Saturday, February 14, 2009

Jeb Bush: I don't want Obama to go through what my brother did

Fred Barnes chats with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on everything from 2012 plans (none) to immigration (don't shoot Mexicans) to why Sweden is a model for the United States (school reform).

On 2012:

"I'm totally comfortable with what I'm doing and how I'm going about it. I hope I can find a role to play that doesn't include running for office to make a contribution."

Why Sweden is no longer a Nordic cautionary tale:

"The idea that somehow Sweden would be the land of innovation, where private involvement in what was considered a government activity, is quite shocking to us Americans. But they're way ahead of us. They have a totally voucherized system. The kids come from Baghdad, Somalia -- this is in the tougher part of Stockholm -- and they're learning three languages by the time they finish. . . . there's no reason we can't have that except we're stuck in the old way."

His warning to the Republican party -- you're not in a Cormac McCarthy novel:

"The tone of the debate reached a point that was very damning to the Republican Party, and the evidence is in. The chest pounders lost.... Politics has to be about ideas and values and aspirations. It shouldn't be about anger and preying on people's emotions. You can't lead a mob."

And finally, why he thinks Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are wrong.

"I would never want Obama to go through what my brother went through. It might be fair that every president gets the same amount of vitriol. But it's not right for our country, it's not going to help us, and it's not going to help Republicans."

What is it about Florida Governors and gracious magnanimity?