WASHINGTON – Wednesday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said that the Republican Party should be defined not by D.C. gridlock, but by the work being done in states by Republican governors.
Bush and Jindal, both viewed as potential 2016 Republican presidential contenders, were speaking at the National Press Club about education and school choice, and were asked how the Republican Party could be seen as more than the “party of no” when there was so much focus on congressional Republican opposition to President Barack Obama’s policies.
“The fight here is important to have — this is an important part of living the life,” Bush said. “There’s a lot of things riding on how Republicans act as it relates to the deficit, budget issues, and many other things, so I’m not discounting what they do.”
“But I do think the emphasis of being against the president’s policies, no matter how principled they are, needs to be only half the story, if not less,” said Bush. “There ought to be more focus on the efforts underway in state capitols and outside the government, to be honest with you, to rebuild America in the more traditional way.”
Bush pointed to Jindal, as well as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who he said “are doing that in a way outside the limelight of Washington, but doing it quite effectively, that to me is a more positive, hopeful, optimistic message going forward for the conservative cause.”
“Solutions oriented innovation and reform should be what people think about when they think about Republicans, rather than simply being against — legitimately against, don’t get me wrong — but against the overreach that people see in Washington, D.C.,” he said.
Jindal echoed Bush’s response.
“I think that even as there is gridlock and dysfunction in Washington, D.C., there is progress being made at the state level, at the state capitol level,” Jindal said. “And I think people’s lives are being impacted more by some of the policies and decisions being made there than what’s not happening here in Washington, D.C.”