Jeb Bush Thursday gently criticized his brother, former President George W. Bush, an attempt to put some space between them.
“I think in Washington during my brother’s time, Republicans spent too much money,” the former Florida governor said in response to a question during a meeting with New Hampshire business leaders. It was his most pointed criticism of his brother to date.
“I think he could have used the veto. He didn’t have line-item veto power, but he could have brought budget discipline to Washington, D.C,” Jeb Bush, who is considering running for the presidency, said. WMUR.com reported on the exchange.
Conservatives have long been critical of George W. Bush’s spending record.
Jeb Bush has often said that he’ll differentiate himself from his brother and father by showing he’s his own man, but has been reluctant to criticize his family. Last week, he had a difficult time explaining whether he would have invaded Iraq.
Jeb Bush was somewhat restrained in his criticism of his brother. “That seems kind of quaint right now,” he said of the Republican spending record during his brother’s 2001-09 administration, “given that since he left, spending has gone up astronomically. But having constraints on spending across the board during his time would have been a good thing.
“I don’t feel compelled, though, to go out of my way to criticize Republican presidents. Call me a team player here. It just so happens the last two Republican presidents happened to be my dad and my brother. But you’ll never hear me complaining about Ronald Reagan, either”