Jeb Bush: GOP Should Set Up “Shadow Government”

The Huffington Post
December 2, 2008

Via ThinkProgress, in an interview with NewsMax, President Bush’s brother Jeb says the Republican party should not cave to a Democratic majority. Rather, they should set up a “shadow government” to provide a counter-agenda.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tells Newsmax that the GOP must broaden its appeal to avoid becoming “the old white-guy party,” and recommends that Republicans create a “shadow government” to engage Democrats on important issues as the incoming Obama administration seeks to enact its agenda.

In a wide-ranging interview with Newsmax, the popular former governor and younger brother of President George W. Bush said the 2008 election was neither “transformational” nor a landslide. For example, he noted that Barack Obama’s significant fundraising advantage over John McCain played a key role in Democratic success this year.

Bush urged Republicans not to abandon their core conservative principles in favor of a “Democratic-lite” agenda. Still, the GOP does need to do some real soul-searching, he said.

“If you take the [last] two election cycles, there’s real cause for concern, no question about it,” he said.

There is good news for Republicans, Bush said: The United States remains “basically a center-right country.” He cited President-elect Barack Obama’s stance on taxes as an example.

The party should establish a loyal opposition and “organize ourselves in the form of a shadow government” that would address key issues, providing the public with “a loftier debate about policy” rather than mere partisanship.

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