Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush urged Republicans to pursue “21st-century solutions” to issues Americans face and govern inclusively if they wish to improve the GOP’s brand and build on recent party victories under the next administration.
From Washington Examiner
“Our party must be big-hearted and creative and opportunistic,” the ex-White House hopeful, who was President-elect Trump’s greatest rival for much of the GOP primary, wrote in a Friday op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.
Bush declined to support Trump in the general election, often criticizing his lack of policy knowledge and foreign policy plans, though he now admits the incoming Republican president “successfully tapped into the anger and deep distrust that voters feel toward Washington” to deliver himself a “hard-fought victory.”
But as Trump prepares to take office on Jan. 20 and the newest Republican-controlled Congress descends on Capitol Hill, Bush said GOP leaders must realize they have been tasked with governing a divided nation and can unite the country only if the party delivers on the promises of prosperity and security many of its members made.
“The GOP has no excuse for failure,” Bush declared. “We are in charge of both the executive and legislative branches in Washington, and we dominate in the states like never before. We have the power to set the agenda, and we have the responsibility to govern, not merely on behalf of the voters who supported President-elect Trump, but for all Americans.”
Bush called on his cohorts to pass congressional term limits, a proposal Trump reinforced immediately after his election victory, and a balanced-budget amendment that would prohibit federal spending from exceeding annual revenue taken in by the government.
He simultaneously encouraged Republicans to reverse executive orders and policies put in place by the Obama administration “that have made America weaker, both [at home] and abroad.” Republicans should immediately repeal the president’s signature healthcare law and replace it with a market-friendly substitute, pursue regulatory reform, and swiftly reverse the growth of government, Bush said.
“The federal government has become too unwieldy, too powerful and too distant — precisely the problem that the Constitution was designed to avoid,” he wrote, adding that Republicans finally have a chance “to contrast our approach, which trusts people to make good choices, with the failed Democratic and progressive top-down approach, which prefers government to decide almost everything.”
Bush, presumably in a direct plea to Trump, said the GOP can broaden its base by “reforming legal immigration and affirming the role that immigrants play in building up our economy and our nation.” The incoming Republican president has vigorously opposed installing a path to legal status or citizenship for illegal immigrants and promised to build a massive wall along the Southern border.
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