After rumors swirled Jeb Bush would seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, the former Florida governor released hundreds of thousands of emails from his personal account and state-government account to show how he acted under pressure as an elected official. The Wall Street Journal obtained copies of some of the electronic messages after sending in a Freedom of Information request. Bush allegedly plans to release as many as 250,000 emails.
One of the issues the former governor of the Sunshine State discussed is Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman in a “vegetable state” whose husband chose to remove her feeding tube. “No, I don’t have the power to issue an executive order to remove Mr. Schiavo as guardian,” he reportedly wrote in 2003, the Journal reported. Schiavo died in 2005.
Some of the emails revealed how he dealt with international topics. As governor, he reached out to outraged residents and called it “a horrible day” when Elian Gonzalez, 6, was taken from his relatives’ home in 2000. “I am sickened about this,” he wrote one person, according to the Journal. “I am heartbroken over the federal government’s actions this morning,” he told another. Gonzalez is now 21 and lives in Cuba. The country considered his return a win for father and son, but Gonzalez’ Miami family wanted him to say with them after his mother died on a raft trying to bring him to America.
In one email, he listed statistics about the death penalty. “Since 1994, criminals have murdered more than 5,600 people in our state,” he penned in an August 2000 message, according to Politico. “During that same time, only 15 convicted murderers have been executed and delays keep increasing, not decreasing. Today, the victims’ families and the people of Florida are forced to wait an average of 14 years to see justice. I believe that justice delayed is justice denied, and our goal is to have capital cases resolved within five years.”
Other issues discussed in his released emails are the 9/11 terror attacks and the controversial Florida recount in 2000 when his brother George W. Bush was elected president, Fox News reported. “I believe my brother will win if the law is adhered to,” he wrote.
Politico said the former Florida governor shared his thoughts on the Iraq War, immigration, abortion and education, among other topics.
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella