Detroit Flop City: Jeb Bush Pretends To Care About Poor People In First Speech


Jeb Bush

Taking a page out of his brother George W. Bush’s playbook, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is trying to run as a “compassionate conservative”. Addressing the Detroit Economic Club on Wednesday, Bush outlined the theme of his “right to rise” campaign. He told the audience:

I know some in the media think conservatives don’t care about the cities. But they are wrong. We believe that every American and in every community has a right to pursue happiness. They have the right to rise.

For voters with long-term memories, Jeb’s message seemed hauntingly similar to George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservative” rhetoric, during the 2000 election campaign. Once elected, George W. Bush’s conservatism conveniently dropped the compassionate part. Instead he left a legacy of tax cuts for the wealthy, a crashed economy, a war in Iraq built upon lies, and a catastrophe in New Orleans, where government inaction compounded the misery of Hurricane Katrina’s victims.


Jeb, of course, does not want to run as Bush 3.0, carrying with him the baggage of two failed Bush presidencies. Yet Jeb’s policy ideas are virtually indistinguishable from those promoted by George Senior and George the Lesser. While Jeb Bush’s rhetoric may be refreshing in the sense that even pretending to care about poor people sets him apart from the rest of the GOP field, he offers nothing to actually address the problem of poverty.

Bush criticized the economic opportunity gap, but his prescription for fixing the problem was basic Republican boilerplate solutions like cutting the size of the federal government and lowering taxes for rich people. He stated, ”no tax, no welfare program will save our system or our way of life.” Then, he added, “Instead of a safety net to cushion our occasional falls, they have built a spider web that traps people in perpetual dependence”, attacking the very programs that at least provide the poor with some measure of support.

Peel away a few words aimed at feigning compassion, and Bush’s speech was a call for the same government policies that crashed the economy in 2008. Washington DC is always wrong, we need smaller government, we need more tax cuts for the wealthy and oh, by the way, poor people just need to get married, stay married, and pick up their bootstraps. That was the meat of Bush’s message, which was heavy on words and light on policy.

Ironically, Bush delivered his critique of Washington solutions in Detroit, the city where Barack Obama’s auto industry bailout helped save thousands of American manufacturing jobs. Bush, incidentally, opposed the federal government rescue of the American auto industry. With the benefit of hindsight, however, we can see that Obama’s plan actually worked. The American auto industry is thriving today, and it owes a debt of gratitude to a President who had the courage to step up and help in a time of crisis.

Jeb Bush will try to spin himself as a conservative who actually cares about the poor and the middle class. To a large degree, the mainstream news media seems willing to amplify that spin. Voters, however, have seen this song and dance before. Hopefully, this time around they aren’t buying it.


26 Replies to “Detroit Flop City: Jeb Bush Pretends To Care About Poor People In First Speech”

  1. how could anybody POSSIBLY vote for anther member of the bush family …

    boggles the mind from Bush 1 to Bush 2, they have all been utter failures! have killed the middle class!

    what makes anybody except rich white americans think he’s the guy to be the next president???

  2. What’s with the use of the word “flop” in the headline? I work Downtown and the changes are nothing related to “flop”. It’s more re-gentrification when it comes to the rehabbed lofts and apartments.


    The first two weren’t any good so why would anyone, who isn’t going to benefit in tax cuts for the wealthy and corporate government hand-outs, want to even contemplate voting for this corporate puppet??


    They hate “Big Gubmint” so when they run for higher office, do you actually think they’ll know how to govern?

  4. His way of life doesn’t merit maintaining. people who actually contribute to the general welfare are way more valuable than he is.

  5. His way of life doesn’t merit maintaining. The people who actually contribute to the general welfare are way more valuable than he is.

  6. He is flopping his lips in the wind. In Florida he gave the state away to developers and stopped allowing any medical for self employed. All he would do as president is give the corporations all he could and cut medical for middle and lower class. The guy is a piece of work. Watch out, he is smoother than his brother the bumbling president.

  7. What does Jerb Bush stand for? What has Jeb Bush done to better society since leaving office as Governor? Just asking.

  8. Just another wolf trying to dress himself up in sheep’s clothing. His costume just looks more realistic than most. Lots of good talk, but same old proven failed solutions.

  9. Not one god damned thing. He is and always has been first and foremost all about Jeb. he’d throw his whole family under a speeding train to get more power.

  10. Look at the former Presidents, Carter and Clinton both democratic presidents. They both work towards helping others. What have either former presidents Bush done for others? NOT A DARN THING. The Bush family is all for themselves, to hell with others, especially WORKING people. Remember Poppy Bush looking in amazement at the checkout at the grocery store? It was like alien territory to him. Jeb is just like his father, covering up for the misdeeds of his spawn. All have broken the law and walked away without consequences. This family has made themselves rich on the backs of the working class. ENOUGH Bush family “leadership”

  11. As Jessie Jackson says, “stay out the bushes”! Amazing that Bush also depends heavily on a Etch-a-sketch too.

  12. I’m distressed, as a former Detroit area resident who worked proudly for years in downtown Detroit, that any member of the Bush dynasty would have the gall to set foot in the Motor City. The economic disaster that Jeb’s brother wrought on Michigan and the entire country should have caused him to seek asylum in Saudi Arabia, about the only country the Bush family would fit into.

  13. We can all just let Babs, the matriarch of this corrupt clan, handle it:

    BARBARA BUSH: “There are other people out there that are very qualified and we’ve had enough Bushes.”

  14. I couldn’t have written this article any better. Bush3 stated he had four points to his plan, and then only vaguely mentioned 3 of them. I guess he assumes his audience is too stupid to notice. He cares? Sure he does. That would mean he would be changing his life long positions and that just doesn’t happen. Sorry Jeb, no one is buying your line of crap.

  15. Thanks Sammy, but you have to understand that when it comes to Detroit, all we ever hear is negativity. Yes, I’m sensitive about it. I live in Metro Detroit.

  16. I grew up in Dearborn and also defensive about Motown.
    My granddad worked at Ford’s Rouge plant from 1919 until retirement in 1963. He was active in the strikes for unionization at Ford in 1941.
    He was a FDR democrat who never voted republican since he saw what they did in the 1920’s. He told me he’d walk into the voting booth and flip all the switches to democrat and walk out.

  17. He was in amazement of the SCANNERS, he had never seen one before. I don’t believe he had been IN a grocery store in decades.

    I laughed so hard at that because he was so out of touch…but then I thought “he’s the president?”

  18. My maternal-grandmother worked at Hudsons in downtown Detroit during the 20’s and 30’s when the red trollies were around.
    I’m a native Royal Oaker (William Beaumont hospital) and lived in Dearborn (Ford / Schaefer)

  19. After W and Dick, the Bush and Cheney names should be spoken in whispers and with shame.

    If we don’t stop these privileged monsters they will continue to grind us in the dirt with pretty words and self-serving policies.

    Read my lips, no more Bushes. Fool us twice … Won’t get fooled again.

  20. The spin from the GOP to win 2016 will be that they care about “poor people.” We see this pattern more and more as news goes on about the potentials. If that doesn’t work, then they will cheat and steal 2016.

    Apparently they don’t have much faith in the “helping the poor,” if Koch is spending mega $$$ for the campaign. But they will try the spin at least…and of course, some people will believe them.

  21. Jeb was a lousy governor and is corrpt.He made millions on the S&L scandal that ruined the finances of hundreds of thousands of middle class American seniors who were then left poor for the remainder of their lives.The whole bush family are physchpaths and suffer from the hoarders disease of acquiring things they don’t need and will never use.

  22. I thought it was a play on words of the Kiss song Detroit Rock City. His speech flopped. Switch out Rock for Flop. I don’t think it was meant in any way to reference “flops” as in lofts or small apts in a disparaging way.

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