Jeb Bush: GOP candidates can't just attack Obama

Former Florida Gov. Jeb. Bush speaks to a Republican group as it kicks off its efforts to improve the party's outreach to Hispanic voters Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 in Miami. AP

AP

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday evening that the Republican presidential candidates need to do more than attack President Obama if they want to win in 2012.

"It's good to be critical of the president -- I think the president means well, but his policies have failed," Bush, a Republican and the former president's younger brother, said on Fox News. "But just to stop there and say, 'I'm going to win because I'm against what's going on' is not good enough. You have to win with purpose if you really want to make these big changes."

That said, the former governor added that the current field of candidates should be up to the task.

"I think it's a little early to be dissatisfied with the candidates," Bush said. "I think you'll find the candidates will start staking out positions that are responsible and forward leaning... As that happens, I think people will start migrating towards those candidates."

Bush said flatly, "I'm not running," but he added that he may support a candidate before the primaries are up.

When asked about former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman's remarks this week that some of the GOP candidates are unelectable, Bush first said, "I like Jon Huntsman a lot... We need to be a broad party with divergent views."

He added that there's nothing wrong with being conservative, but "if you're a conservative, you have to defend a position, you can't just be against the president."

Bush defended Texas Gov. Rick Perry's right to question whether global warming is man-made and shot down suggestions that there's a rift between Perry and the Bush family.

Bush added that if Republicans shifted their "tone" on the issue of immigration, the party could pick up significant Hispanic support.

He also called for tax code reform. "If we could simplify the code and eliminate all these deductions and credits... it would create a burst of economic activity and create for certainty in the future as well," he said.

CBSNews.com special report: Campaign 2012

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