TAMPA, Fla. — In comments not included in his prepared text, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) defended his brother, President George W. Bush, saying it was time President Barack Obama stop blaming the bad economy on his predecessor.
“My brother, well, I love my brother. He is a man of integrity, courage and honor. And during incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe,” Bush said to a cheering Tampa Bay Times Forum.
“Mr. President, it is time to stop blaming your predecessor for your failed economic policies,” Bush continued. “You were dealt a tough hand, but your policies have not worked. In the fourth year of your presidency, a real leader would accept responsibility for his actions, and you haven’t done it.”
“I just had to get that off my chest,” Bush concluded, before moving on with a speech focused on education reform.
George W. Bush has been a favorite target of Democrats and generally ignored by the GOP since he left office in 2009, although the former president has purposely shied away from politics. Only one Bush administration official — former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — spoke to the convention here in Tampa. Neither George W. Bush nor former Vice President Dick Cheney traveled to Tampa.