tv George W. Bush Remarks at Jeb Bush Campaign Rally CSPAN February 15, 2016 9:38pm-10:40pm EST
on washington journal three journalists from politico. john harris will talk about the creation of politico. kristin roberts will discuss the big stories. alex eisenstadt will answer questions about republican candidates. joined the discussion tomorrow morning. tennessee senator lamar alexander will talk about the new education law and how it differs from no child left behind.
road to the white house began in iowa. the new hampshire primary has a long and rich history. now on to south carolina. and then the party caucuses in nevada. we will probably see some candidates drop out of the race. early march. is in winner take all primaries. the delegate count will be critical. former president george w. bush was on the campaign trail on monday with his brother jeb bush.
if somebody told me i had eight years to live, i would want it under obama, because it seems like it was forever. one more year and this guy is going. mr. president, thank you for coming back to where you are loved and appreciated and for keeping us safe while you are the president -- were the president of the united states. thank you for your leadership after 9/11. thank you for taking your fight to the enemies of the nation. thank you for having the backs of those doing the fighting. thank you for being decent and honorable.
all of us get to vote on saturday, right? show up tuesday and you will be by yourself. the whole world is watching what we do here for a reason. we picked presidents. everyone who goes to vote needs to understand that the military is stuck with the choice of the american voters. the way you become commander in chief is to be elected. think about those fighting. we are a nation at war and we will elect a president who will be a wartime president. we need someone with a steady hand, that can be trusted, that has the right temperament, that will have the backs of those doing the fighting, and will be a commander-in-chief worthy of those who have sacrificed. in my opinion, that is jeb, without any doubt.
some people, i see -- i was honored. if you wanted to take money out of politics, you should have joined my campaign. i decided to stay in this fight because it matters so much. the reason i ran was to start the discussion about being a party of strong national defense. i have been to iraq, afghanistan 36 times. it is a long way over there.
thanks to those who go over and do the fighting. i have been in the air force for 33 years. i learned a lot about this. when it came time for me to choose, when i got out, jeb was the easiest choice i ever made. 40 generals and admirals supporting his campaign. 12 medal of honor recipients. bob livingston, who commanded troops in combat, supports jeb. those of us who have taken time to understand this war know that jeb can win and he has a plan that i trust that will lead us to victory.
you will hear from somebody who knows what it is like to be a wartime president, who has been commander-in-chief. you will hear from a man i admire greatly. when the going got really tough, he hunkered down, never followed the polls, he followed military advice. you will hear from a president of the united states to understands what it is like to be at war and the brother of the next president of the united states. i don't know about you, i like bushes. bush values are south carolina values. ladies and gentlemen, george w. bush.
[applause] [applause] george w. bush: thank you. thank you. sit down, unless you do not have a seat. i am -- laura and i are thrilled to be here and i want to thank graham for his friendship and leadership. he loves south carolina and our country. we are fortunate that you sent him to the senate. i want to thank the commissioner. he has a heck of a voice. if they have a contest of who
can sing the best among the agricultural commissioners, you win. mark sanford is here. i appreciate you coming. thank you for being here. there are a lot of famous people here. david wilkins is from greenville. he was the ambassador to canada, a former speaker of the house. a dear friend. thank you for being with us. thank you very much. there are people from the house, the senate, the state government here. thank you. i want to thank the grassroots activists. thank you for taking time out of your day, your interest in the political process, your hard work, what you are going to do, vote for him on saturday in south carolina. i am happy to be back. i have fond memories.
i finally remember going to the air wings here in charleston. perhaps my most interesting memory came in greenville before the 2000 primary. david, suzy, laura, we went to a ham house. we were eating breakfast. i was eating bacon. i looked out the window and a p.e.t.a. protester dressed up as a pig arrived in a dump truck, unloading a load of manure to prevent me from leaving.
it was a sign of things to come. [laughter] let me tell you something. even a steaming pile could not ruin the bacon. [laughter] i love the spirit of the people in south carolina. i am touched by the way the community banded together to come for the victims of last year's shooting at the church. [applause] and, protesting against racism and hate. it is a strong signal. and, i applaud the response to him and will isand, i applaud the response to the tragedy and you for putting her in office. laura and i have --
i've written two books which will surprise a lot of people who didn't think i could read much less write i have been one to defy expectations. i have been mis-underestimated most of my life. i'vereal shock to people become an oil painter. i know that the signatures worth more than the painting. to brother for giving us something to do today, something important. i'm proud of his candidacy. i'm proud to have been invited. . came here for two reasons i care deeply about jeb. i care deeply about our country.
i thought it was appropriate to discuss a subject i know a lot about. what is like to be president. being your president was a high privilege. the honor of a lifetime. makes meg as president a part of the establishment i proudly carry that. [applause] there seems to be a lot of name-calling going on. i want to remind you what our dad told me one time. labels are for soup cans. the presidency requires sound judgment and good ideas. there is no doubt in my mind that jeb bush has the experience and the character be a great
president. [applause] you should look for someone who has executive experience. largee who knows how to complex organization. the lead people. to make sound crisp decisions. terms inho served two a large seven status its governor. -- southern state as its governor. someone who can handle intense pressure. walked with her during a crisis. that strength can come from faith. it comes from the comfort of a higher power. the community that comes and realizing the almighty has a gift of grace.
[applause] that humility is important for politicians to remember when they talk about their faith. versusmy favorite title is from the book of matthew. how can you say let me get that speck out of your eye when a catalog in my own? -- a log in my own. faith that reveals itself through good works not loud words. [applause] someone who's humility helps them understand what he doesn't know that surrounds himself with people who do know what he doesn't know.
he is plenty smart. phi beta kappa from the great university of texas. i know, it's not south carolina. [laughter] ok, clemson. [applause] he will assemble a great team of people. create a culture in which they can deliver not just the good news but the bad news. he will listen carefully to their advice. and that he's got the backbone necessary to make the tough decisions. [applause] the presidency is defined by the unexpected. there will be crisis. it is important to have a president who can handle it with
result. on september 11, we did not know the world would change that day. i was in a classroom and listening to a child read. andy card whispered in my ear that a second plane had hit the tower and that america was under attack. i said that we would deal with these people. my second reaction, staring at a young child was, my job is clear, to protect her, her community, and the country. [applause] on the way to air force one from the school, condi called and said that an airplane hit the
pentagon. i love the first one was an accident, the second one was an attack, and the third was a declaration of war. i became a wartime president. with the child in my mind, protecting her and the country she calls home. i have seen jeb in action. he will be a strong and steady hand. multiple hurricanes hit florida and he led a well-organized response that showed the compassion, his compassion, for those who hurt. he did this as the governor of florida and will do this as the president of the united states.
[applause] it is vital that you select a candidate who is thoughtful and trustworthy, someone who says what he means and does what he says. when the american president speaks, the world listens. you can trust jeb bush to be measured and thoughtful on the world stage. enemies and allies will know that, when he speaks, he will follow through on his words. i think you all to look for a leader who is optimistic, with a vision for a brighter future. a person who sees beyond the horizon. jeb sees a better tomorrow. he and i believe the best days are ahead of us and that we are on the verge of the greatest time to be alive in human history.
an optimistic future means people can find good work. we need a president who will make the private sector, not the public sector, a priority. jeb has led out an attainable goal, and understandable goal, which a leader must do, and that is to have 4% economic growth a year. the cornerstone of his policy is to empower entrepreneurs and small is this ownership the dreamers who drive the american economy.
he laid out a specific plan, a well-thought-out plan, a measured plan, that he will put into action when you send him to the white house. jeb understands the most solemn job of the president is to protect us. your most solid job as voters is to elect a man who knows how to deal with the problems we face. i have studied jeb's plan to defeat isis. he relies on our intelligence community. he will take their sound advice and implement that plan. we need a leader who knows how to defeat isis. jeb understands this -- and it is important for the people of south carolina understand this, that america must lead, and that when america does not lead, chaos will reign.
laura and i love very years in washington, but we really do not miss it too much. we miss our friends, but we do not miss power and fame. here is what i do miss -- [cheers] you")iss it is an amazing country. i made it clear we are going to defend ourselves after 9/11, and millions volunteered. to be able to salute the brave men and women who wear our uniform was an honor of a lifetime. the highest honor of being president is to be the commander in chief of the greatest force for freedom ever.
so i would look for a candidate who has genuine respect for the united states military, will support them on the battlefield, who will support them on the battlefield, and when they return home. [applause] jeb has pledged to rebuild our armed forces and overhaul the v.a., and i believe he when he says it, and i know he will do it when he is commander in chief of the united states. one of the most comforting aspects of the presidency was my family, starting with my loving wife, laura. living in the white house can be like living in a museum. i remember the time i went to visit mother and dad when they were there, and mother said, get
your feet off the jeffersonian table. laura made the white house at home. she was the greatest first lady ever. [applause] my little sister is here, and she talks to mom nearly every day, so do not tell her i said that. jeb adores the love of his life. i will never forget when we were both younger living in houston, texas, and we would go to astro games, and we would sit out in the bleachers. i would watch the game, and jeb would write love letters to his future wife and our next first lady.
they raised wonderful children, george p., noelle, and jeb jr. i am known as jefe. for of those of you who are not bilingual, that means the boss. speaking of family, i think the voters should vote for the candidate who has got the most opinionated mother. [laughter] [applause] i have always wondered whether our mother learned to be opinionated at ashley hall right here. finally, we need to nominate somebody who can win in november. all the talk is not matter if we do not win.
we need somebody can take a positive message across the entire country, someone who can inspire and appeal to people from all walks of life, not just one party or class of people. jeb will listen to the voices of the disenfranchised. he will rise above the petty name-calling. once elected, he will not need a poll to tell him how to think or what to do. he will stand on principle. he will not waver in the wind, and he will always do what is right for american people. i know campaigns are stressful and they are taxing, but they should be, because the job of the president is much harder than a campaign. these are tough times.
i understand that americans are angry and frustrated. but we do not need someone in the oval office who mirrors and inflames our anger and frustration. we need someone who can fix the problems that caused our anger and frustration, and that is jeb bush. [applause] it seems like americans are yearning for a strong leader. i would like to remind you and the voters what strength means. strength means facing challenges and prevailing. it means sacrificing and enduring and emerging a bigger and better person. it means having a set of core principles, believes they are true on the campaign trail, and
will true in office. strength is not empty rhetoric. it is not bluster. real strength, the strength of purpose, comes from integrity and character. in my experience, the strongest person usually is not the loudest one in the room. [applause] i have seen in my brother a quiet conviction and a core of conscience that cannot be shaken. and my hope is that the people of south carolina will see this as well. this is a serious collection for a serious job. so please welcome a serious and thoughtful candidate, a good man, a man i am proud to call my big little brother, jeb bush.
[applause] in jeb bush: thank you. thank you. thank you all very much. thank you. thank you, mr. president. laura, it is such a joy to have you here. they keep coming. it is such a joy to have you here. to my friend lindsey graham, they can for your friendship, advice, and support. i will be here for six days. we are trying to improve the good economy of south carolina. we will spend as much money, meet as many people as we can. saturday ob is surprise because you are going to go out and get 10 other people to do the same thing, to vote for jeb bush as
president. i am so honored that my brother is here, because this is a dangerous time. the world has been turned asunder. the day barack obama was inaugurated, we were safer, stronger, freer. today, for all sorts of reasons, that is not the case. this election is going to be the steady hand to keep us safe. who is going to do with the national security challenges that we face. who is going to focus on the economic security challenges that a majority of americans now feel. we're living in difficult times. and this election is appropriate and my brother's time, he did not know that 9/11 was going to happen, but he inspired us and kept us safe, and i am proud that he did it. [applause]
i do not know if you watched the debate on saturday. did you get a chance to see it? it was kind of weird, parts of it. i never thought in a republican date we were talking about impeaching a republican two-term president who was incredibly popular. i thought it was strange that a front running candidate would attack the president of the united states who did keep us safe, while he was building a reality tv show. i am sure it was a fantastic one. george bush brought together a team to build the security apparatus that to this day is one of the reasons why we have not been attacked were often than we have. i am proud of him, and i know you are as well. [applause]
some of the dialogue back and forth made me wonder, close my eyes, and i thought it was michael moore on the stage. any case, this is not about the front running candidate. is about how we can restore our country's greatness, national security, and that is why i am a candidate for president. here is the reality. we need a president that will respect the armed forces. a month and a half, two months ago, i had a chance to speak at the citadel. what an extraordinary university that is. [applause] i thought you guys would be out there, before i did it, i had a little work with the guards at 6:00 a.m. sorry. 25 situps, calisthenics, i think they were taking the old guy to see how long he would last.
i thought we were finished, and we ran three miles. i started asking me questions. will you have are back? will you be a commander in chief respect the military? will you eliminate the sequester? these were all good questions, and here's the answer -- i will have an economic plan. i will be a commander in chief that respect the armed forces. we will eliminate the sequester. we will build the military and make sure and build again a bipartisan consensus that peace through strength is the proper for policy for the country. when we are weak, voids are filled. for us to be strong, we have to rebuild the military.
we need a plan to do with the threats of our time. i went to the reagan library to talk about how we needed to engage with isis, how we needed to destroy this threat. i called a lot of people because i know what i do not know. i do not have it all figured out. i called one of the candidates running for president, someone i have always admired, the leading national expert in the senate, senator graham, and he gave it to me. i do not know of any other candidate would have done it, but he did, and i am proud of our relationships, because we agree, we must destroy isis, and
the way to do it is to create a strategy where you engage with the sunni arab countries, you reestablish the ties with the sunni tribal leaders, you are the kurds directly, and you get the warriors off the back of the war fighters to win this war. leadership is when you are tested, do you have the skills to build consensus, to make tough decisions, to move forward to make sure you saw problems? governors have that opportunity. george was a governor for six years. ronald reagan was a pretty successful governor and president, eight years in both spots.
one of the candidates says i do not have foreign-policy experience. i have experience make tough decisions. i have experience that brought a state to a better place. when i was governor, we had eight hurricanes and four tropical storms in 16 months. $150 billion to property loss, and at one point we did not have a commercial property insurance market. it was gone. if you do not have insurance, cannot get a loan to expand your business. you were struggling. if he lost power for three weeks, he did not have food. people were moving out of the state for fear of being able to keep a job. did you ever hear anybody complain when i was governor about fema? i expected personal responsibility, and we need a president that runs to the challenge rather than cuts and runs, and that is what governors learn how to do.
[applause] i got to be governor at a time where i disrupted the old order of things on behalf of my state. in florida, i vetoed line items in the budget for cuts in the budget. they called me veto corleone. i took it as apes from of endearment and ran with it. we need veto corleone to go to washington, d.c., to bring budget discipline. in florida we had eight balance budgets. when i ended, we had $9 billion in surplus. we need that kind of approach, a balanced budget amendment, and making sure we moved toward a balanced budget in washington, d.c., for our children and grandchildren. i know how to do it.
in florida we eliminated lifetime career civil service protection. the great workers that work in government do not need. the ones that need it are the ones that should not be there. florida we reduced the government workforce by 11%, but we led the nation seven out of eight years in job growth, 1.3 million jobs created during my 10. do you not want that for washington, d.c., as well? [applause] in the first place and take that skill is the department of veterans affairs. you have seen the atrocious waiting list of veterans coming home do not get care. last year the department came up with an idea, we will give out bonuses, $142 million of bonuses that went out to reduce the waiting list, which sounded like a worthy objective.
vets died, and only three people have been fired. heads will roll when i am president of the united states. we will give veterans expanded choices where they can go to their private provider or private clinic or a local hospital. the best way to assure the department does a better job is to make sure veterans have other choices. it works in schools. it works across the board. giving people choices makes everybody better. we desperately need this to honor the dedicated service of men and women in uniform that come home and deserve to be in the front of the line, not the back of the line. here is the challenge. everybody has a lot of ideas.
on that stage on saturday, who has done it? who has done it? a lot of big talkers. a lot of turns of the phrase, who has actually rolled up their sleeves and taken the hits? this is the one where we took the scars and i did not cut and run. florida has the greatest gains in learning because we disrupted our public education system in the right way, and powering people to make choices for themselves. who has done it? which created the environment to make sure the weekend grow the economy at a faster rate? i believe i have those skills. we cannot trust the next president with the great challenges we face someone who has not been tested. there will be a challenge. it could be a pandemic. could be a huge natural disaster. it could be an attack on this
country. the question is, who do you want to sit behind the desk? who do you want to be able to lead us through difficult times? the next president will be challenged. i believe i have those skills to work on behalf of everybody to make sure that we have a better future for ourselves. let me conclude with this -- i believe that life is a gift from god, that it is divinely inspired, that we are here for a purpose. we all here for a purpose. if we reach our god-given abilities, nothing will stop the united states. we will lead the world for the next two generations, because the american people are extraordinary and exceptional. we are. i'm sick of politicians that divide us in our disparate parts, that believe that the end is near, when in fact all we have to do is fix a few really big complex things, and we will take off as a nation.
we will be safe and secure and will have rising incomes. a year ago i met a woman 25-year-old from jacksonville, and she had a difficult life starting out in life. she lived in poverty. she had a challenged family. she was held back two years in a row in third grade. one of which was my doing because we eliminated social promotion and third grade when i was governor. there was a gate in florida. if you do not read by the end of third grade, you do not go to fourth grade. we are not worried about the self-esteem of little johnny. we are worried if johnny can't read. this little girl had to have been angry. she had to have been quite angry, i'm sure. she was held back. her godmother found about the
florida corporate tax scholarship program, the largest doctoral program today. today kids go to private schools because i took on very powerful interests, and we won. she got to get her a christian school. the first week a teacher put her arm around a child and said, i love you. you are capable. you can do this. jesus loves you. we can do this together. and guess what -- she overcame those two years that she was held back. she graduated from high school. she was the first in her hand family to graduate from college, and now she is getting a masters degree at the university of central florida. [applause] if you believe like i do that everybody has an ability to make a contribution, that if everybody reaches their god-given ability, this country will take off. we will not be as gloomy.
millennials believe the american dream is alive. we will get back to the business that everybody can benefit. we will not allow politicians to buy this up. we need a president with a steady hand that runs to the challenge, that believes the greatness of this country, at least if we set a set of common purposes, one of which is everybody should have a chance to rise up, nothing will stop the united states of america. i believe that in my heart. and if you believe it, if you are tired of the politics of division, if you want someone with a proven record a solid conservative, who acted on his conservative beliefs each and every day as governor, someone with 32 years of private sector experience, you are looking at the nominee of the republican nomination, and i can beat hillary clinton. i can promise you that.
the only way a republican and conservative wins is by campaigning with their arms wide open, with a hopeful optimistic message, campaigning in every part of this country, making sure everybody knows we want them on their team. the only way we win is to do what republicans what they always do -- campaign like george w. bush, campaign like ronald reagan did. we have to get back to that, and when we do, we will win and restore america's greatness that will sustain it for the next generations. i ask for your support and saturday. god bless you all. thank you very much for coming. ♪