Friday 9 December 2016

My legacy could cost Jeb the presidency, says George W Bush

Raf Sanchez in Washington

Published 17/04/2015 | 02:30

Jeb with former US President George W Bush
Jeb with former US President George W Bush
Hillary Clinton (R) stops to take a selfie after meeting with members of the Iowa State legislature at the Iowa State Capital .
Jeb Bush

FORMER US President George W Bush has admitted his brother Jeb faces a major hurdle in running for president: "Me."

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He said candidly that his legacy may be a problem for his brother and that his own unpopularity meant he was unlikely to hit the campaign trail on Jeb's behalf.

"That's why you won't see me out there, and he doesn't need to defend me, and he's totally different from me," Mr Bush said. "The role of family is not to be a political adviser or a policy adviser - there are plenty of those around - the role is to say, 'Hey man, I love you.'"

Mr Bush also made light of the fact that his own mother had at one point urged Jeb not to run, saying there had been "enough Bushes" after both her husband and son served as president.

"It's an easy line to say, 'Haven't we had enough Bushes?' After all, even my mother said, 'Yes,'" Mr Bush told a conference in Chicago.

Mr Bush said the year-and -a-half of campaigning before the election in November of 2016 would be "a hard test" and shared some of the advice he had offered his brother.

"I said to Jeb, 'Hang in there; you can do the job. Will you win? I hope so but I don't know,'" Mr Bush said. "But if he does he'd be a damn good president, I'll tell you that."

Jeb Bush is expected to launch his campaign in the coming weeks and is one of the frontrunners in a crowded field vying to be the Republican candidate for president.

Many conservative activists within the Republican Party are suspicious of the Bush dynasty, believing that both presidents were too moderate once they reached the White House.

George HW Bush broke a promise not to raise taxes, while George W Bush drove up the deficit and used taxpayer money to bail out Wall Street banks at the start of the 2008 financial crisis.

Jeb Bush often expresses his love for his father and brother but insists: "I am my own man". Meanwhile, in the Democratic camp, it emerged yesterday that the Clinton Foundation will continue to accept funding from foreign governments in the wake of Hillary Clinton's decision to run for the US presidency, but only from six countries that already support it.

Mrs Clinton, the current favourite to become the Democratic nominee, has said the foundation's charity work is a source of pride, but it has also drawn growing criticism from political opponents and parts of the US media. Foreigners are not allowed to give money directly to presidential election campaigns, and Mrs Clinton's critics say foreign governments and entrepreneurs may instead be donating to her family's charities to curry her favour.

The foundation's board of directors also voted to publish the names of new donors more frequently - four times a year, instead of annually - according to the foundation's statement.

Clinton stepped down from the board on Sunday. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, remain members. The foundation said it will still accept funding from Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, which fund the foundation's work around the world on climate change and economic development.

"While it's common for global charities to receive international support, it's rare to find an organisation as transparent as the Clinton Foundation," Craig Minassian, a foundation spokesman, said in a statement.

In order to become secretary of state in 2009, Mrs Clinton and her husband signed a similar transparency agreement with Barack Obama's incoming presidential administration to defuse questions about conflicts of interest. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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