Could Washington’s dysfunction be solved by golfing? Former Florida governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush says it might just do the trick.
In an interview with “Politics Confidential,” Bush recommended that President Obama could break though the current political logjam by golfing with Speaker of the House John Boehner.
“It would be good for our country if political leaders actually took that to heart,” Bush said. “I'd like Barack Obama, who seems to be an avid golfer, to quietly invite John Boehner out to hit them up.“
Obama and Boehner did play one round of golf together in 2011, but the pair has not played together again since then.
Personal interaction between political rivals, Bush said, is a missing ingredient in the current political landscape – and one that has been historically significant.
“Read the books about the times of Kennedy and Nixon and Johnson and Reagan and Bush and Clinton and Bush and Carter, and you'll find that there was a lot more engagement and a lot more trust that was built up, because there was this personal interaction,” he said. “That's what's gone in Washington, D.C. No one trusts one another.”
Although Bush said the current state of affairs in Washington troubles him, he is considering running for president in 2016.
“My decisions won't relate to this,” Bush said. “It deeply disturbs me as an American that loves my country, that we have this massive dysfunction. … We're missing huge opportunities to take advantage of really extraordinarily unique American things, our natural resources, our immigrant heritage, our entrepreneurial instincts, the ability to innovate -- all those things are being suppressed while our political system's in this kind of total disarray.”
Bush recently made headlines for sharing the stage with another rumored 2016 candidate: Hillary Clinton. He described his meeting with the former secretary of state as “very friendly.”
“I'm not perpetually angry,” Bush said. “I think treating people fairly and with civility is not a bad thing, I don't know. My dad taught me that. I haven't lost it. So I don't walk around angry and, you know, annoyed constantly. So we had a very civil conversation.”
On the topic of the recent government shutdown, Bush said the showdown was a tactical miscalculation by Republicans and suggested that more could have been accomplished had the GOP stepped aside and allowed the president’s health care law to be fully implemented.
“Allowing Obamacare to be implemented, two things would happen,” Bush said. “One, it would be so dysfunctional if it was implemented faithfully that it would be clear for more people; or it couldn't be implemented because the government's not capable of doing it. It looks like that, the latter rather than the former, may be happening. “
To hear Bush’s message to Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to show more “self restraint” with regard to the Affordable Care Act, check out this episode of “Politics Confidential.”
ABC's Matt German, Alexandra Dukakis, Gary Westphalen, Tom Manning, and Mark Suse contributed to this episode.