Jeb Bush gave a dynamic speech at the Republican Party of Iowa’s Growth and Opportunity Party this Halloween highlighting his social conservatism. In the video below, Bush describes his pro-life record and how his strong principles informed the difficult decisions he had to make as governor of Florida:
Today I want to talk about three principles that I believe are important for a principle-centered leader. The first one is that everyone is an asset in our society. That life is a gift from God, and we should cherish it. People aren’t liabilities, they’re assets. And because it’s a gift from God, it’s important for all of us to cherish life. And as governor of the state of Florida I got to do that. From beginning to end. From the unborn to the frail elder. It is something that I believe is important for a loving and just society.
Florida was the first state to have a choose life license plate to fund adoption programs in the country. Now, 20 million dollars have gone to this.
In Florida we eliminated partial birth abortion, a horrific procedure that is inhumane.
In Florida we triple digit-increased the number of kids getting out of our foster care because we tore down the barriers for adoption so these kids could get to loving homes.
In Florida we were the only state to provide government money to crisis pregnancy centers so that women could have a loving choice when confronted with this difficult decision. And in Florida, I defunded Planned Parenthood as a matter of fact, not as a grandstand action.
In Florida we took 30,000 people off waiting lists—developmentally disabled—whose families worried more about whether they were going to be able to outlive their child. Imagine that. So we transformed the system because life is precious. Everybody can make a contribution in life. Everybody has the capacity to add value to the rest of us.
In Florida, I erred on the side of life as it relates to Terri Schiavo. And I hope that you recognize that that wasn’t an easy thing to do. There are a lot of talkers in politics this day, man. Trust me I was on the debate stage; I see it. Some really good people that are really good talkers. I hope you want someone with a servant’s heart that acts on principle; that does things rather than just talks on them. And as governor of the state of Florida I acted on this core belief that life is precious.
What we need to do as a society is make sure everybody has a chance at earned success. And in Florida that means that we created the first state-wide voucher program in the country. The second state-wide voucher program in the country and the third. The simple fact was we created accountability, we ended social promotion, we made it possible. We made it possible for kids to be lifted up because they had rising student achievement. Check the record—there is no state that has had more learning gains than the state of Florida, because I took on powerful special interests and I won. I took on the teacher’s union and I beat them back, and the state bureaucracy and I beat them back. Talking is fine. Doing really matters right now for our country.
Anna Pfaff works for the American Principles Project.