By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, August 18, it was announced that former Florida Governor and GOP Presidential candidate Jeb Bush (R) is coming to Birmingham for a breakfast fundraiser on Wednesday, August 26.
The latest chapter in the long saga of one of America’s greatest political families continues with Gov. Jeb Bush’s pursuit of the nation’s highest office: an office held by both his father and his brother.
Like almost everybody else in this race, Gov. Jeb Bush was at the Iowa State Fair last week. Now that that is over Bush released his late-summer fundraising schedule. The former governor will be launching a busy multi-state tour that began Tuesday night in Atlanta, GA. This will run through September 15.
Jeb Bush (63) is married to Columba Gallo, whom Jeb met as a teen while teaching English as a second language near her home in a village near Leon, Mexico. They have three children. Jeb Bush is Roman Catholic. Bush is a University of Texas graduate where he was on the varsity tennis team.
On Tuesday, August 18 at a forum in South Carolina, Bush said, “”There’s a place to find common ground between personal civil liberties and NSA doing its job. I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way.” Referring to recent actions by Republicans in Congress, led by rival Senator U.S. Rand Paul (R from Kentucky) to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records.
Bush also told the group that he favored forward deploying U.S. military personnel and equipment in Eastern Europe in response to Russian expansion into the Ukraine.
Jeb Bush while governor of Florida has been a vocal supporter of the controversial Common Core standards and of school choice like charter schools.
Jeb Bush was defeated in his first run for Governor in 1994; but he persevered and ran again successfully in 1998 and 2002.
Gov. Bush said on his website, “When I became governor, I could be pretty relentless about getting the people’s business done. We defended and protected the most vulnerable in our society. I have always believed that as a nation, we reveal our values by how we govern those moments when life is most vulnerable. When we see life not yet born, we should welcome it with love. When we see life compromised by disease or near its natural end, we should treat it as a treasure, not a burden. When I was governor, I tried to act on these values, and worked closely with others who shared my deep commitment to a culture of life. In my personal and active devotion to these causes, I know I made many headlines. But more than that, I hope I made many friends who saw how important it was that we put those who were often last in line, first in our administration.”
Some conservatives are critical of Jeb Bush for his education positions. Other question his commitment to border security.
Bush has written a 300 page book on immigration reform. He supports legalization of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants who are living in this country. He also opposes GOP front runner Donald Trump’s plan to deny citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. Gov. Bush said, “This is in the Constitution. The argument that it’s not I don’t think is the right view.”
Some have characterized Gov. Bush as being the favorite of the ‘establishment wing’ of the Republican Party. Bush however defends his conservative credentials.
Bush and family members, including his brother, former President George W. Bush (R) will appear at a variety of meet-and-greet receptions.
The tour began with an evening Reception in Atlanta, Ga. From there Bush goes to Nantucket, Mass. on Thursday, August 20.
August 21 — Luncheon with Mrs. Columba Bush — Charleston, S.C.
August 22 — Evening Reception of Mission Next — Young Professionals with Jeb Bush, Jr. and Woody Johnson, Jeb 2016 national finance chairman — East Hampton, N.Y.
August 24 – Luncheon Reception — McAllen, Texas; Evening Reception — Denver, Colo..
August 25 — Luncheon Reception — Salt Lake City, Utah; Evening Reception of Mission Next – Young Professionals with Jeb Bush, Jr. — Jacksonville, Fla.
August 26 — Breakfast Reception — Birmingham, Ala.
August 27 — Breakfast Reception — Greensboro, N.C.; Evening Reception — Richmond, Va.
August 28 – Luncheon Reception — Virginia Beach, Va.; Evening Reception — Southampton, N.Y..
August 29 — Breakfast Reception — Sagaponack, N.Y.; Luncheon Reception — Quogue, N.Y.; Afternoon Reception — Wilmington, N.C.
August 31 — Evening Reception — Miami.
September 9 — Evening Reception — Boston, Mass.
September 10 — Luncheon Reception with President George W. Bush — New York City.
September 14 — Evening Reception — Seattle, Wash..
September 15 — Luncheon with Mrs. Columba Bush and Jeb Bush, Jr. — Los Angeles; Evening Reception — Portland, Ore..
For more information or to get tickets to the Birmingham event (or any of the others): [email protected]
On Monday, August 17 Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) endorsed Ohio Governor and Republican Presidential contender John Kasich (R) in Birmingham for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
Gov. Bentley said in a statement, “With his record as governor and his two decades on the House Armed Services Committee working with leaders like President Reagan to strengthen our military, end the Cold War and revamp the Pentagon, John Kasich is a leader whose readiness to lead our nation on his first day in the Oval Office is unmatched.” Kasich is considered a rival for the same middle of the road, ~moderate voters that Bush will need to win the GOP nomination.
Alabama has been a hotbed of presidential candidates this summer. Gov. Kasich held a press conference with Bentley on Monday; former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was in Montgomery in June; Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) has made a stop here; Dr. Ben Carson has visited the state at least three times over the summer; Senator Ted Cruz (R from Texas) has been here for stops in Pelham and Huntsville; New York City billionaire Donald Trump will be holding a pep rally in Mobile on Friday night; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) will be in Talladega on Saturday, August 22 to address Alabama Republicans at their Summer Luncheon. Sen. Cruz will return to Alabama on August 25 when he will be the speaker at the Tuscaloosa County Republican Party’s event.
Republican Presidential candidates at this point include: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, New Jersey businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Doctor Ben Carson, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former New York Governor George Pataki, California businesswoman Carly Fiorina, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore.
The Alabama Presidential Primary is March 1.
(Original reporting by ‘Florida Politics’, Fox News, and the Associated Press contributed to this report)