Bush pushes for stronger defence, foreign policy

2015-04-08 08:02
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Denver - Former Florida governor Jeb Bush called on Tuesday for a stronger national defence and a consistent foreign policy but said the US shouldn't enter into another Cold War.

Speaking at an energy town hall in Denver, Bush said the US should be more active in its dealings with Russia and President Vladimir Putin's invasion into Crimea.

"I think by being engaged, Putin should look at the actions that he takes and say, 'the risk is too high, that there is going to be a consequence that will hurt, you know, my popularity and will hurt my people'. Right now he assesses these risks and doesn't think that the United States is going to be engaged and acts kind of with impunity," Bush said.

Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are considered early Republican front-runners in the presidential race. Whoever becomes the nominee is widely expected to face Hillary Clinton in the general election. The former secretary of state, who is the heavy favourite for the Democratic nomination, is expected to announce her candidacy in the next two weeks.

Security advantage

The likely presidential candidate praised hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling as an economic driver that could also give the US "a national security advantage for ourselves and for the rest of the world".

Bush was in Colorado as part of his Right to Rise initiative, which raises money for Republican leaders in battleground states. He is coming off a quarter in which he was expected to have held roughly 60 fundraisers across the country for a political action committee and super PAC, both with the name Right to Rise, as he moves closer to announcing his candidacy for president.

While Bush has made trips to early-voting states Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, he has held public events in comparatively few other states. However, Colorado represents a nod to general election swing voters who narrowly eluded Republicans in 2012. President Barack Obama beat Republican Mitt Romney by less than 5 percentage points in Colorado in 2012.

Bush plans to speak to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce on 14 April in Columbus. Obama beat Romney by less than 2 percentage points in Ohio.

At a Colorado Springs pancake house earlier on Tuesday, Bush told a group of military veterans that if he runs for president, he'll lay out foreign policy views that make clear that "our friends know that we have their back and our enemies fear us a little bit".

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  barack obama  |  jeb bush  |  vladimir putin  |  us  |  russia

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