Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday significantly distanced himself from the presidency of his brother, George W. Bush, even as he considered his first crucial speech on foreign affairs in order to call for a confident American presence abroad that recalled of George’s own strategy on national security.
It was not at all a coincidence that Jeb made his first metaphoric break with the last Republican president in remarks about the foreign policy, the problem that had sent George’s presidency spiraling.
Jeb has emerged as the frontrunner in the presidential race in 2016 among the expected Republicans intending a White House bid next year. Some early poll surveys also suggest his name as the favorite contender among the voters, possibly due to his last name.
Jeb reaffirmed his love for both his father, who was the 41st US president, and his eldest brother, saying “they both have shaped America’s foreign policy from the Oval Office during their tenure.”
But he asserted, “I am my own man… and my views are shaped by my own thinking and own experiences.”
He made the comments during his address in the luncheon at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Wednesday.
“New circumstances require new approaches,” he asserted.
Jeb portrayed a muscular vision of the role of the United States in the world that was suggestive of the last Bush presidency.
“The US has an undiminished ability to shape events and build alliances of free people. We can project power and enforce peaceful stability in far-off areas of the globe,” Jeb said.
One of the agendas suggested by Jeb during his speech included raising Pentagon budget. He, however, avoided speaking on specific policy proposals. He raised the Iraq issue and mentioned about the serious threats from the terrorists like the Islamic State extremist group.
In an attempt to differentiate himself from the previous presidents in his family, Jeb presented that his formative expertise and experience on foreign policy came not after watching his father or brother’s tenure, but due to his long service as commander-in-chief, his working and personal life in Venezuela, and as the governor of Florida, a state which is actively involved in foreign trade.