Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is greeted at a conservative political conference in Maryland to cheers and boos, as Tea Party members walk out during his speech. Bush says the United States needs to “put ISIS (Islamic State) around a noose.”
NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 27, 2015) (REUTERS) – Republican Jeb Bush asked skeptical conservatives to consider him as a potential presidential candidate on Friday (February 27) but refused to back down from policy positions that have led many right-leaning activists to view his potential presidential candidacy with suspicion.
“We need to be engaged in the world,” the 62-year-old former Florida governor told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland near Washington.
Many attending the annual gathering of grassroots activists made clear they prefer a potential Bush rival, Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, among others.
Bush was heckled and booed, but the antipathy was balanced out by enthusiastic supporters who showed up shortly before he spoke and clapped heartily and aggressively.
While some audience members walked out of the packed auditorium as he began talking, there was no mass walkout and he was well-received overall.
“We joined it (the walk out) because we’re tired of dynasties that we keep seeing pop up by politics. We don’t want these same people that say they’re going to do something different come with the exact same ideas that they had before. Jeb Bush is just following both his brother and his father. And we don’t like what they have to say,” said Grace Charlton, a student from Northern Virginia.
Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush, has emerged as the favorite of the Republican Party’s establishment wing. He has been on a fund-raising binge that has raised millions of dollars for a potential 2016 presidential campaign.
But the party’s conservative base has been alarmed at Bush’s support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants and for an education policy known as Common Core.
Facing a crowd angered by Democratic President Barack Obama’s executive order relaxing immigration policy, Bush stuck to his position that Americans should be more accepting of immigrants and be willing to provide legal status for those already here.
He said it would help expand the U.S. economic base, and help his party extend its reach.
“The simple fact is, the simple fact is, there is no plan to deport 11 million people. We should give them a path to legal status where they work, where they don’t receive government benefits, where they don’t break the law, where they learn English, and where they make a contribution to society. That’s what we need to be focused on,” he said.
On the U.S. role in combating Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, Bush said the U.S. needs to “put ISIS (Islamic State) around a noose and take ’em out.”