Jeb Bush’s Speech: What He Said, What He Really Meant
Policy + Politics

Jeb Bush’s Speech: What He Said, What He Really Meant

© Mary Calvert / Reuters

When Jeb Bush spoke Wednesday at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, he made a comment that we took to heart: “Our words and our actions must match – so that the entire world knows we say what we mean and mean what we say.” It’s easy to find out what a politician said – that’s what Google is for. But it’s not so easy to find out what they mean. That’s what journalists are for.

WHAT JEB SAID: My goal today is to explore how America can regain its leadership in the world. And why that leadership is more necessary than ever.
WHAT HE MEANT: Obama is screwing up and I want his job.

WHAT JEB SAID: I have doubts whether this administration believes American power is such a force.
WHAT HE MEANT: When I’m president, I’m going give the Defense Department a lot of rope to go after the bad guys.

Related: Jeb Bush Assails President Obama on Poor Leadership

WHAT JEB SAID: Under this administration, we are inconsistent and indecisive. We have lost the trust and the confidence of our friends. We definitely no longer inspire fear in our enemies.
WHAT HE MEANT: You should hear what Netanyahu says about Obama.

WHAT JEB SAID: I also have been lucky to have a father and a brother who both have shaped America’s foreign policy from the Oval Office. I recognize that as a result, my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs – sometimes in contrast to theirs. I love my father and my brother. I admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions they had to make.
WHAT HE MEANT: Don’t blame me for Iraq and Afghanistan.

WHAT JEB SAID: I am my own man – and my views are shaped by my own thinking and own experiences.
WHAT HE MEANT: Cool it, Mom – I’m running whether you like it or not.

WHAT JEB SAID: The transformation of our economy will also send a powerful message about the American system: Free people, free markets, free ideas … implemented faithfully … will set a powerful example of what’s possible to the rest of the world.
WHAT HE MEANT: Don’t worry, Wall Street, I’ve got your back.

Related: Jeb Bush Could Rake in Record Campaign Funds

WHAT JEB SAID: The administration talks, but the words fade…. Hashtag campaigns replace actual diplomacy and engagement. Personal diplomacy and maturity is replaced by leaks and personal disparagement:
WHAT HE MEANT: I won’t do Buzzfeed videos or tweet out selfies to sell my agenda.

WHAT JEB SAID: The president’s word needs to be backed by the greatest military power in the world…. The president should call on leaders of both parties to fix the budget and address the shortfalls in our defense spending.
WHAT HE MEANT: I’m willing to break the sequester for the military, but not for domestic spending.

WHAT JEB SAID: The threats of the 21st century will not be the same as the threats of the 20th … and it is critical that we adapt to meet this challenge.
WHAT HE MEANT: Have you seen the trailer for Terminator Genisys?

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