Column: Jeb Bush endorses Rick Snyder's education reform proposals. What other GOP govs support him?
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush today endorsed Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's education reform proposals, reflecting a rare moment in Snyder's short political history that he's embraced a national political figure.
Bush and Snyder appeared together at a press conference in Lansing, where Bush hailed Snyder's proposals, which include reforming tenure to make it easier to fire ineffective teachers, emphasizing early childhood education and authorizing more charter schools in failing districts.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
“If Florida can do it, Michigan can. I applaud Gov. Snyder and legislative leaders for seizing the opportunity to transform education in Michigan so every student can achieve their God-given potential.”
Snyder's appearance with Bush is sure to bring more attention from national political circles — which Snyder has largely tried to avoid. He's even turned down most national media interview requests, according to several reports.
But Snyder, a former Ann Arbor venture capitalist, has quietly started to build ties with other Republican governors — former and present.
Here are five other GOP governors he's got ties to:
1. Scott Walker. Snyder said at the Mackinac Policy Conference that he had recently met with the Wisconsin governor to discuss collaborative ship-building opportunities between the states after a firm near the northeast Wisconsin border with Michigan won a major naval construction contract. Snyder, though, went out of his way earlier this year to say that he has no plans to strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights, which Walker successfully accomplished.
2. Mitch Daniels. Snyder met with the Indiana governor to solicit advice during his campaign. Snyder has cited Daniels' leadership as an example of the type of fiscal responsibility he believes is necessary to run a government. Daniels briefly considered a run for president earlier this year.
"Mitch Daniels has done a great job" with its economic development programs, Snyder told AnnArbor.com last fall.
3. Mitt Romney. The Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor briefly campaigned for Snyder during the general election last year. But in the primary, he endorsed one of Snyder's opponents, then-U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra. And last month, Snyder declined to attend Romney's major health care reform speech at the University of Michigan. Both are former venture capitalists and Michigan natives — but it's unclear whether they'll be allies in the future.
4. Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor, who has built a deep core of support among conservatives for his outspoken style, campaigned for Snyder during the election, saying that Snyder was one of the few GOP political candidates that he wanted to make time to appear with.
Asked about Christie last fall, Snyder told AnnArbor.com: "He’s helped them lead the charge on some of the tough issues regarding education in particular. In terms of style, though, I just have a different style. I think everyone knows that. I’m just not a yeller and screamer. And people shouldn’t mistake that for a lack of conviction and will to do things. I just try to be professional in how I operate and treat people with respect, but I will get the tough stuff done. And there are enough people in town that will tell you that’s the case."
5. William Milliken. The former Michigan governor, a moderate Republican who served in the 1960s, endorsed Snyder last year — and Snyder has cited Milliken's governorship as an example of how he wants to lead the state.