Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) has resigned from all his corporate and nonprofit board memberships, including chairmanship of the education foundation he founded–more evidence that he is considering a 2016 presidential bid.
The Washington Post reports that Bush has also resigned as a paid adviser to Academic Partnerships, an education company that sells online courses to university students in exchange for a share of tuition payments. Randy Best, the company’s founder and CEO, is a Texas entrepreneur and political donor, and he told the Post that his company has helped college professors gain access to online students while assisting schools in drawing more revenue.
Regarding Bush, Best said, “He is the closest thing we have to a bipartisan candidate.”
In February 2013, Bush told a Florida university audience that, were he to become president, he would strive to be like Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
As Breitbart News reported on December 6, Bush has developed his own education “empire,” with his Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE) operating at a national level to spread his education reform vision, which includes the Common Core standards. An affiliate of FEE is Chiefs for Change, a coalition of current and former state education chiefs who also support the controversial standards. Some of the Chiefs for Change are also members of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of the two federally funded interstate consortia that are developing tests aligned with Common Core.
Bush has also served as founder and chairman of Foundation for Florida’s Future, an organization that hopes to “make Florida’s education system a model for the nation.”
On Wednesday, Bush resigned from Barclays, according to spokeswoman Kristy Campbell, and also recently exited Tenet Healthcare Corp., a company that has actively supported and benefited from Obamacare.
According to the Post, Bush is preparing to distance himself from the pitfalls of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Bush said Romney struggled with handling the topic of his successful private-equity firm, Bain Capital, allowing himself to be drawn “off message.”
Though media have reported that Bush tops the list of GOP 2016 favorites, a new Rasmussen poll finds Republican voters are not enthusiastic about another Bush candidacy. Bush’s ardent support for the Common Core standards and amnesty has made him widely unpopular with the party’s conservative base.
The survey of 1,000 likely Republican voters found that just 33 percent of likely GOP voters across the country believe Bush should run for president in 2016, while 34 percent disagree, and another third are not sure.
Bush is still reviewing his other business endeavors, such as Jeb Bush & Associates, a consulting company, and Britton Hill Partnership, an investment advisory group for energy and aviation private-equity funds. Jeb Bush, Jr., the former Florida governor’s son, is chief operating officer at Jeb Bush & Associates.