White House hopeful Jeb Bush drew a full house Monday afternoon at Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala.
The former Florida governor began with his personal life by talking about his granddaughter Georgia Helena Walker Bush. She was the first great-grandchild of his father, former President George H.W. Bush.
The GOP presidential candidate said that despite her diverse cultural background, she is first and foremost and American, pointing out that people in this country are Americans regardless of their country of origin.
Criticizing President Obama and taking a jab at other candidates, Bush said that they have tried to “break us up in disparate parts,” instead of uniting and pushing Americans to making the country a leading nation.
Bush switched gears and brought up a pressing issue that has been central to his campaign due to recent headlines – national security and confronting ISIS.
He discussed arming Kurdish forces, embedding American troops with the Iraqi military, engaging Sunni leaders, implementing a no fly zone in Syria, and standing against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
“Vladimir should be more afraid of us,” said Bush, calling the prime minister a bully who enslaves his own people. He further discussed creating safe-zones for refugees in their own countries, then denounced President Obama’s job in “containing” ISIS.
After sharing an inspirational anecdote that touched on hard work and achieving dreams, Bush rhetorically asked the audience whether they wanted a future with hard workers pursuing their dreams or political hacks using government money as they meddle with businesses.
“It [government] is too big, too incompetent,” said Bush. He stated that he hopes to “create a field of dreams” and the “best possible climate,” in which people can succeed.
This called for reducing taxes, reforming regulations, and reforming civil services, which Bush then cited his success in executing those actions during his term as governor.
Proving his leadership savvy, Bush discussed his record in bringing Florida back to the national average when it was once ranked 50th in the nation for graduation rates.
Other subjects covered were bringing justice to Veterans, immigration, balancing the budget due to the national debt, the drug epidemic, and supporting law enforcement.
Though criticisms were aimed at specifically Donald Trump in recent rallies, Bush refrained from mentioning Trump but made comments that left no doubt about to whom he was referring. Bush condemned Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in light of investigation of her emails and said that all his past emails are available for public viewing.