Republican Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush came to the Keene Country Club to deliver a speech that touched upon issues dealing with poverty, strengthening the United States Army and the corruption of the Department of Veteran Affairs.

According to, during Bush’s time as Governor of Florida, from 1999 to 2007, he cut taxes every year, totaling $19 billion, passed eight balanced budgets, grew state reserves by $8 billion and vetoed 2,500 budget line items, totaling more than $2 billion in pork.

According to, Bush made Florida one of the most pro Second Amendment states, earning an A+ rating from the NRA and implemented policies that resulted in Florida leading the nation in job creation from 2000 to 2007.

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Bush started off his speech explaining the importance of this election and the decisions the future president must make.

“A president will decide the fate of the country in many ways, whether we will be safe, strong and free or whether we’ll drift. Whether we will have rising income again, or whether we’ll have disposable income and decline. Whether people will be stuck in poverty for the first time in American history,” Bush said.

Bush explained that Americans will live in a country that will be divided in all of its disparate parts, where diversity ends up being a weakness if current issues are not managed properly.

Bush said he will restore the American experience again, where a set of common values decides what it is to be an American citizen.

“I believe that if we fix a few major things, extraordinary things will happen for our kids and our grand kids and we will be able to pass the baton down and give them more opportunities,” Bush said.

Bush expressed his excitement to be in the primary state because of the importance New Hampshire has on the presidential election.

“I’m excited to be in New Hampshire because you all are the first primary state and you take it really seriously and you are going to decide more than any other group of people what kind of president we’ll have. I believe we are on the verge of the greatest time to be alive, but I also know that the reason people are angry is that right now, they’re being held back,” Bush said.

During his speech, Bush said he wishes to tackle the rebuilding of the U.S. Army.

“We have a need to rebuild our military, to strengthen our military not to be a warmongering nation, but to keep the peace. The best way to keep the peace is to rebuild the army back up to 490,000 troops because for the next three years, if we continue with the sequester, we’ll be down to 420,000 troops. We need to make sure that we have weapon systems younger than the pilots that fly the planes,” Bush said.

Bush said that on the first day he’s inaugurated as president, he will send a powerful signal that America is back.

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Bush is suggesting America moves its embassy in the middle east from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem first and foremost.

“We need to destroy ISIS and the caliphate that they form by our neglect, a caliphate the size of Indiana where thirty-five to forty thousand battle-tested terrorist exist with hundreds of millions of dollars of resources that they use. I am the only candidate that outlined planned to destroy ISIS before the tragedy in Paris,” Bush said.

Bush ended his speech by asking the audience what kind of president they would want. “Do you want someone that works hard, who will lead in a way that is not about him or her, but about service to people that right now really feel like nothing is working for them?”

“Sixty-three percent of Americans cannot make a five hundred dollar car payment. Over sixty percent of Americans don’t have more than a thousand dollars of cash savings,” Bush said.

Bush continued, “We will lead the world for the next two generations of time. We’ll be able to embrace technology rather than have it overwhelm us. We’ll be able to unite around common purposes again. We’ll reject the politics of division and despair and anger and angst. We’ll once again rise up together to make sure that our kids and grand kids have more opportunities than what we have. That’s my mission and I humbly ask for your support.”

Audience members commented on Bush’s speech.

Keene Resident Dick Berry said, “I thought he was quite good. I was surprised. He covered a lot of territory and he said a lot of things that made sense and he talked about things in a lot of detail.”

“I thought his speech was well-polished and I heard all the rhetoric that I expected to hear,” Keene Resident Bill Hutchinson

One audience member answered Bush’s question about what they want in the next president of the United States.

“I think we need someone with good values. Somebody who has some management experience, who knows how to get things done. I would like someone who has some experience with foreign affairs. I’d like to see someone who can get along with other people and who is not a polarizing figure because you can’t get anything done if you’re a polarizing figure,” Berry said.

Hutchinson said he could see Bush as the next president.

“I could easily see him as the next president because of the American political machine, because of his father and brother. If he was just a Joe-Blow, he wouldn’t be anywhere, he wouldn’t be here,” Hutchinson said.

Jacob can be contacted at

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