Unshackled, Jeb Bush offers light praise, advice for Obama
(CBS News) Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sure looks like a politician who is not running for office. In a wide ranging interview with Charlie Rose for "CBS This Morning," Bush offered some light praise for President Obama and said he thinks Republicans should be willing to raise revenue to get the deficit down.
The brother of the Mr. Obama's predecessor noted that Mr. Obama had chosen the head of the Chicago public school system, Arne Duncan, as his education secretary and they had worked to focus more on school children and less on the adults running the schools.
"Any time an elected official in the world we're in today that appears so dysfunctional challenges a core constituency not of their opponent but of their own political base, I think we should pause and give them credit," Bush said.
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The comments came after Rose pointed to comments Bush had made in April praising Duncan and saying the Obama administration had done "a pretty good job" on education policy.
That was a "pretty articulate quote. Are you sure it was mine?" Bush joked to Rose when presented with the earlier comments.
Bush also expressed optimism that Republicans and Democrats would come together in the next couple of years to make a "grand bargain" to bring down government spending over time.
"Here's what I know to be true. Next year or the year after there's going to have to be a grand bargain. We are on an unsustainable course. It is not possible to continue to do what we are going-- what we're doing today. It's just not possible," Bush said.
"And I think most people that have looked at our structural deficit problems would admit it. If they were put on a lie detector or, you know, under oath or something like that, they would admit it," he said.
Asked about comments to Congress that he would be willing to take a hypothetical $10 in budget cuts for every $1 in higher revenue, Bush said his willingness to take that deal shows that he is no longer seeking office as a Republican.
"It was living proof I'm not running for anything I think more than anything else," Bush said.
Many Republicans refuse to take that deal because they have vowed to never raise taxes for any reason.
The former politician, who flatly ruled out a run as Mitt Romney's running mate in the interview, noted that he now has the luxury of being able to say what he thinks and is not constrained by political ambitions. Read more