Jeb Bush’s ‘Full Information Awareness’ Media Strategy: Record Everything He Says

J Pat CarterAP
J Pat CarterAP

In hopes of being able to immediately push back against any potentially misleading news reports coming from his early political meetings and events, Republican Jeb Bush’s ‘team in waiting’ is recording pretty much everything the likely candidate says, or does, in these still early days.

Senior adviser to Bush’s Right to Rise PAC, Tim Miller, called it “Full information awareness,” in a National Journal report. “We want to have a full record of his comments,” he added.

The report also cited a recent New York Times report.

The existence of such tapes first came to light in a New York Times story late on Wednesday, when the paper reported, “An audiotape of Mr. Bush’s remarks in California were provided to The New York Times by his aides, after donors had characterized what he said.”

Miller said that is exactly the point of the recordings.

“We tape as much as possible in large part for the reason it was used yesterday,” Miller said in an email. “People mischaracterize what he said to the media and others.”

National Journal also pointed to Republican Scott Walker’s recent need to respond to the reporting of comments he was said to have made at a private dinner.  How candidates handle news and breaking news stories in the digital age could prove pivotal in 2016.

Last week, for instance, The Wall Street Journal first reported that Gov. Scott Walker, one of Bush’s expected rivals, had modulated his stance on immigration at a private dinner of New Hampshire Republicans. The paper cited “three people present” to report that Walker had backed away from his opposition to letting those in the United States illegally stay and eventually qualify for citizenship.

The Walker campaign pushed back aggressively. “We strongly dispute this account,” Walker spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said in a missive to reporters. (The Washington Post also reported Walker’s shift.) But the Walker operation did not offer any recorded evidence to contradict the stories.


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