STORY BY DRAKE RHONE
Jeb Bush Jr., son of Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush Sr., visited Olmsted Coffee shop last Friday for the event “Coffee with Jeb Jr.!”
The event is part of a tour for his father’s campaign. The campaign included visits to Iowa State University and University of Iowa before finishing up at Drake.
The 31-year-old businessman hung out and shook hands with some of his supporters from the area before answering any questions they had in an informal Q&A session.
The questions started after an attendee asked Bush’s father’s opinion on welfare reform.
“It needs to happen,” Bush said.
“We need to do it with less money, but do it better,” Bush said. “If you look at what we did in Florida with regards to this, we looked at kids with special needs, and we create a voucher program called the McKay scholarship.
“This is the largest corporate scholarship in the country, and now there’s 30,000 kids in Florida who get this scholarship,” Bush said.
When asked to clarify his father’s stance on reform that would affect impoverished families get out of poverty, Bush Jr. attempted to explain how educational reform could solve problems for families as a whole.
“When you look at low income kids in Florida, and African-American kids in Florida, they do two grade levels better than the nation as a whole,” Bush said.
“If you think about that, lower income kids in Florida are getting a better education than the rich kids in California. Those gains are because we did things like vouchers. Education helps deal with poverty, and allows those kids to rise up,” Bush said.
Bush also spoke about his father’s stance on income reform, which led to a discussion of some problems that he sees with raising the minimum wage, a common idea among the Democratic presidential candidates, and the party as a whole.
“If you push up the minimum wage, and the data is there, that if you push up the minimum wage, what you’re going to do is people are going to stop hiring, and reduce their workforce. But if you give people a better income tax rate, then people get to save more,” Bush said.
The event wasn’t about all work and no play, and Jeb Jr. answered a few questions that weren’t about his father’s campaign. When asked when the last time he sat down with his dad and did something just for fun, he chuckled.
“We sat down last week to watch a football game,” Bush said. “We have a tradition where every Sunday we sit down and watch football and barbecue. It’s cool just to chill out and relax, no politics during Sunday, at least we try not to.”
Before long, the questions came to a close and Bush shook a few more hands before leaving.
He encouraged attendees to show their support for his father at the “Growth and Opportunity Party” in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa on October 31, 2015.