Before a former Florida politician could make his announcement to run for president of the US official, a current one made a stop at the University to warn the nation’s voters about the icon people in the Sunshine State know all too well.
Jeb Bush, who ran the state as its governor for two terms from 1999 to 2007, has finally turned his six-month-long multi-million dollar exploration into an actual political campaign to seek one of the top jobs in the federal government.
Bush’s announcement at the Kendall Campus of Miami-Dade College took place only a few hours after Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz held a press conference at FIU to highlight some key points in Bush’s political career.
Shultz, who is also chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, reminded voters that Bush fantasized about placing guilt on the shoulders of unwed mothers in his 1995 book Profiles in Character in a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame.” He campaigned against limits to the number of students in classrooms. And, she said, Bush suggested that the private sector should be the ones to consider raising the minimum wage of workers.
Those three issues – plus that Bush was unaware of the Paycheck Fairness Act – sent a clear message to voters, Shultz said.
“Jeb Bush doesn’t care about the middle class,” Shultz said during her press conference that took place in the Graham Center’s Margaret Anliker Auditorium.
The fairness act is an amendment introduced in April to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. If passed, it will exclude gender as a contributing factor to different wages and leave only “bona fide” factors such as education, training, or experience.
Afterwards she spoke with Student Media to discuss what is now the biggest source of debt in the US: student debt.
Shultz said there is a very clear difference between the two political parties in their approaches to fix a problem she called one of the most significant barriers to reaching the middle class.
“There is more student debt in America than credit card debt,” she said. “If that doesn’t cry out for a solution I don’t know what does.”
She said that the other party that runs the federal government have not heard students’ cry.
Elected members of the Republican Party have rejected any type of legislation to reign in student debt, even ones that tied repayment to a student’s future income, according to Shultz.
“We have not been able to secure a buy in from Republicans.”
Although Bush, the most recent Republican candidate to declare, has suggested using technology to make higher education more affordable in the US and accessible to those abroad, one of the Democratic candidates wants to make the service free for all in the country.
Shultz said she supports President Barack Obama’s initiative to provide free higher education from a community college for the first two years.
She said on the remaining years, however, “let’s get the first two done first.”
A prideful Alejandro Flores, upcoming president of FIU’s College Democrats, said Shultz’ visit one-upped Bush’s announcement because she chose his university instead of any other to make her statement.
Flores wishes Shultz’ stop at the University will resonate with students when they head to the votes in about 17 months.
“Hopefully high profile officials’ visit will motivate young people to vote,” Flores said.