Rule of Law

Depsite CPAC Rhetoric, Jeb Bush Opposed Opponents of Affirmative Action

One of the few applause lines Jeb Bush got at CPAC was when he said he’d fight affirmative action.  The only problem with that claim is that when given the chance as Governor, Bush opposed efforts to end affirmative action in Florida, calling those organizing against it “extremists” and “divisive.”

One person who has fought affirmative action is Jennifer Gratz.  Nobody can hold a candle to her when it comes to opposing racial preferences.  She writes this damning piece about Governor Bush that doesn’t square with his CPAC rhetoric.

Jeb Bush’s just-disclosed email communications while Florida’s governor (1999 – 2007) demonstrate a disturbing, but too-common ‘politician approach’ to dealing with racial equality and affirmative action.

In the emails, Bush describes his concern that a possible voter initiative in 2000 to end race preferences in state government hiring, contracting and public university admissions would be a “distraction” and “divisive”. He pledged to “do my part as governor to fight against it”.

Bush claimed to oppose race quotas and, indeed, issued an executive order in 2000 restricting some affirmative action policies while ordering Florida’s “state procurement officials to strive harder to award more business to minority contractors”.

The emails paint an unflattering portrait of a governor who claims to oppose race preferences, but considers citizens seeking to ban them through a petition drive as divisive extremists. Bush describes his watered-down initiative that restricted some race preference policies as tactical and necessary to preempt the looming citizen petition effort.