Jeb Bush Hails NSA Spying On U.S. Citizens As ‘Best Part’ Of Obama’s Presidency

Jeb Bush is widely expected to seek the Republican party nomination and to run for the presidency in 2016. Jeb Bush is the only Republican, and the third person of any party, to serve two full four-year terms as Governor of Florida but he is a controversial figure. Bush is a strong supported of Capital punishment, an opponent of gay rights and he strongly supports the gun lobby.

Jeb Bush has argued against legal protections based on sexual orientation claiming that the U.S. has “enough special categories, enough victims, without creating even more.” Bush has supported over a dozen new protections for gun owners including signing Florida’s controversial “Stand-your-ground” law into statute in 2005. Bush is an advocate of capital punishment and did not commute a single death sentence during his time as Florida’s Governor.

Given Jeb Bush’s views it is unlikely that anyone will accuse him of being a “bleeding heart” liberal but according to CNN, Bush is a supporter of at least one aspect of Barack Obama’s administration’s policies. Bush described the Obama administration’s decision to continue the NSA’s controversial spying program.

Bush praised Obama’s continuation of the NSA’s mass collection of cell phone and internet metadata as the “best part” of the Obama administration. Of course Bush may have been happy to endorse this policy because it was implemented by his brother George W. Bush as part of his “war on terror.”

Speaking on the Michael Medved radio show Jeb Bush said, “I would say the best part of the Obama administration would be his continuance of the protections of the homeland using, you know, the big metadata programs, the NSA being enhanced, even though he never defends it, even though he never openly admits it, there has been a continuation of a very important service, which is the first obligation I think of our national government is to keep us safe.”

According to USA Today, Bush continued by saying that “the technologies that now can be applied to make that so, while protecting civil liberties, are there.”

Many, including members within his own party, disagree with Jeb Bush’s views on the NSA’s metadata collection program claiming that it violates the right to privacy. Senator Rand Paul who is likely to compete with Jeb Bush for the Republican party nomination, has pledged to abolish the program at the earliest opportunity.

Republican Senator Justin Amash criticized Jeb Bush publicly today when he took to Twitter to say that Jeb Bush was “running on a platform of unconstitutionally spying on all Americans.”

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It looks like Jeb Bush might have a battle on his hands if he is to secure the Republican nomination.

[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]