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Jeb Bush talks leadership at UNC

	Jeb Bush speaks at the Kenan-Flagler Business School on Monday.

Jeb Bush speaks at the Kenan-Flagler Business School on Monday.

Jeb Bush comes from a family of presidents.

And while he has not made an official announcement on his political future, when asked about it, Bush told a crowd of hundreds at the Kenan-Flagler Business School Monday that his mother has already told him publicly that he shouldn’t run for president in 2016.

Bush, former governor of Florida, son of former president George H.W. Bush and brother of former president George W. Bush, spoke about “America’s Promise in Uncertain Times” for the annual Weatherspoon Lecture.

“I was told I could talk for 40 minutes about things I’m passionate about,” Bush said.

The lecture, which was free for attendees, cost $50,000 but was funded by Van and Kay Weatherspoon, alumni of the business school.

Much of Bush’s talk consisted of proposing reforms to governmental systems. Topics included the need for immigration reform, fixes for K-12 education, and why leadership matters in today’s political climate.

Bush said immigration reform is necessary because the country needs more immigrants who are more economically driven. He said he wants to encourage immigrants with higher degrees to come to the United States.

“A modernized immigration system would be a catalytic converter for economic growth,” Bush said.

In terms of education reform, Bush said the country as a whole does not focus enough on academics.

“Here we worry about self-esteem,” he said. “In Asia, they worry about whether or not their kids understand algebra and science.”

Bush also said he would propose moving the system toward ensuring kids are literate by fourth grade, which would require raising expectations placed on kids.

“We need to stop this political correctness,” Bush said. “Our standards are too diluted.”

Jack Evans, interim dean of the business school, concluded the talk by sharing his admiration for Bush’s policies.

“An important question today is, ‘Are leaders willing to take their own advice?’” Evans said.

“You are what you described,” he said, referring to Bush.

Freshman Craig Amasya said Bush was a passionate speaker with a lot of experience to share.

“I didn’t necessarily agree with everything he said, but I definitely respect him,” he said. “We all want the same result, there’s just different ways to get there.”

Freshman David Snedecor, who is enrolled in the business school, said he appreciated Bush’s talk for its specificity.

“I wish there were more people like him in the political world,” Snedecor said. “He knows his stuff. I wish more political arguments were that substantive.”

Bush said he enjoyed the opportunity to visit UNC.

“It was great,” he said. “I’ve never been to campus before. I always felt like UNC had a reputation for being hospitable, and this has definitely been validated. It’s been a privilege.”

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