Jeb: 'We need to kill' gators
April 23, 2008
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday took a swipe at one of the state's most famous symbols, the alligator.
He told a group in Dallas of how he repeatedly vetoed spending state money to market alligator meat.
"Alligators proliferate in Florida. They eat small dogs," Bush said. "We don't need to market them, we need to kill them."
After a slight pause, he added, "Is this open to the press?"
Bush, the younger brother of President George W. Bush, made the comments during an address to several hundred business people meeting in a hotel ballroom. Earlier in the day, the former Florida governor met with other directors of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp., the hospital chain whose board he joined last year.
Jeb Bush told the business groul that he is "light green" on the environment and is skeptical that humans are causing global warming.
Bush, whose two terms ended in 2007, also said he "can't imagine" running for national office and isn't interested in being Sen. John McCain's running mate.
The younger brother of President George W. Bush made the comments during an address to several hundred business people meeting in a hotel ballroom. Earlier in the day, the former Florida governor met with other directors of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp., the hospital chain whose board he joined last year.
As governor, Bush, a Republican, was largely silent on global warming. His successor, Charlie Crist - who is often mentioned as a possible GOP running mate for McCain - has said Florida should become a leader in addressing climate change because its low elevation makes it vulnerable if ocean levels rise.
Bush said those who advocate action to limit climate change are acting out of something like religious zeal.
"I don't think our policies should be based on emotion; they should be based on sound science," he said.
Rather than reducing oil consumption, Bush said the United States should focus on "energy security" - reducing dependence on oil imported from hostile or politically unstable countries by encouraging alternative fuels.
Bush said he isn't thinking of running for national office and said he only wanted to be governor.
"I loved every minute of it, and when I finished, I finished," he said. "I don't have any burning ambitions" beyond his foundation, which advocates education testing.
Bush also predicted Democrats would find a way to seat Florida and Michigan delegations at their national convention this summer, and he took a swipe at Florida's alligators.
Bush told the Texas audience how he repeatedly vetoed spending state money to market alligator meat.
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