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Was Jeb Bush's Article A Trial Balloon?

Yesterday (December 19, 2011) Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal entitled, “Capitalism and the Right to Rise.”

Bush said the country is at a cross roads where it must choose between rules passed in Washington, D.C. that ensure stagnant growth or the free market that, though unpredictable, will lead to an increase in growth. Bush’s article comes just days after New York Times columnist David Brooks suggested that Jeb Bush could launch an outside presidential campaign if Newt Gingrich fared well through the early primaries.

In the article, Bush said, “Congressman Paul Ryan recently coined a smart phrase to describe the core concept of economic freedom: ‘The right to rise.'” “We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise. We have to let them compete. We need to let people fight for business. We need to let people take risks. We need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions. And we need to let people enjoy the fruits of good decisions, even good luck. That is what economic freedom looks like. Freedom to succeed as well as to fail, freedom to do something or nothing.”

“Have we lost faith in the free-market system of entrepreneurial capitalism? Are we no longer willing to place our trust in the creative chaos unleashed by millions of people pursuing their own best economic interests?”

“In short, we must choose between the straight line [growth] promised by the statists and the jagged line [growth of economic freedom. The straight line of gradual and controlled growth is what the statists promise but can never deliver. The jagged line offers no guarantees but has a powerful record of delivering the most prosperity and the most opportunity to the most people. We cannot possibly know in advance what freedom promises for 312 million individuals. But unless we are willing to explore the jagged line of freedom, we will be stuck with the straight line. And the straight line, it turns out, is a flat line.”

Today at American Spectator, David Catron said, “Obama obviously can’t run on his record, so his consiglieres will have to base his reelection campaign on a combination of demagoguery, personal vilification, and race-baiting. And it’s difficult to imagine a group of candidates more vulnerable to this line of attack than the top contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.” “…the GOP’s only hope lies with some as yet undeclared candidate. And there are a few potential entrants who could theoretically enter the race this late and still have at least some hope of winning the nomination and beating Obama in the general election.” “Its only members are Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush.”   [emphasis mine]

And these rumors from New Hampshire. Ruth Graham tweeted “I live in NH & just got a robocall polling me about what I think about Romney vs. Gingrich vs. *Jeb Bush*.” And from Race42012 we get these rumors: Ken Merrifield, the mayor of Franklin [New Hampshire], noted on Facebook last night that he was “just phone-surveyed about Jeb Bush for President.” The caller mentioned “consistent conservative twice.” And: “Third person today tells me they got polled in New Hampshire and the list of candidates was Romney, Newt, and Jeb Bush.”

And this from CNN back in August, 2011. Jeb Bush, on Fox News, said, “I hope that the Republican candidates, when they are offering their solutions, it’s good to be critical of the president, I think the president means well, but his policies have failed. And to point that out, nothing wrong with that. That is politics. But just to stop there and say, ‘Well, I’m going to win because I am against what is going on’ is not enough.”

So, is the Jeb Bush article in the WSJ a trial balloon? Only time will tell. In the mean time we free market capitalists can only hope!

But that’s just my opinion.

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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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