Jeb Bush, the keynote speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference’s Ronald Reagan dinner, held this evening in Washington, D.C., says that reviving the Republican Party will require drawing voters from every party of American society.
“The face of the Republican party needs to be the face of every American,” he argued.
The former two-term Florida governor urged the GOP to learn from its mistakes — in particular, assuming that conservative principles have limited appeal and, as a result, discounting “entire segments” of the American people. Minority voters, he said, feel “unloved and welcome” in the GOP.
At a time of soul searching on the part of Republicans, Bush maintained that conservative principles offer the solutions to America’s most serious problems: out-of-control spending and a sub-par educational system.
“Every child in America deserves the best education on the planet,” he said. Noting that the United States spends more money per student than any other country in the world, he quipped, “We’re already paying for it.” Bush called for school choice and a system based on accountability — one that rewards choice and punishes failure.
Bush also took the opportunity to reassure the audience about the health of his father, former president George H. W. Bush, who was recently hospitalized. He said the former president told him to “put away the harps,” and he urged conservatives to do the same when it comes to the GOP.