Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Jeb Bush, 2016 contender?

Jeb Bush spoke about his book 'Immigration Wars' at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on March 8, 2013.
Jeb Bush spoke about his book 'Immigration Wars' at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on March 8, 2013.

Mums the word about whether Florida’s former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush will run for president in 2016.

While he didn’t shed any light on that mystery in his March 21 speech to a Broward business group, Bush -- who was Florida’s governor from 1999 to 2007 -- did make interesting statements about the Keystone XL Pipeline and state revenue.

During the question and answer session after the speech, Bush said in response to a question about Keystone XL Pipeline: "There are over 100 pipelines between the United States and Canada right now."

A 2013 Congressional Research Service report referred to 100 pipelines, but that included operating or proposed oil, natural gas, and electric transmission lines, and it counted pipelines crossing both the U.S.-Mexico border and the U.S.-Canada border.

If we only count operating pipelines that cross the Canadian border, we count 29 natural gas pipelines and 17 oil pipelines, for a total of 46. We rated this claim Mostly False.

Bush also said "the revenue of the state is growing at a faster rate than almost any state in the country."

Florida revenues are still down from pre-recession levels, and don’t generally reflect a growth rate consistent with what Bush is claiming, either annually or in recent quarters. One projection for 2014 does put Florida in the top 10, but it is a self-reported estimate.

According to experts we talked to, the Sunshine State is lagging behind the rest of the nation when it comes to getting its revenues back to pre-recession levels. We rate the statement Mostly False.

During the speech, Bush continued his criticism that U.S. immigration policy focuses on family reunification rather than the needs of employers. In 2013, we fact-checked a statement in Bush’s book Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution that pertained to the same topic.

Bush wrote that by 2011, of the one million immigrants granted permanent legal residence, "nearly 65 percent -- almost two-thirds -- of all new permanent residents obtained that status by virtue of their family status." Bush correctly cited the numbers and we gave his statement a True rating.

We have fact-checked Bush 13 times and the majority of his statements have received Half True, Mostly True or True ratings.

He received one Pants on Fire for his tweet "Why would our president close the embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare." The embassy wasn’t closing, it was moving, and there were several reasons for it that had nothing to do with the federal health care law.

Spot a claim in need of a fact-check? Tweet us #PolitiFactThis or email us at florida@politifact.com