Jeb Bush’s Hat Tip to Obama: On Education, Not School Choice

On Thursday, Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida and brother of George W. Bush, former President of the United States, offered some praise for President Obama’s education policy while being interviewed on “This Morning” on CBS News. Bush said that he supported the selection of Arne Duncan as the U.S. Secretary of Education, and thought that President Obama was doing a good job when it came to education policy in the U.S.

“We have a different approach as it relates to school choice and I think we need accelerate more provocative reforms,” Bush said. “But having said that, anytime an elected official in the world we are in today that appears so dysfunctional challenges a core constituency not of their opponent, but of their own political base I think we should pause and give them credit. This is the place where President Obama has done this.”

Education reform has been Jeb Bush’s dedicated goal that spanned his governorship — and that he has pursued since he left office in 2007. Since then, he’s been touring the country promoting the steps he took as governor to transform Florida’s education system, advising state administrations on how they can apply the same changes to improve their own schools. Bush is a passionate supporter of school choice, an issue on which he feels that the Obama Administration could be more aggressive.

At the same time, he said that he wasn’t bound by the idea that as a Republican he needs to be in 100% opposition to a Democratic President at all times, although he felt that Obama hasn’t given his brother enough credit on his foreign policy and national security choices. Bush said that Obama shouldn’t deny the fact that after coming into office, he continued the policies of his predecessor — at least when it came to those two areas.

Bush also quashed rumors that he would consider running alongside Mitt Romney as his vice president.

“I’m not going to do it and I’m not going to be asked and it’s not going to happen,” Bush told Rose. “That doesn’t mean I don’t have a voice. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to enthusiastically support Mitt Romney. I intend to do that, I’m doing it. But I’m not going to be a candidate with him.”

Last week, Bush explained to Jonathan Karl during an interview on ABC News that his views that tax increases are an acceptable way to deal with budget deficits when implemented alongside spending cuts would put him at odds with Romney. He also believed that the only true way forward, especially in the coming year, is a bridging of the partisan divide.

“Here’s what I know to be true. Next year or the year after there’s going to have to be a grand bargain. We are on an unsustainable course. It is not possible to continue to do what we are going– what we’re doing today. It’s just not possible,” Bush told Rose.