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Jeb Bush clarifies criticism of 'hyperpartisan' political system

June 12, 2012|By Morgan Little
  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush prepares to testify before the House Budget Committee in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush prepares to testify before the House Budget… (Chip Somodevilla / Getty…)

Jeb Bush, drawing fire for suggesting that the current Republican Party would have been hostile not just to his father, but to President Reagan as well, took to Twitter on Tuesday to clarify his remarks.

“The point I was making yesterday is this: The political system today is hyperpartisan. Both sides are at fault,” he said. “My dad & Reagan sacrificed political points for good public policy.”

"Back to my dad’s time and Ronald Reagan’s time – they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support," Bush said Monday during a meeting with the Bloomberg staff in New York City.

Reagan "would be criticized for doing the things that he did," he added, calling the country’s political climate “disturbing.”

“Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad, they would have a hard time if you define the Republican Party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground,” Bush said.

Bush pointedly admonished Democrats for their own perceived partisan actions in his follow-up Tuesday.

“Past four years, Democrats have held leadership roles with opportunities to reach across political aisle. For sake of politics, they haven’t.”

Bush’s clarification, which began with a tweet saying “Am reminded today why I rarely read headlines. #Contextisimportant,” echoed White House spokesman Jay Carney’s suggestion Monday that the media should “do your jobs and report on context.”

Bush was referring to Carney's response to the dust-up over President Obama's comment last week -- amid a series of long answers to questions about the economy -- that the private sector was "doing fine," a remark Obama clarified hours later.

On Monday, asked about the use of quotes by Obama and Romney’s campaigns, Carney said the responsibility for providing the context for claims and quotes used in campaign materials falls on the media.

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morgan.little@latimes.com

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