Q = Questioner
A = Jeb Bush
U = Unidentified Speaker
A: Thank you so much. Thank you all very much. What a joy to be here. I believe we're on the verge of the greatest time to be alive, but here's the problem, our government doesn't work like it needs to work. The gridlock in Washington makes it harder for people to rise up. More people are living in poverty today, six million more people than the day that Barack Obama got elected President. The middle class in a recovery has declining income. Six and a half million people are working part-time and and most of them wanna work full-time. Workforce participation rates are lower today than they were in 1977, and for the first time in American history businesses are closing at a rate faster than they're opening. This is not the America that will lead the world. This is not the America that will make sure that children will have more opportunities than their parents. What we need to do is restore the right to rise in this country by fixing a few really, big, complex things that we've allowed to languish for too long. How we tax, the most convoluted regulatory system in the world. I don't need to tell Iowans about the EPA rules as it relates to water and now the new rules as it relates to air that will stifle the ability of industry to be created and agriculture to work leading the world. We have serious, serious problems. We need to embrace the energy revolution in our country to be energy secure with North American resources in a short period of time with American ingenuity, American innovation and American technology. And we have to have the courage to preserve and protect our entitlement systems for sure, but recognize that the world has changed. That we're aging far longer, that the system was designed in a different space and time. We need to find a consensus to preserve what we have but then make sure that we can, make sure it exists for the next generation. If we do those things, our budget would be moved toward surplus and we would grow our economy far faster than two percent. People would be lifted out of poverty and the great middle of our country that defines who we are would get a pay raise for the first time in a long, long time. And that's what we should be doing. I know a little about this because I got to be Governor of a purple state, Florida. It's not red like Texas and it's not blue like California. It's right down the middle. Half a million more Democrats than Republicans. I was the most conservative Governor in the state's history but I had a reformers heart, and we cut taxes every year totaling $19 billion. We reduced the state government workforce by 13,000. In fact you can fire someone for incompetence in state government in Florida. I’m sorry that's a really radical idea, and you can reward public servants that do a better job. We changed the system and we we shrunk it but but I think the services are a lot better because of it. Ask the people that had to deal with eight hurricanes and four tropical storms whether the state government was there to take care of their needs during 16 months where tragedy took place in every one of our communities. We reformed our education system. Florida was at the bottom of education, 50th out of 50 states in graduation rate. Because we created the first private school choice programs, we expanded our charter schools, we eliminated social promotion in third grade, we put reading coaches in every school, we had accountability like nobody's business, guess what? We graded schools A, B, C, D and F. No one could say an A school wasn't better than an F school. The net result was we've had a 50 percent improvement in graduation and Florida's student achievement has had the greatest gains during this time of any state. I know how to fix things because I was a Governor, a reform minded Governor that improved things. Our income great at four and a half percent, 4.4 percent every year. We could grow our economy far faster and it would lift people's spirits up, but we have to fix these things in Washington and right now we have a President that pushes down anybody that disagrees with him and he elevates himself with his sophisticated nuance view and the net result is nothing gets done. Nothing gets done but it can. We can fix this. And if we do, we'll have more confidence to lead the world again. The United States plays a constructive role in the world by being the ally of our friends where they know that we have their back. And having our enemies fear us a little bit, that's how you create a more peaceful world. When you pull back, voids are filled. And sadly today we have a void that has been filled, a Caliphate the size larger than Iowa, thousands and thousands of trained forces organized to destroy western civilization. I'm not exaggerating. Today the FBI director says the thing that keeps him up at night are homegrown terrorists, they're inspired by ISIS. We should be taking out ISIS. We should have a strategy to deal with ISIS rather than admit that we don't have one. Each and every day that they exist, they gain more power, they recruit more people. The next President of the United States, if I’m President, we will have a strategy on day one to take out this great threat to our national security and to the world, I promise you that. The President, the President has no strategy and Hillary Clinton has no strategy. Their strategy is to say it's somebody else's fault. It's time we had a President that accepted responsibility for the duties of the Presidency. If there's a problem, don't say the dog ate my homework, which is what we hear all the time. Accept responsibility to fix it. That's what leaders do. I believe we're on the verge of the greatest time to be alive if we're strong, rebuild our military, show support for the veterans, bring back competency in government and grow our economy at a far faster rate. I don't know about you, put aside your ideology just for brief moment, do you think that the federal government is operating in a way that shows respect for the taxpayers on this country? A hospital in Denver is being built, it was supposed to cost $200 million. Now the Veterans Department has to come to Congress to ask for enough money to spend $1.8 billion to build a hospital for the greatest military men and women that are retired and deserving of this service. That is ludicrous. People don't get fired anymore in Washington, D.C. How about the office of policy personnel management? In charge of the human resource office, in effect the HR office of the federal government. 22 million files have been taken allegedly by the Chinese, even though the Inspector General of that same department said be careful, we don't have the cyber security necessary to protect our servers. Even though that came about, nothing happened and the net result is that classified information, information that that allows for security clearances is now in the hands of the Chinese. Put aside your ideology, I hope you want a President that will roll up their sleeves and fix these broken systems for crying out loud to make sure that we serve the people. No more $800 million healthcare.gov websites. No more cost overruns in the defense department and all these other places. We need a competent leader that will accept responsibility to fix these things. And I believe that I'm the guy to do it. I humbly ask for your support and here's my deal, I'm a Republican and I'm a proud conservative and I have a record of reform that is unmatched of anybody running. But I believe in order to fix these things we need to come together as a nation. I’m tired of the divides. I respect people that don't agree with me, it's okay to disagree with me. I don't ascribe bad motives for people that disagree with me. They may be wrong, that's fine, we'll have a lively debate but we need forge consensus again to fix how we tax, how we regulate, how we restore the military, how we restore our intelligence capability. We need to build a bipartisan consensus again as it relates to foreign policy, so I campaign the way that I would govern, out amongst everybody, no rope lines. Totally out in the open. I campaign in the Latino communities in Spanish, asking them to join our cause. I campaign in the African American communities saying join us because we believe in education reform so your children can be lifted up. On college campuses, amongst Republicans and Independents and Democrats alike. If they don't like my views, I respect that but they know that I have a heart for them. The next President is gonna have to unite this country and I’m gonna campaign in a way that sends the signal, enough of this divide, we need to fix things in Washington, D.C. Thank you all very much.
Q: Why do you support your brother's plan (INAUDIBLE) you and your family for your legacy of helping people in the poorest parts of the world. Your brother's legacy was by far one of the greatest things the United States has done for the world in recent times. My question to you is two parts, first of all if elected to Presidency would you fully fund the United States one-third share of the global fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, and if elected President would you also commit to create a Presidential initiative to help kids with early childhood development focusing on nutrition and their schooling around the world?
A: I think we need to maintain our commitment to the successful programs of our aid programs and this by far is one of the great legacies of my brother and has broad bipartisan support and needs to be continued. It's also good foreign policy to not just be involved in being the world's policeman, we're not. We need to lead in every possible way. People look to the United States as a leader for security purposes but also for these kind of purposes as well, so I would continue to fund those programs. Yes ma'am?
A: The question is smaller class size? That is a local and state level. In Florida we have a constitutional amendment that lowered class size amendment. I actually opposed it. We implemented it. I believe that we oughta do, we oughta pay teachers more for student learning. Lower class sizes is not, there's no evidence to suggest that that yields higher student achievement, but paying paying qualified teachers that get results consistently, that is there is enough evidence to suggest that and that's what we oughta be focused on. Yes sir?
Q: Do you support Common Core?
A: Common Core, I support higher standards. The term Common Core is so darn poisonous I don't even know what what it means, so here's what I’m for. I'm for higher standards, state created, locally implemented where the federal government has no role in the creation of standards, content or curriculum. And if the law, hang on sir, hang on, we'll get you. You're next, okay, so don't let the head explode. The federal government should have no say in that and if it's not changed by law I will I will do it by executive order when I'm President of the United States. Yes sir?
Q: Why do you support your brother's plan to privatize Social Security?
A: Why do I support my brother's plan? I don't. It would've made sense back then, now we're way beyond that. What we need to do is to reform Social Security to preserve it and protect it for those that already have it and to reform it in the logical ways where there's broad bipartisan consensus which is to over an extended period of time, raise the retirement age and raise the limit, the income cap (INAUDIBLE). You can solve Social Security that way.
Q: (INAUDIBLE) you'd get more involved in Iraq.
Q: (INAUDIBLE) welcomed as liberators again or not?
A:The question, I assume everybody heard it. Right now we have 3,500 soldiers and Marines in Iraq already. We have no strategy, we just it kind of creeps up. We're responding incrementally to the challenges that exist rather than having a strategy. I would take the advice of the commanders in the field. And what I've heard from the advisors is, first of all the Iraqis want our help. They wanna know that we have skin in the game, that we're committed to this. We don't have to...
Q: (INAUDIBLE) 2011.
A: Excuse me?
Q: We had to get out in 2011.
A: We didn't have to get out in 2011.
Q:Your brother signed the deal.
A:It could've been modified and that was the expectation. Everybody in Iraq and everybody in Washington knew that this deal could've been expanded and now what we need to do...
Q: Did your brother sign a bad deal?
A: Now, now we need to do something else is to deal with the fact that we have Islamic terrorists organized as a Caliphate and the way that you take them out is to rebuild the Iraqi military, provide arms and support for the Kurdish Peshmerga, to re-engage with the Sunnis, to be able to have a strategy to take them out. And we need to do the same thing, although more complicated, in Syria. Yes sir.
A:I'm having a hard time hearing you.
A: Paul Wolfowitz is providing some advice, I get most of my advice from a team that we have in Miami, Florida. Young people that are gonna be, they're not assigned or haven't, you have experience in either in Congress or in the previous administration. This game the power game that's played you know where you have 25 30 or 40 people that are helping you with foreign policy, and if they have any executive experience they've had to deal with two Republican administrations. Who are the people that were Presidents, the last two Republican, I mean this is kind of a tough game for me to be playing to be honest with you. I’m my own person, we just gave a speech at the Reagan Library. I urge you to take a look at that to get a sense of of my views about how this stuff should work. Yes sir?
Q: Governor Bush, like you I consider myself a public servant, I used to run the State Youth Council here in Iowa. I just went to Boys State and I just went to Boys Nation a few weeks ago, but I feel like our young voices aren't being heard at the federal level. We have youth councils at local levels, state levels, we can serve on boards. As President would you be open to the idea of creating a Presidential Youth Council to inform members of Congress, yourself and the executive branch if elected, and various department heads?
A: That's a great idea. I haven't ever heard it before so here's here's the deal, my e-mail address, write it down and send me your thoughts, firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way I just gave out my e-mail address, it's exactly what I did when I was Governor of the state of Florida, I released all my e-mails, I’m writing an eBook about my e-mails. I think we need a lot more transparency in politics today. We'll get someone from the back. Yes ma'am?
Do you agree with military leaders that Russia is our most dangerous adversary, and if you do or you don't, what would you do to contain (INAUDIBLE)?
So I've seen military leaders say that that's the gravest threat, in fact I was watching an interview yesterday that where people were saying that. I also think that ISIS is easily as important a threat.
A: Yeah right man. And China over the long haul, and North Korea with a nuclear weapon, and an unstable Pakistan. There are many threats. If it was isolated to just one it would be easy. The Putin threat relates to our weakness, as we pull back he sees opportunity. We call Putin in Russia a regional power, trash talking in essence and 30 days later he invades Crimea without much consequence. Putin will respond to strength. You don't have to be bellicose to deal with Russia. You need to say here are the consequences of your actions. There'll be further sanctions and Europe needs to go along with it. We need to forward lean in terms of NATO support and US support into eastern Europe, Poland and and the Balkans to send a signal that the NATO alliance is still intact. We need to make sure that we arm and train Ukraine forces. They've been invaded. Parts of their of their country are still occupied by pro Russian forces. We need to provide support for Ukraine to continue to reform. We have to be involved in this with our partners and allies in Europe so as to push back Putin for sure. And I think over the long haul his is a failed state. If we grow our economy at the rate that we're talking about, we'll be stronger than any country in the world. This is still the strongest country in the world, this still has the potential to be the only developed country to actually renew itself and grow at a far faster rate, and if we did that and you see the failed economic policies of Russia, ultimately they'll collapse. But we need to be steadfast and vigilant as it relates to their efforts. Yes ma'am?
A: Yeah sure. I'm in favor of for profit, not for profit, charter schools are highly effective and they work. The good things about charter schools, if they don't work they close. What about traditional public schools? They can stink the place up over and over again and nothing happens. Yes ma'am? Yeah you.
Q: (INAUDIBLE) I’m a volunteer with (INAUDIBLE) what's going on here (INAUDIBLE) we have a national crisis (INAUDIBLE), what would you do to solve that crisis?
A: The question is we have a crisis of Alzheimer's in our in our country, what will I do? Two things, and this is with a lot of input from the purple shirts at every event I go to just to be clear about it. First and foremost we need to recast our research and development budget. It no longer should be cut by the way. As we can't fix the here and now problems, particularly of our social welfare problems and and entitlement problems, that's where all the growth of the budget is in Washington. We need to focus on some long-term things, infrastructure, but most particularly we've seen the R&D budget of NIH go down. And inside of that budget, Alzheimer's which is gonna create huge costs going forward, hundreds of billions of dollars of costs for families and for the government through Medicaid and Medicare, the amount of money being spent is something like 700 million or $800 million at at the most. There are other diseases that get billions of dollars of money for research. We could find a cure for this, or at a at a minimum we oughta be able to find a delay of dementia. So that's number one, is to recast the R&D budget for the National Institute of Health to be able to find a cure. Secondly, we need to make sure that there's enough money for community-based care alternatives because the great tragedy as you know of of Alzheimer's is not just of the of the person that has dementia, it's the care givers. Now I’m from Florida, just imagine...
U: It's a purple state.
A: It's purple, it's purple politically but it's also purple because the people that have dementia disproportionately live in my beautiful state. And the the caregivers, the spouse and the child and others that exist, it it makes it harder for them to be able to live a healthy life as well and so I think we need to move away from institutionalized care in our Medicaid programs to community-based care. Those two things I think would make make a mark as it relates to the challenge that you face. Yes sir?
Q: What is your stance on negotiations with Iran and if your stance is sanctions, do you see a danger of China or Russia or any other country honoring our sanctions?
U: This is the last question.
A: Okay. My stance is that the Iranian deal is a bad deal. No deal would be better than the deal that that is presented to Congress and I hope Congress with a two-thirds majority kills it. It's bad because it doesn't deal with the broad relationship with Iran. Iran's the largest sponsor, state sponsor of terrorism in the world. We're giving them $100 billion of fresh money to carry out their agenda to destabilize the region. They repress their own people. For two weeks we could've been on the side of the people that elected a different approach in Iran but we were silent and now those presidential candidates and others that have descent in Iran are put away. And so why would we wanna legitimize a regime that does not allow freedom in their own country? There are three Americans held hostage in Iran as well and yet it doesn't seem like that was part of the negotiation. Iran is building ballistic missile capability to launch missiles, both nuclear and otherwise. There's nothing in the agreement that deals with that. We're loosening up conventional weapons sanctions that now will allow them with their fresh money to become a military force that will create an arms race in the Middle East. And I haven't gotten to the verification issue as it relates to their their ability which they violate these rules over again. This President believes that Mullahs will go quietly into the night. That they'll just change their ways and so that's just not how the world operates and I believe that this deal should be rejected. And if sanctions are imposed by the United States then other countries will have the choice. Will they look at Iran as a business proposition and perhaps jeopardizing their relationship both commercial and political and diplomatic with the United States? I think that choice will be pretty clear for some countries. Maybe not Russia and China to your point, but certainly other countries will have to deeply consider whose side they're on. Thank you all very much. I appreciate you, look forward to shaking all your hands. God Bless.