DETROIT (WWJ/AP) -The nation’s economy can grow much faster by unshackling government burdens on business, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told an audience of influential Detroit-area business leaders on Wednesday in his first major economic speech as a 2016 Republican presidential prospect.

Bush told the audience that the nation’s post-recession days have left too many people behind reports WWJ’s Marie Osborne.

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“We have a record number of Americans on food stamps and living in poverty, the recovery has been everywhere but in the family paychecks. The American dream has become a mirage for far too many.”

Bush, the son and brother of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush offered the economic principles that would form the foundation of an economic platform, should he continue on the path toward a campaign.

hit on themes of the economy, education and immigration and adding the city of Detroit’s recovery as an example of how to repair years of mismanagement and empty promises.

“In a sense the troubles of Detroit, of those that they face, echo the troubles we are facing in Washington D.C. – decades of big government policy, petty politics, impossible to meet pension promises. Chronic mismanagement and broken services,” said Bush.

“I know some in the media think conservatives don’t care about the cities. But they are wrong. We believe that every American and in every community has a right to pursue happiness,” he told the audience of 600. “They have a right to rise,” Bush said, borrowing from his economic mantra and the name of the political action committee he formed in December. Wednesday’s speech was the first in a series of stops his aides are calling his “Right to Rise” tour.

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Bush said the federal government needs to encourage economic growth among the middle class, which, he argues, has languished despite the ongoing economic recovery. Conservative economic policies, he says, would provide incentive for middle-income families to reach higher income.

Scott Henkins liked what he heard from Bush:

“I thought it was very good, I think that Jeb Bush is very well spoken and the opportunities he sees in Michigan go very much in line with the work he has done in Florida,” said Henkins.

Bush touted education as a way forward for struggling families, an issue he has long supported. In his second term as Florida’s chief executive, Bush enacted the nation’s first school voucher program, aimed at allowing families in failing school districts to choose charter and private schools at state cost.
Bush stayed away from the issues of women’s reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Bush was also expected to attend a fundraiser Wednesday evening in Detroit.
Aides also confirmed that Bush plans to make his first trip to Iowa as a presidential prospect in March. Bush plans to participate in an agricultural policy forum hosted by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and agribusiness leader Bruce Rastetter.


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