During an interview with Charlie Rose Thursday morning, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called for increases in revenues to help solve the nation’s debt problem, but admitted that he wouldn’t be able to hold that position were he running for office within the modern Republican Party.
Bush reiterated that he would accept a hypothetical debt deal that included ten dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases — which Mitt Romney said he would reject in August — and added that he hoped GOP leaders could embrace such an approach:
BUSH: Look, I can appreciate why they are reluctant to say that because commitments on spending are hard to implement. Commitments on raising taxes immediately happen…But if you’re asked a hypothetical question, which I was [...]
ROSE: And only you had the, as they say, courage to say, I wouldn’t go there.
BUSH: It was living proof I’m not running for anything…
ROSE: If they hadn’t been running they might have said something different?
BUSH: I hope so. Because we have unsustainable deficits.
Asked if he was “worried about the direction of your party,” Bush replied that the GOP’s immigration and tax policies were “short-sighted.”
While most Republicans are still holding true to their pledge of never raising taxes, a growing number have started to question the party orthodoxy and have signaled some willingness to offset spending cuts with increases in revenue.