It doesn’t take much to impress Jeb Bush. On CNN Sunday morning, he was asked about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which was the direct result of Governor Rick Snyder’s appointment of a city manager, and which he was arguably only moved to action on by the stalwart shaming efforts of Rachel Maddow.
Jeb told Jake Tapper that he admires Snyder because once he’s caught poisoning people, he goes right to work firing other people and promising to, what, un-poison them, I guess? You tell me:
TAPPER: I want to turn to the situation in Flint, Michigan, where the population has been drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water.
TAPPER: Senator Rubio said this week — quote — “That’s not an issue that right now we have been focused on.” He also said, “I believe the federal government’s role in some of these things are largely limited.”
You ran a state. You dealt with situations like this, although certainly not one as horrific as what is going on in Flint. What do you think?
BUSH: Well, first of all, I think it’s pretty clear that, when you have local, state, and federal agencies not talking to each other, blaming each other, no one being held accountable, you get this result.
And It is a tragedy. I admire Rick Snyder for stepping up right now. He’s going through the challenge. And he’s fired people and accepted responsibility to fix this. This is going to be a long-term challenge.
But it does point out that we’re — we have a 20th century regulatory system on a 21st century world. Someone needs to change how we go about Washington’s role in this, where there’s more accountability and more transparency, so that when reports are done, they’re thoroughly vetted.
You don’t need insular regulatory agencies that are blaming each other. That’s what happened in this case, and it’s just wrong.
TAPPER: I’m kind of surprised you’re praising Governor Snyder. I understand you’re talking about his actions now.
TAPPER: But a lot of people are faulting his administration for the last two years.
BUSH: No, I — look, I am too. No, I — what I’m saying, though, instead of saying the dog ate my homework, it’s someone else’s fault, once it became clear, he took — he’s taken the lead now. And that’s exactly what I think leaders have to do.
Honestly, I don’t have a clue what audience Jeb is trying to reach with this. He did a fine enough job of regurgitating the party line about how this is everybody’s fault, too, but saying he admires Rick Snyder is playing to what is probably the world’s smallest fan club.