throughout Miami-Dade County.

Bush has his fair share of challenges ahead of him. Media outlets have reported that he may not reach his fundraising goal of $100 million by the end of June, he’s been questioned about his political legacy and a few fictional Hollywood villains are polling better than Bush and his Republican competition.

Despite these obstacles, at least Bush will always have Berlin. Here is a list of 10 things you should know about him.

1. Dynasty problems

Bush can’t shake off his political legacy. During a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada, Ivy Ziedrich told Bush “his brother created ISIS.” She identified herself as a political science major and college Democrat at the University of Nevada. Ziedrich reacted against Bush’s argument that the Obama administration led to the rise of the Islamic State.

2. In the time of the FCAT

Bush moved from Texas to Florida in the early 1980s to work as a real estate developer and broker. He held his first government post as Florida’s secretary of commerce in 1987 and 1988.

Bush won the governorship on his second try in 1998 and served until 2007. His most recognized accomplishments included reforming the state education system. Just before he was elected, the FCAT state exam was introduced.

3. The Wonder Years

In May, Politico published a story about Bush’s love for Latin America. He studied Latin American affairs at the University of Texas in Austin. He spent two months in the middle of his senior year of high school studying abroad in León, Mexico. There, he met his wife Columba Garnica de Gallo near the end of the program.

According to Politico, he proposed marriage in Spanish, his favorite foods are enchiladas and taquiles and he had a portrait of the patron saint of Mexico that hung in the governor's mansion in Tallahassee.

BuzzFeed found the 1971 student newspaper article about Bush’s trip to Mexico.

4. The Scarlet Letter law

Bush's expected candidacy brought back into the limelight a Bush law that required some women in Florida to publish a list of all their recent sexual partners in the local paper. 

Laura Bassett at the Huffington Post reported that Bush thought the law would improve the state’s adoption regulations. Women who didn’t know who had fathered their child could put a notice in the newspaper so that a potential father could respond to it before the child was put up for adoption.

5. Domestic policy: Common Core, wage gaps

Economy: In February, Bush first shared his economic plan during a speech at the Detroit Economic Club. He stressed the stagnant wages of workers and said that the “opportunity gap is the defining issue of our time.” Although he did not offer many specifics, he was critical of Obama’s administration for creating “a spider web that traps people in perpetual dependence.”

Education: Bush is a supporter of testing requirements and expanding school choice. He founded a nonprofit, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, to promote these views on a national scale. He’s a big advocate of Common Core standards.

Social issues: He is predominantly conservative when it comes to abortion, gay rights and gun control.

6. Foreign policy: Yes to Cuba 

Bush, who lived in South Florida for more than three decades, has been against the U.S. trade and travel embargo on Cuba.

With respect to the Middle East, Bush publicly stated that he looks toward his brother George W. Bush for advice. This opened a can of worms for the aspiring presidential contender.

7. Immigration: Lots of changes

In a Fox News interview with Megyn Kelly, Bush said he still favors "allowing for a path to legalized status -- not necessarily citizenship" for undocumented immigrants. He stressed that the path to legal status should be easier. 

Bush also hasn’t been too fond of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. He said he would undo Obama's executive actions to forestall deportation for "Dreamers," or young adults brought into the U.S. as children. However, Bush critiqued using executive power, not the policies. He would still like to see Congress adopt those changes.

8. Campaign financing woes

A super PAC backing Bush probably won't reach its $100 million goal by the end of June. According to the Washington Post, the Right to Rise super PAC's mid-July report could be lower than the nine figures senior Republications anticipated. The entire Bush operation includes a super PAC, a leadership PAC, a nonprofit and the campaign that begins Monday, June 15.

9. Polling worse than Voldemort

Yep, Harry Potter’s arch nemesis, Voldemort, is faring better in the polls than Bush. The Washington Post plotted a graph using data from the latest Post-ABC News and Quinnipiac polls against a survey the Post did of people’s feelings toward four of Hollywood's favorite villains.

The Terminator, Darth Vader and the shark from Jaws were at the top of the list.

10. Paleo diet

Bush has adopted the trendy Paleo diet. The Paleo plan does not include any grains, sugar, dairy, alcohol or processed foods. He lost 30 pounds since he started the diet in December, People magazine reported.
 

What do you think about Jeb Bush entering the race? Send us your questions on Facebook and Twitter @WLRN. Follow our coverage of his announcement Monday.