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March 22, 2018

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Jeb Bush: Romney’s economic plan is “good,” Republicans can’t just attack Obama; Sandoval: I still love Perry

Former Gov. Jeb Bush gave a broad-brush but positive evaluation of Mitt Romney’s 59-point economic plan today and admonished GOP presidential hopefuls not to try to win simply by attacking President Obama.

Bush, appearing at Agassi Prep with Sandoval and the school’s founder, also talked about education reform, which the Nevada governor has embraced from the Florida model. And Sandoval, in a quick chat, told me he has no regrets about endorsing Texas Gov. Rick Perry and gave me more details of their relationship.

The media availability came after Sandoval and Bush toured the school with Andre Agassi. It was brief, but a few nuggets:

----I asked Bush, whom Sandoval used as a model for his education reform plan when he was running, about Agassi Prep having twice the per-pupil funding of public schools and how important money was in the education equation.

“Money is a factor if you spend it on reform,” Bush said.

Sandoval said of all the reform measures Bush passed – and Nevada implemented two of them last session – he still wants to end social promotion and pass school choice in Nevada. Bush said he often thinks ending promotion from 8th to 9th grade might be helpful.

The pair came to Agassi Prep after visiting the Southwest Career and Technical Academy.

----Bush said he had read Romney’s economic plan – “It’s a good plan” -- but then quickly pivoted to say, “Republicans should not just attack the president. We need two competing visions of running the country.”

----After the media availability, I asked Sandoval about Perry and whether he regretted his early endorsement, especially after the revelations about the family hunting camp called “Niggerhead.”

Sandoval shook his head about having any regrets and said Perry had “said it well when he called the word one of the most offensive in the English language.” Sandoval said he still believes in Perry and that the Texas governor was there for him as far back as November 2009 when he met him at a Republican Governors Association meeting in Austin. Sandoval said Perry helped him from that time forward, providing support and a sounding board.

You may recall the RGA claimed to not be involved in that contest as a GOP incumbent (Jim Gibbons) was seeking re-election. But the fact that the RGA did not back Gibbons and, like most of the GOP Establishment, wanted Sandoval to win, was not lost on the challenger. And now, he is repaying the favor, it would seem.

----I asked Bush, with my tongue in cheek, why he had chosen Agassi Prep to announce his presidential campaign. Without missing a beat, he replied with a smile, “I thought it would be a nice place to do it.”

I wouldn’t put that out on the wire, folks….

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