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tv   Jeb Bush Town Hall Meeting in Columbia South Carolina  CSPAN  February 19, 2016 4:30am-5:56am EST

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is that, with regards to , if the american people want to have a conversation and decide that we want to ban drones, along with other states, and we might ban chemical weapons or biological weapons, that is a very legitimate conversation. but we need to be aware of what the costs will be. ok? twitter different from the costs of banning chemical -- which are different from the cost of banning typical weapons. we are vulnerable to attacks by these individuals, who will not operate in an armed conflict zone, but will operate somewhere else. and they will have impunity to plan attacks against us. in areas where we will not practically be able to arrest, detain, or get the government to do that. if we want to incur that risk, and we decide that that is
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morally acceptable, that is a decision for us to make. but i think that right now, you know, the idea that somehow we could allow these individuals to find areas in the world where they can operate freely, under the justification that this is not a combat area. therefore, we can attack them, that is morally inappropriate. mary ellen: alberto, it is a non sequitur to say that if we do not have drones we cannot do anything about the terrorist threat. we did lindsay about the terrorist threat before we had drones. so that is simply a non sequitur. alberta: i disagree. mary allen: and we have but he that we can do. and i'm not saying that the legitimate use of drones on the battlefield, they have been, as we heard from our introducer, they can be very, very helpful. in a close combat engagement situation, where you know you are engaging two sets of fighting forces. where they do not -- where they
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have been unbalanced and nobody doubts this, counterproductive, is in trying to go after single individuals suspected of a past crime. and perhaps planning a future one. we do not allow that in the u.s. we could do the same thing. we have put the of people putting things here, as we know. and by your logic, we should be using these invaluable drones to fly around after them. insay that we can do this the small list of countries, is to say that we based -- they do not deserve the same respect as a resident countries in the world. and we are in no position, under international law, to make those claims are you my real objection is that your pending this black and white extreme. that if we do not use drone attacks in yemen, we can't do anything.
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alberto: in many ways, we cannot do anything in certain places of the world. is why i draw a distinction. there are many places where they do not operate. even though they may not like us, they do not allow attacks against us. mary allen: what you do agree come alberto, that international law does not say to the u.s., welcomed, you can pick and choose the countries where you want to. international law does not say that. alberto: international law does say that states have responsibility to prevent their territories from being -- mary ellen: what does international law say is the right response to a country that is not fulfilling obligations, diligence.ue unless the country is responsible for an armed attack on the u.s. can we have to work with countermeasures, sanctions, or cooperation to get them in line. raise whatd just happen in 2001 as a counterexample, which is to say that a terrorist organization,
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trade and operating from afghanistan to protect the u.s. we invaded in october. and our invasion of the country was designed precisely to go after the individuals who were responsible for this. because the government explicitly failed to take care of it. and so, i think the issue there was one that you could use military force, as we did in notanistan war, when we do have drone attacks. they probably would not have been very effective. or not? mary ellen: their somewhat different. when we went to war in afghanistan, the british have produced the detailed white paper that pointed out for purposes of international law analysis from the links between the taliban government and the al qaeda training camps. and it was on that basis that the u.s. and great britain made their cases to the security
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council's, and a pair of letters, that went forward and pointed out the exact rule of law that i'm emphasizing here. that afghanistan was responsible for the 9/11 attack. subsequently, we know that the british have a problem with cooking the books. as they did with 2003, as well. so, the factual case that they had made, that the international community accepted as the proper legal basis for going to war in afghanistan, under article 51 in elf defense, was weaker. and to our great regret, because how many years to be fight their? and what is happening today? it was also a case. and if you read lawrence weght's "the looming tower," would be far better off if we had taken wholesale force. based on the evidence, we were fully in compliance. ivo: i will open up the issue
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here actually is not about drones. it over here. is germany the only foreign country from which the united states launches drone wars? mary ellen: we have bases in half a dozen countries now. but the only european country. know, there is an investigation into whether germany is implicit in supporting unlawful killing and providing intelligence. i expect there will be action to end that complicity in unlawful conduct. ivo: there are no, as far as i'm
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being used on german soil. >> congratulations because i'm more confused. two questions here. [laughter] you mentionedoll, the degree of certainty that either an administration or intelligence agency would need to authorize lethal force. really, that is the ultimate question, right? how do we define that degree of certainty? just to go a little deeper in
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that, it is very well documented essentially, machine learning algorithms have been used to indicate a potential threat moving forward. used to authorize lethal force. i would like to get your thoughts on that. you, professor. kid ourselves. a-ok with us launching drones from their territory. anything, we were potentially doing them a favor in doing less. we may have encouraged them to do more in their own right.
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, whenu talk more about the u.s. is launching the stripes on individuals with implicitlyicitly or agreement from the host nation? alberto: i think the standards the president and his attorney general have tried to articulate , the standard is not simply speech, ok? it is not sympathy. it is not the fact that somebody is an enemy of the united states. it is the fact the person in question is participating in , then supporting, ok planning and carrying out of an attack against the united states. and that is gathered on the basis of intelligence and the evidence has to be multi-source,
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not just one human intelligence source saying, johnny is plotting to do this, ok? there have to be several sources, and that is studied very carefully, the planning and participating in an armed attack against the united states and u.s. nationals. evidence is reviewed by councils within the executive branch. i think those are reasonable standards. we need to continue to subject them to scrutiny and demand the president abide by those standards. we are not talking about speech. we are talking about specific steps taken by an individual to plan and participate in an attack against the united states or it -- united states. first, the facts
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with regards to pakistan, there is an excellent new book on the shaw -- shah. he is a pakistani international detailedat has information about the authority structure in pakistan. it is clear from his book and my research that the united states explicit clear and authorization of the elected president of pakistan. we had some cooperation and quid pro quo negotiating. you let us kill our guy, and we will let you kill the guy you want to kill. that is the poker-playing dealmaking that is offensive, hopefully, to every american from members of the i.s.i. cia ifco were to ask the they could kill some of their druglords in miami on vacation because it would be an easier
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whereto send a drone than they are, having a good time all the waters of miami, because the u.s. cannot control its borders. can the cia give mexico authorization? we have given them drones to take out a guy. this is the same as asking i.s .i. for permission to kill somebody on their territory. in yemen, we did. 2000 two, the first use of a drone outside of a combat zone was to kill six people in a vehicle. there was a 23-year-old from upstate new york who had not fired a weapon, as far as i know, that decided al qaeda was the real deal and was in the
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vehicle with the one intended target. drone and shot two hellfire missiles into the vehicle. the cia flies in, takes dna to prove they got their guy. chaoticthe longest situation alberto is talking about. we had an indirect ok for that. as far as i know, presidents of countries cannot give the ok to deny the fundamental right to human life. there was no armed conflict in his country that he invited us in to help, as we were invited into iraq, afghanistan. on which wehe bases used force for 12 years in afghanistan and iraq right now. we had consent to suppress a
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civil war. what is going on in yemen. permission to violate fundamental human right to life. i do not think he had the permission to give. so so much for consent. back.he gentleman in the >> i think this will be short. you mentioned, professor coll, that the basis for a drone strike is a government's inability or unwillingness to control its own territory. diedyear, 17,000 americans as a result of drug overdoses. thousands more killed indirectly. that is more than terrorism has killed in the last 1200 years. forco is the primary source illicit drugs.
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the mexican government has been unable to control territory, particularly in the south. i wonder if you feel targeted drone strikes are a legitimate tactic to use in mexico against drug lords. if so, why not? alberto: absolutely not. there is a fundamental legal difference. drugs kill people. so does air pollution, cancer. so does reckless driving. regard tons with mexico and drugs coming in, is the matter fit for criminal law? ok? criminal activity, not the sponsorship of an armed attack using weapons against the united states. >> you are saying it is only the motivation? alberto: not just the motivation. there is a distinction between attack, ok, and simply exporting to a country
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substances that may cause people who wish to consume the product great harm, including death. two very different things. no more than the united states, when phillip morris exports cigarettes to a foreign country that causes cancer, that country would be justified in firing drones. significant difference. an armed attack is something an sellingth substances that may cause harm. mary ellen: the important point is how the thinking about drones is diluting the idea of when and where you can use violence. 2001, our ambassador to israel said this country was morally and legally opposed to targeted killing. now, we do it without hesitation. as soon as the cia brings
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evidence to the white house this guy might be planning something in an future and he is area where we will only kill maybe six or seven people around him, let's kill him. we used to think that was anathema, that that was wrong. of a falsemodicum security, we think that is ok. so why not the drug lord, the reckless driver who is drunk driving and killed six people? he knew when he went out drinking and did not make arrangements to get home. why can't we pull out guns and kill that guy? we have seen this view that killing is ok in different contexts has impacted police forces. we have taken violence as acceptable. this leadership from the white
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house, lowering the threshold that we think violence is beyond the pale, is causing an endemic that you are worried about. alberto: i would like to respond, ok? the framework mary ellen is giving us would leave us unable respond to a very serious threat posed by individuals and groups against the united states. the rules of international law were not intended to prevent the united states from defending itself. all the great moral theorists say there has to be a means by which law recognizes the new, and sadly ever more creative ways of violence are created. there has to be a means of responding so that individuals will know if they operate in
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certain parts of the world, they could be subjected to a destruction. important in a sinful world. ivo: i think we live in a evenicated world in which, if we agree on what the set of rules are, how to apply them is contentious. this has been a great contentious debate, but civilized, which is good. end this with not agreement, but we will thank both of you for elucidating. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] this weekend we continue 1966 vietnam hearings. we'll hear a special consultant to president johnson. followed by committee member questions. >> our purpose is easily clear and easily defined. in his baltimore speech president johnson did so in the following terms. our objective is the independence of south vietnam and its freedom from attack. we want nothing for ourselves. only that the people of south vietnam be allowed to guide their own country and their own way. this has been our basic objective since 1954. it has boon pursued by three
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successive administrations and remains our objective today. >> next saturday secretary of state gives his testimony defending johnson's vietnam policies. for the full schedule go to >> coming up today on "washington journal" we look at the legacy of the late supreme court justice anten scalia. then a discussion about home-grown islamist terrorism in the united states. our guest is peter bergen, new america vice president and international security program director. "washington journal" live every morning at 7:00 and you can join the conversation with your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. >> stay with c-span live this morning at 9:15 a.m. this eastern for the ceremony in the great hall of the supreme court n honor of justice scalia.
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following the private ceremony, the body of justice scalia will lie in repose and the great hall will be open to the public. atch on c-span and >> this weekend, the c-span cities tour takes you to greenville, south carolina to explore the city's history and literary culture. on book tv. >> in 1939, september of 1939, when europe went to war, our allies primarily england and france looked to washington, d.c. for goods and materials that they needed. so washington, d.c. looked down to the textile capital of the world and all of a sudden government contracts came funneling into this area asking the mental illness here to begin producing for the war effort initially for our allies
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and then of course for the united states as well. >> and on american history tv. >> we're standing right here. this was a nasty spot. hard to believe now looking at it, one of the best parks in the country but this really was a very depressed, nasty place. it's a great story of how a ommunity can get behind a park and start to appreciate and cherish its river and its waterfalls again. > watch the c-span cities tour saturday. sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span-3. he c-span city's tour. republican presidential candidate jeb bush talks with
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supporters in columbia, south carolina. during his remarks he outlined his plans to improve the military, schools, and the department of veterans affairs. . i'm here on behalf of governor jeb bush. i retired from the navy as a four-star admiral in my last job was commander of the u.s. atlantic fleet, where we had about 160,000 sailors and marines who were today in and day out to help defend this country. i know everyone in this audience shares the same values in the same goals of how important it is for this country to be protected into the future. that's why i represent over 40
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admirals and generals a lot of other men and women in uniform today and retired saying that we need a leader in the white house to be our next commander-in-chief. we represent and support 100% governor jeb bush. i would ask everyone to rise and join me in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you. at this what i would like to turn this microphone over to bobby williams. [applause] >> i'm from birmingham. i went to john carroll high school. >> we went to the same high school in birmingham, alabama.
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>> i'm bobby williams, a local restaurant here -- restauranteur. my family has been in business here for 37 years. i'm excited to be able to introduce lindsey graham. lindsay has earned the reputation as a common sense conservative problem solver. he wants our defense to be extremely strong, and i think we all agree with that. as a business owner, i'm proud to think that senator graham is a leader who carries a focus on cutting wasteful spending, reforming entitlements, and getting the government out of the way so businesses like mine may continue to create jobs.
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on a personal level, i got to see senator graham up front. my son christopher worked in his washington office for three years. what i found out about senator graham is he is honest, hard-working, fair. he loves our country, he loves our state, and he has made south carolina a better place to live because of his hard work. it is my honor and pleasure to introduce senator lindsey graham. [applause] sen. graham: thank you very much. i feel like i was at my own funeral. anybody been to lizard's thicket? we are going to get you off that low-carb diet. my family owned a restaurant too. i grew up -- my dad owned a bar, restaurant, liquor store, and pool room.
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that is why i am qualified to be your senator. you get up early, you work hard, you have to go to work every day whether you feel like it or not. anybody own their own business? literally my mom and dad never had a day off except sunday because they close the liquor store on sunday. i know what it's like to be in small business, and so does jeb bush. i have never been more worried about the small business world that i am today. never let somebody president who had not bought a car. that's barack obama. much less run anything. a community organizer is probably not the best training ground to be a commander in chief. how about -- jeb bush was in -- eight years the commander-in-chief of the florida national guard. i know people who served under
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florida, the two adjutant generals serving with jeb talk about his handling of eight hurricanes and six tropical storms in 8 months, making 150 phone calls to loved ones -- to families who had lost loved ones in iraq and afghanistan -- don't you think that is a hell of a lot better than a community organizer? [applause] jeb said, don't cuss anymore, and i didn't. our number one candidate is crazy. other than that, we're ok. i say that understanding i don't want to give crazy a bad name. here is why i think he's crazy. you've got to be crazy to
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believe that george w. bush lied to the american people about the iraq war. that comes from kookland. the people who go there are on an island, and you don't want to take them off the island. this is offensive that president george w. bush was responsible for 9/11. that offends me. does that offend you? [applause] i've had the honor to be in the oval office with president bush and president obama. it is a very special place to find yourself. i had the honor to be in the oval office with president bush
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when he had to adjust his strategy on the war in iraq. it is during these times that you learn about leaders. our calculations about iraq prove not to work out great war is an uncertain thing. rather than following the polls, aboutwere universally leaving, republicans and democrats were ready to cut and run. myself, john sat down with president bush and his military and national security advisers. president bush listened intently. he said, i'm all in. i don't want to see a poll, i want to know what's best for our country to secure the future of america. i believe that jeb bush has the temperament, the judgment, and the experience to win a war that we can't afford to lose. the next president of the united states is going to be a wartime president. donald trump doesn't understand
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this war. he doesn't understand what makes america great. if he did, he would not say the hateful things he has been saying. [applause] senator graham: ted cruz is a first-term senator who could not make sunday a day off. nobody works with him. in ted's world, everybody is wrong except ted. in ted's world, there's not much common ground. marco rubio is a talented man who i like. i was not ready to be president at 44. jeb bush is ready to be president better than marco rubio. [applause] jeb bush decided not to expand obamacare.
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john kasich felt like that was the right thing to do. the bottom line is that then carson is the nicest man in the world -- ben carson is the nicest man in the world, and if ben carson is mad at ted cruz, that says a lot about ted cruz. so we are down to jeb. i went with jeb when i got out, because i believed having been around all of them that this was the man that could pull our country back together, solve hard problems, because he did it in florida. do you want to win this election as republicans? [applause] senator graham: here's the question. you should embrace a man who won florida by getting 60% of the hispanic vote. if we can come anywhere near that, we win going away. how do you get 60% of the hispanic vote? by being a governor for everybody and proving to hispanics that conservative
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principles work for them. we have the best candidate in our midst. we have the guy who's ready to be president on day one, who understands the job because his dad and his brother had it. i like the bush family. they represent south carolina values much better than trump values. i don't know what trump values are. they are foreign to me. they're not what i can relate to. so to the voters -- saturday i ask you one thing. give jeb bush the momentum he needs to become the alternative to donald trump, a man jeb bush has stood up to while everyone hid in the corner because they were worried about the concert
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-- consequences of taking on the bully. jeb called me to ask about my advice about the war while we were competitors. that shows a man with confidence. we talked about how to win this war and i am confident he understands how to win it. when he stood up to trump and nobody else would, that closed the deal with me. if you can't stand up to trump, you are not going to stand up to hillary or bernie or putin. we have a chance in south carolina to reset this race. people ask me, why would i get involved? response, how could i not? the next president of the united states, jeb bush. jeb bush: thank you, lindsey. [applause] jeb bush: thank you all. thank you.
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thanks, guys. thank you so much for your leadership, your patriotism, your being the phenomenal senator for this phenomenal state. lindsey graham is probably the single biggest, most important expert on national security in the united states senate. and he is supporting me, which i'm honored about, because he could have been supporting one of his colleagues, or he could have stayed out. but he believes i've got the right stuff, and i'm honored to call you a friend, and you have been a phenomenal advisor and supporter during this journey. i want to recognize a few people. anyone know who roland martin is? he's right here. [applause] jeb bush: roland lives in naples, florida. he has never been involved in
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politics before, but he saw me in action as governor of the state of florida trying to protect wild florida. so he could have t.v. shows talking about people catching fish. he is a great guy, and it's great to have you on the trail. he is a small business person as well and knows what it's like to deal with all the massive amount of regulation that exists right now in our country. i went to recognize my brother marvin, who is the smart bush. [applause] jeb bush: big marv is smart because he stays below the radar and doesn't get to deal with all the cameras. he's had a great life and he's a great brother, great supporter. i want to recognize the love of my life. next week we will have been married 42 years. my wife is here. [applause]
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jeb bush: i met her when i was 17 years old. the girls sometimes think this is cool. it was literally love at first sight. it was like a lightning bolt hit me, and it changed my life. my life can be divided ac and bc. thankfully the statute of limitations has run out for the before part, but she gave me order and purpose in my life that has kept me moving. i could not do this without her and i'm proud of her for all the things she has done as first lady of florida and being a loving wife. i want to tell a story about america, and that relates to my near-perfect first grandchild. her name is georgia helena walker bush. we call her 41 in the family because she is named after the greatest man alive, my dad.
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georgia is a texas mexican canadian iraqi american. american.yphenated columbo is mexican. i'm from texas. my daughter in law was born in canada and her parents are iraqi. she is a quadra-hyphenated american. when she fills out the form when she turns 18, she will say not -- it will say not applicable. that is good. we should stop dividing ourselves up in our disparate parts and allowing politicians to do the same. [applause] jeb bush: my aspiration to run for president is to resolve the differences, focus on the things we have in common, create a
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sense of common purpose again, restore the confidence and optimism that should exist in this extraordinary country on the face of the earth, and we will never do it by having politicians prey on our fears and angst and divide us up in all different ways. president obama is a gifted man. i sat behind him when he is behind a teleprompter. he plays it like a stradivarius violin. but there was nothing in his background that would suggest that he can make a tough decision, forge consensus, that he was a leader. we are electing a president of the united states. it is the ultimate leadership job in this country. you can't blame everybody else for the problems that exist and be a successful president. you have to make tough decisions.
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it's important for people in south carolina and this country when they think about who they are going to support, past is prologue. we can't take a risky bet. for 7 years we have languished as a nation because this gifted man had nothing in his background that would suggest he could lead, and he hasn't. he passed dodd-frank, obamacare, and the stimulus. jammed it down the throats of the other party. not a single republican vote. there on out, it has been done by executive order. in many cases he does not have the constitutional authority. i believe we need to get back to the business of protecting our democracy by respecting the constitution. i'm going to make a few promises today. when i am president, day one, first minute, whatever happens, it happened on my watch. i will accept personal responsibility. i won't blame my predecessor.
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i will except responsibility and run to the challenge to fix the problem rather than try to figure out a way to avoid the controversy and cut and run. i hope you want a president who does just that. [applause] jeb bush: the second commitment i will make to you is, i love the constitution and i will not trample over it. we will get back to the business of having respect for the constitution. no executive orders you don't have the power to do. no allowing for the divide to bigger by simply doing it your way without consulting. not trying to force consensus. people that disagree with me aren't bad people. they might just be wrong. there is a difference between demonizing someone that disagrees with you, but pushing away. you never have a chance to forge
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consensus. but you could have a dialogue to create consensus. great presidents don't push people down to make themselves look better. donald trump, could you imagine him in the oval office? shouting profanity, insulting women, hispanics, calling john mccain a loser because he was caught? he is a legitimate american hero. no one should say something like that. no one should disparage -- [applause] bush: it is not a sign of strength to talk people down. it is not a sign of strength to disparage the disabled. we need a president with our hopes up and accept personal responsibility and goes about forging consensus again to our democracy works. with the president is most needed right now is restoring america's leadership
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in the world. like videoght fights games. that is not how it works. people need to know, our friends need to know, that we have their backs. our enemies need to fear us. america has a unique role to play in the world. we are not an occupying force. the language of the left is just wrong on this. we used to have a bipartisan consensus that i will leadership created peace and security. the way do that is to rebuild the military so that when the president talks, and i would argue maybe the president to talk less, no more red lines and .rash talking number talking about pivoting to asia, and the asians wonder where the pivot took place. the rest of the world wonders why are you pivoting away from us. he jvre calling isis te team.
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our basic freedom is what they hate. talking west, but backing it up with a military that is so strong, and so fears -- fierce that people know that if they will actively wrong with it will be a consequence that is severe. we need to rebuild the military to make sure that the best equipment, the best training, the best support. they are patriots. they're the ones that are keeping us free. we need a commander in chief to will have their backs. i pledge to you that is exactly what i will do. [applause] jeb bush: we need to change the culture of washington. when i was governor, i came up from miami to this little sleepy town called tallahassee. i turned that place upside down. not to be disruptive, but somebody to say this is not working as well as it could.
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state thatrida, a should begin its ascendancy each and every day. we had eight balance the budget required by the constitution. i left office with a $9 billion in reserve. was roughly 35% general revenue. we need that in washington, d.c. we need a balanced budget amendment and we need to move towards a surplus again. i know how to do this. i did it as governor of state of florida. three similar reserves and were pretty high as we had line-item veto power and a used to 2500 separate times. me vetoled corleoni. i embrace it for some legislators but line items in the budget we called them turkeys instead of porkbarrel.
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we call them turkeys for some reason. i would take them out of the budget. there was a sigh of relief because they said i can go back home and say that i tried to get it done but the mean old governor was the guy that did not let it happen. i will happily i would love to take that responsibility in washington. the next president should have line-item veto power, to bring order and discipline to the budget. we did something no other state did, and now a few have done it. we eliminated lifetime employment protections for government. not to be punitive, but to make the point that government is the servant, not the master, of people. how can you be a servant if you have lifetime protections no matter what you do? we changed that in florida. the government was reduced by 13,000 workers.
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no one came close to that. we did not do it to be punitive, but if we had that in state governments, i can promise you, the economy grew. we created 1.3 million jobs in florida. we led the nation in small business creation. income grew, but the government shrank as it related to the size of the economy. i am proud of that. it was not an easy thing to do. there were thousands of so-called volunteers that came down to try to defeat me because if that contagion of career civil service reform would cross state lines to other states -- thankfully it has, but it has not come to washington, d.c., and we need civil service reform and the elimination of lifetime protection of employment in washington, d.c., as well, and i know how to do it, and i will work for it to happen. the place it should begin is the department of veterans affairs,
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a behemoth. 340,000 employees, a massive bureaucracy, all of whom do great work and are driving to take care of veterans, but a system that is completely broken, protecting the interests of employees at the expense of veterans. last year bonuses went to the department of management. they were trying to apply private sector principles to this department. part of it was to get bonuses for reducing the waiting lists, and they did it. they reduced the lists in some parts of the country. but veterans did not get care. some vets died, and only three people have been fired. heads will roll outside the department of veterans of affairs when i am president, and we will fire the competent
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-- the incompetent people making it harder for the veterans to get the care they deserve, because they earned it. in florida we created the first voucher program, the second, the third, and the largest virtual school where anybody can go to get a course in the florida virtual school. choice matters. parents having choices improves the quality of education. schools get better when parents are empowered with choices. that is how life works. you are better because the restaurant next door is constantly trying to innovate, and if you do not, they will go next door. choice matters. competition matters. one way to improve the department of veterans affairs is to give veterans a choice card to allow them to see their private doctor if they want to. the private clinic that might be more convenient, a local hospital instead of trying to
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travel miles with massive bureaucracy around whether or not you can use the choice card. we should liberate this, and i promise you the department and the clinics and hospitals will reform themselves or they won't have anybody showing up. that is the way you reform how washington works. you have got to have a deal for this. you have to have experience in business and government to make it happen. guess what -- i do. i am the only one that has the zeal for reform in this regard to make this happen. i think we need to change the culture and reform washington so we can get back to the business of higher economic growth where everybody has a chance to earn success. this is not a get-in-line country. it is not a top-down country. it is a bottom-up country. we should never allow the government to stifle the ability for people to dream the biggest possible dreams. that is what is at risk in the selection. if we allowed the left, hillary
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clinton or, god forbid, bernie sanders, to be president, the lifeblood of this country will be sucked away. it will go to washington. we will be told what line to get into. it does not work. it might work in other countries, but not in america. we need to shift power away from washington. to simplify the tax code, we need to stop this impulse of trying to pick winners and losers. let markets works, and we will create high, sustained economic growth where more people will have an optimistic future. in 1994 i ran and i lost, and it was a great experience. losing is one of the best things that you can do if you are interested in improving yourself.
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you never learn when you are successful. you think it is perfect and it will work out. it is when you get knocked back when you adjust, when you learn, grow. 1994 was a growing experience. in 1998 i decided i would campaign a different way, i would listen and learn, and then hopefully lead. i went to visit 250 schools because i believed our public education system was not hitting on all cylinders. we were 50th out of 50 in graduation rate. no one in florida, whenever we were low, said 48. we said, thank god for filling in the blanks for those who are 49 and 50. we had dumbed down. we had a high school graduation requirement of eight-grade level. i visited 250 schools, january to november. i had very provocative views of education then and still do.
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i could see that people were looking at the back of my head like i had horns. i was scary to people. i had a heart for the kids and system. i might not agree with them, but i have a heart for the students. i was at a school in seminole county, and this kid was taking this test, practicing for the test, to graduate from high school. eight-grade level. for high school. does not make sense to me. he was studying and failed three times, and if he didn't passed at this time, he would not get his diploma. he had already passed the course, but how could you pass the senior high school courses and struggle with an
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eighth-grade test? i saw him looking over his shoulders as he was trying to enter the following question -- a baseball game start the 3:00, ends at 4:30. how long is the game? he could no answer it. we spend more per student that any country in the world. florida was below the national average. we spend more money on education than the benelux countries. we had a child who cannot answer that question. it broke my heart. it made me angry. it gave me a sense that we needed to reform the system. i went all in, and i challenged -- we created choice program -- [inaudible] [no audio] fast-forward last year i met a person who was 25 years old, and african-american, brought up in
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jacksonville on the other side of the tracks, a term i hope we wipe off the map. i am tired of saying your zip code matters. it is what you do in life that matters, not where you are born. that is the problem. she told me her story. she was held back two years in a row in third grade, one of which was because we eliminated social promotion, the idea that you pass a kid from third grade to fourth grade. we eliminated that. that was a provocative act. there were people who were upset, but we cut in half the illiteracy rate. she was held back. she told me the story, and her godmother found out about a program, the largest voucher
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program in the country. 80,000 low-income kids go to private schools because i opened up the system for them. she got to go to a christian school. her first week -- i know what happened -- a teacher put their arm around this child and said, i love you. she had not heard that very often in her life. you can do this. you are capable. jesus loves you. it is a christian school. you can say that there. we will do this together. she overcame the two years he was held back. she graduated with her age group. she was the first in her college to get a high school diploma, and this year she is going to get a master's degree. why do i tell you this? because conservatives will not win unless we are on the side of that person, being angry describing how bad things are. we will never win dividing people in their disparate parts. we can win because our
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philosophy is the winning philosophy. if we run a campaign with arms wide open, campaigning in every nook and cranny in this country, whether they are a small business person ready to give up because of the rules imposed on them or a person who is developmentally singled and wants to be able to live a life of purpose and meaning, the system does not provide for that happen, were a kid who cannot read whose parent wants them to go to a school where they can read. we need to be on the side of people that do not want a handout, they do not want to get in line. they want to pursue their dreams as they see fit on their terms. that is america at its best, and
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the next president better be on the side of people who dream big dreams and tear down barriers so they can do it. if you believe like i do, but it takes leadership to fix the mess in washington, i ask for you support. i ask for your prayers. i hope that you will vote for me on saturday, and i hope you get other people to do the same. thank you all very much. you got a question? you? we have a microphone. first question. >> what is your favorite book? mr. bush: "art of the deal." [laughter] mr. bush: that is a donald trump book.
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in one of his books, donald trump said i was the most gifted politician in the world, phenomenal governor. he must've forgotten he wrote it, because he and i do not see much eye to eye anymore. the last book i read was the john meacham book on my dad, which i loved because i got to know things about my father that i did not know. i was surprised. i thought i knew everything i could know about the greatest man alive. i enjoyed that one. i like reading a lot. i hope you do, too. what is your favorite book? >> [indiscernible] mr. bush: fantastic. keep reading. she has read the whole series. good for you. excellent. yes. >> hi. as a veteran, a military spouse,
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and a mom, and a volunteer, having now faced the 16-year war, massive budget cuts, aging aircraft, and dealing with v.a. medical systems, how do you intend to motivate a tired and debilitated and disillusioned force, now with the threat of terror and isis in the united states? mr. bush: i will lift the lawyers off the backs of the war fighters, stop the political positioning of the military, trust the military to do its job. the commander in chief does not outsource the responsibility of being commander in chief. he does not say just go do it. you get options, create a strategy, and have the back of the military rather than imposing conditions on them that make it hard. this president sought the authorization to use military force temporarily as it related to syria. then he put so many constraints on it that you do not have the
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viability that it should. he put constraints on the war fighters at it relates to the dropping of ordnance in the fight against isis. there are layers of approvals necessary. america's military adheres to the international standards of war fighting. we do not need to impose additional ones. we need to spend more money on the military. the idea of donald trump and kasich, they do not believe that we need to spend more money. as you mentioned, we have aging equipment. the air force planes are older than the pilots. some are like grandparents to the pilots. the b-52 was launched in an era of harry truman. how big is the navy right now? further cuts, moving down to a time, to 1910.
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the army levels will be down to 410,000 in the next three or four years if sequester continues. we have reduced the marine force by 15,000. half of marines stationed in the united states are not qualified for readiness. they do not meet the standards. all this requires money. can we spend money more effectively? you bet. we are top-heavy in the department of defense. there are more civilians. our procurement processes need to be reformed. we need to make a commitment that not every government is the same. the way they compromise in washington is one side says we need this, the other side says we need this. the way they compromise is they both get it and the deficit grows. this is the first priority. our intelligence capability in rebuilding the military would lift them around up far more than anything else, because it would be a signal that we are not doing this in a halfhearted
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way. that is the first set. as it relates to people that are serving, and if you have a bigger force, the deployments will be less arduous, so that is another element that is going to help morale. the other thing you have to do is assure people that are enlisting to service and keep us safe when they come home to the department of veterans affairs, it will be fixed. that would help lift reform, to make a total commitment of transformation of his department into the 21st century. hillary clinton, when asked about the department of veterans affairs, said republicans are exaggerating. i have not met a veteran who thinks this is an exaggeration what i'm saying. every one of them says the exact same thing -- they are not getting what they need, and if they do get it it is because of someone breaking the rules inside the apartment that is a nurse or doctor that is doing
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extraordinary work. they are great people, but the system needs to be turned upside down and reformed. those are the ways you can restore the military, the morale in the military, but you got to be doing it. final thing i would say that the best way to military to work is they are not deployed, because we are so fierce and so strong and so committed that people change their behavior in a way to create a more peaceful world. when we are weak and vacillating, the opposite effect takes place, where you see the chinese building a military base 100 miles off the coast in the south china sea, where you see russia invading ukraine without much consequence, and now threatening the office in eastern europe. you see this because we are weak. you see israel no longer feeling the united states has the
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security umbrella that it once had. restoring relationships with our allies where they know we have their back and our enemies fear us will actually lessen the chance of deployments, and that is what we need to get back to. yes, sir. >> i met you at a pro-life rally. another issue i have with you, the first thing i see you always attack donald trump, a repetitive thing. everyone knows you have a fight with donald trump. are you scared of donald trump? something is up. mr. bush: he is not a conservative. he is the leading candidate in the conservative party and has hijacked the conservative party. i have been a conservative all my life -- he says we do not have to reform social security. yeah, we do.
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you are taking a stand. you know this. he says we do not have to. he says we do not have to spend more military money. yes, we do. he admires the single-payer system. it would be a disaster. now he talks about obamacare, that he has talked about things as it relates to guns, life question, health care, the economy, that is out of the mainstream of conservative thought. and but for me, who? who will take him on if i do not? >> good afternoon. we hear from trump about competitiveness, especially with china, and now he said that mexico is the new china appeared how will you restore global competitiveness?
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mr. bush: he does not talk about competitiveness. he talks about unfairness, i guess. competitiveness is a better question. we compete by having regulations that are not destroying our ability to invest in our country. we are 49th in the world in terms of ease of doing business. there are more businesses, 99% are small, more businesses are closing than being formed. it is not because someone sucked out the entrepreneurial dna, but because we have stifled it with massive rules. to be competitive, we need to have reforms of our regulatory system. could we build the interstate highway system in the united states today? it would be impossible. we cannot build the pentagon. the pentagon was built in less than two years, with 6 million
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square feet under roof, in a swamp in 1941. it would take 15 years to get a permit to start construction. we cannot launch a man to the moon. we cannot lead the world if we were starting where we are today. regulations. our tax code is creating this bizarre relocation of capital outside our country. we have $2 trillion overseas because we are the only country that has worldwide taxation. no other country has that. if we went to territorial taxation and allow for this $2 trillion to be repatriated, you would see massive rebuilding of our infrastructure and at our industrial capacity to allow us to be competitive. if we allowed full expensing, lowering the tax corporate rate, a simple code where you expense capital investing, you would allow for us to be competitive.
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if we brought job training into the 21st century instead of having us mid-20th century system of job training, you would be more competitive. if our education system was not mired in bureaucracy and politics and unions, i could promise you we would have rising student achievement and a lot more people, college and/or career ready. and we would be competitive. if we embrace the energy revolution in our midst instead of pushing it away as this president has done, not approving the xl pipeline, allow for leasing offshore with deference to the states -- florida might not be as excited as virginia -- but we should expand the ability for us to create low-cost energy sources to allow us to be competitive. that is how you become be competitive. we should be tearing down barriers as it relates to trade. if china is unfairly trading with us, we have to world trade organization to seek damages, in
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effect. a 45% tariff across the board, the trump plan? anybody recall history here? you know the last time that was tried? it is called the smoot-hawley tariff, and it created a global depression. millions of people lost their jobs. we had declining income for a decade. that is the dumbest idea. if you want to be competitive, fix the things here that makes us less competitive, enforce trading laws to make sure our industries are on an even playing field, and we will out-compete everybody. i will promise you that. got a mic coming your way. >> i would like to thank you for your plans for the social security, and when you become president, would you be able to
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get those plans through in 100 days? mr. bush: you will have to. great question. i have four cameras staring at me. these are friends from aarp. they come to all the events. they are the politest special interest group i get to hang out with. quickly, we need to create a solvent social security system, and i have a detailed plan to do it. preserve it and protect it for those who have it now, and starting in 2023, raise the retirement age one month for every year. over a 30-year period you get the 70 retirement age, and 65 early retirement age. my proposal is to lift the minimum benefit to 120% of
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poverty. it is no longer a supplemental retirement system for a lot of people. it is the primary source of livelihood for too many people. 80% of the poverty in our country, as prosperous as ours and as noble as ours, is inappropriate. we would raise the level for those that have lower benefits and suppress the benefits for people of higher incomes. to do those things, you create a solvency for years. how do you do it? you got to have a plan, say what you are going to do. i have done that, and it is not just on social security, across the board. go to, the most detailed plans developed in this campaign are on our website. the way you do it is you lead. you say it is a priority. trump says that social security is not a problem. there is going to be mandatory
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cuts of 30% within the next decade if we do nothing. that is the law. that is the path we are on. yet change that direction. you have been examples of democrats and republicans working together on big things, and we need to restore it again. tip o'neill was a liberal democrat. ronald reagan was a conservative republican. they did not ascribe bad motives each other. they worked together to save social security. it was done for more than a generation. it just requires a leader saying it is a high priority. this along with medicare and medicaid and reforming obamacare, all these entitlements are the cookie monster that will break the budget. we have to fix them to preserve it for people who are expecting it, so you got be engaged to make it happen. governors have a better skill set to do this because they have to. you cannot just dial it in as a governor. you cannot cut and run when the going gets tough. you cannot avoid having the
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conversation when you are a governor. you can do it when you are a senator or a reality tv star. you can organize your life personally for your on existence, all about you, but governors have to create an agenda for everybody. so do presidents, when they are effective. yes, sir, back in the back. >> i really appreciate you being here today. thanks for taking your time. i have to be honest with you about something. i watched msnbc last night and the trump town hall. mr. bush: it is not a town hall unless it is like this when you get to ask me a question. >> i think he took questions from voters. one of the questions was about entitlement reform, and he said do not touch that in an election because we will lose. i have to say that makes a lot of sense to me because you know hillary clinton and bernie sanders, they will not talk about entitlement reform.
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why can't the republican party and the democratic party come together in a room, sit down, and have both parties come out and simultaneously say we want to fix this problem, we will work together, both parties? mr. bush: it could be possible, but you got to first admit there's a problem. you cannot have a secret plan on big things. it is not possible. the idea of trust me, i will take care of it. really? that is not being honest or courageous and not showing integrity. we have a problem. if you do not lay out a detailed plan, how do you engage with the other side, you have to start the conversation. the so-called third rail approach i think is foolish. nothing ever works when you do not have the courage of your convictions. donald trump does not have a plan. it is not that he is saying i will defer it. he does not have a plan.
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the idea that somehow -- we will be attacked. i want to be attacked on the ideas i believe in. i want it to be a debate about the future of this country. if you do not have the convictions, what is the campaign going to be about? it will be about nonsense. it should be about ideas that change the direction the country. i am all in. i respectfully disagree with the political view that you might have. yes, ma'am. >> first thing i wanted say, thank you for coming here today. can i be sure that you can change america for my generation and bring hope to the u.s. again? mr. bush: yes, you can. that is what the mission is. i find it interesting that not your generation, but the one
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right before you, whatever the millennial generation or the college kids right now, are all into socialism. in the exit poll four years ago, millennials by two to one believe socialism is a better economic policy that capitalism. wowzer. no place in the world has that worked out that way, and you have a candidate like bernie sanders is proposing a bunch of free things. and we are in a heap of trouble and they want to triple it and make it worse. there should be people marching in the streets saying fix this mess because i do not have to clean up after you. instead, they are doubling down on more free college, single-payer system for health care, as he has proposed, and people think that is the right approach. it would destroy the country. it would create burdens of debt on your generation that would be completely unsustainable.
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the debt levels we have today are horrific. $19 trillion with anemic economic growth will create a huge burden for your generation. we got to fix this. hope comes from doing things, not just talking about it. hope comes from beginning to recast the political system where we start seeing solutions again rather than having this massive gridlock where nothing seems to happen. yes, sir. >> i am a small business owner. there are many small businesses and restaurant associations. i have looked up the other night, in this great country, anybody can be a candidate for president. you have five pages of forms to fill out. i am sure there is more than that.
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if i hire a 16-year-old high school student for a summer job, 66 pages. they have got to fill out 66 pages of forms to work. they create jobs, but those are not jobs we want to create. it has gotten ridiculous. mr. bush: that is the burden we now have. if ease of doing business, which this is the example of it, as we are 49th, russia and afghanistan are ahead of us, it is time to fix it. this is what i know something about. i was governor and i had a keen interest in this. i knew it because i had 32 years in business. i started a business with my partner that became the largest commercial real estate company in south florida. we went through the credit crunch. you remember that? 1990's. we were a company's largest
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borrower. we do not know that we were the company's largest borrower. the credit crunch comes, and all of a sudden the regulations change and we became their biggest burden. we had to recast how we went about our business. we were challenged, and we got through it. our business continued to grow. the fact is that is the way the real world works, and the more barriers and friction you place on how business operates, the harder it is to start a business, much less sustain it. the 67 pages, think about this -- security clearance, that is 100 pages, i think, right? the chinese have every one of those. 23 million unique files because we are so inept that we cannot protect, we do not have firewall protection. think of the treasure trove of information that the chinese
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have now for everyone who has a security clearance. it is more information that is necessary. that is how bureaucracies will, and if you do not challenge it and say -- the greatest joy in my life has been to answer the following question -- if we were not doing it this way, how would we do it? then create that environment where you get to do it. that is why we need the leadership, as we have lost our way across the board. having the experience of signing the front side of the paycheck as well as a backside has given me more advantage. they give the other people running. trump has business experience. he certainly does. he has been successful. he has seen the downside of business. he has been bankrupt four times. his success should give him some sense that we are in trouble. we do not need more rules, we need to simplify the rules and lessen friction for people to create investment. i have that experience. the other guys do not.
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they have no life experience. they have not had a setback in their personal -- business life, or political career that would alter how they think, allow them to grow -- but we need someone who has a proven leadership record. yes, sir. which team are you wearing? >> manchester united. mr. bush: there you go. a lot of people my age have concerns with the bush name, not because it is a bad name, because you are the third bush. what is your message to that concern? mr. bush: i can tell you, you can hear it from the horse's mouth, i'm not trying to break the record.
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i hope people will hear what are your concerns are how am i going to pay off my student loans? the student loan program was nationalized by obamacare. the federal government now operates it. it has doubled in the last six years. the forbearance rate had grown exponentially. default rates are growing. they are financing this higher education system, once the best in the world, much more efficiently than it was, but the costs are out of control because we are financing on the backs of young people. my plan is to eliminate the student loan program for those going forward and replace it with a line of credit of 50,000 bucks to every graduate from high school that you can use for a.a. degrees, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees. you pay it back not with interest, not on a recourse basis, you pay it back as a percentage of the income you earn. for every $10,000, you pay out of your tax return.
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it is a less burdensome way of dealing with it. it will require universities to reduce costs. that is one way of offering a reversal of the status quo for something that is important for young people. growing the economy at 4% will help a lot. if you're not growing at that rate, you end up with people stuck. there are people still sitting on their parents' couch with cheetos stains on their t-shirts because we have an anemic recovery. if we get rid of obamacare, it should warm the hearts of young people because the whole obamacare, the basis of its existence is to mandate that young people have to participate because they are healthy,


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