Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush often runs in high-esteem with many in the GOP and media for his pragmatic approach to education and immigration policy, as well as a his "big tent" outlook for expanding the party. The former governor may have taken some aback though with recent comments he made about today's GOP and former presidents Ronald Reagan and his father George H.W. Bush.
While speaking to a group of reporters and editors at the Manhattan headquarters of Bloomberg LP Monday morning, Bush said that the current “ultra-conservative” climate of today's GOP may have been an unwelcome place for Reagan and Bush 41. BuzzFeed reports:
"Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground," Bush said, adding that he views the hyper-partisan moment as "temporary."
"Back to my dad’s time and Ronald Reagan’s time – they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan suport," he said. Reagan "would be criticized for doing the things that he did."
The notion sparked debate amongst the "Real News" panel. Not in regards to whether Reagan would be welcome amongst todays Republicans, but whether it is today's Democrats that are a shell of their former self. S.E. Cupp first reminded Jeb that while Reagan was reasonable and practical from the Oval Office, he held the conservative line on welfare reform, hawkish foreign policy, opposition to the PATCO strike, support of capital punishment, advance of the War on Drugs and attempt to nominate Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. The discussion got especially interesting though when the debate shifted to where liberal icnon John F. Kennedy would find himself in today's Democratic Party; considering his 1 percent wealth, neoconservative foreign policy approach, balanced budget pledge, and push for lower income and corporate tax rates. From there, look just two decades back to Bill Clinton's support of Don't Ask, Don Tell, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, and North American Free Trade Agreement. A clip from Monday's below: