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Jeb Bush Jr. speaks on campus before Milwaukee GOP debate

Michael Cummings, News Stringer

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Jeb Bush Jr. speaking to students in the Alumni Memorial Union. Photo by Matt Serafin /matthew.serafin@mu.edu

Jeb Bush Jr. speaking to students in the Alumni Memorial Union. Photo by Matt Serafin /matthew.serafin@mu.edu

Members of the Marquette community gathered Nov. 10 to hear from Jeb Bush Jr., son of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush, at an event hosted by Marquette College Republicans.

The son of the former Florida governor spoke to around 30 people in the Alumni Memorial Union’s Henke Lounge the same day as the fourth Republican debate, held at the Milwaukee Theater. He spoke about the Mission: NEXT program that allows young leaders to work on fundraising and political efforts in Jeb Bush’s campaign.

“We have visited 450 campuses in 45 days and our main goal is to come together as conservatives and be successful in this election.” Jeb Bush Jr. said, adding that the aim is to beat Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Jeb Bush Jr. also stressed the importance of younger citizens exercising their right to vote.

“We are starting to plant seeds now … we are getting young people engaged especially in places like Iowa, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Florida,” he said. “We’re continuing to grow in places like Marquette and Wisconsin, as well.”

Acknowledging his father’s drop in the polls, Jeb Bush Jr. said his family feels really good about the campaign, despite not being where they want to be.

“Polls are for dogs to pee on, right” he said, getting laughs from the crowd.

After the talk the attendees were able to ask questions and take pictures with Jeb Bush Jr. College Republicans from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and -Milwaukee were also in attendance.

“I think it’s a real testament to the Bush campaign, reaching out to a university setting and trying to get young people more involved,” said Robbie Gosling, senior in the College of Engineering and member of College Republicans. “It shows that they really want to get us involved and ask us questions.”

Gabrielle Hankee, chairwoman of Marquette College Republicans and junior in the College of Business Administration, said the Bush family showed class by coming to the university.

“Rather than doing whatever they wanted to do, they took the time to come and talk with us,” Hankee said. “Taking the time to meet shows interest in the youthful.”

The Federation of College Republicans reached out to all Republican presidential campaigns in the weeks leading up to the debate. Adam Kouhel, political director for the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans said he thinks Jeb Bush Jr. speaks well to millennials.

“(Students) were able to hear the depth that Governor (Jeb) Bush has,” Kouhel said. “That really resonates with students because we are not looking for another candidate to give us false hope.”

Jeb Bush Jr. said it was a pleasure to come and speak at Marquette. His comments on graduating with better degrees, job placement after college, and decreasing student debt were taken well attendees.

“We have to show up. We need to deal with the issues that young people care about like student debt and getting a job,” Jeb Bush Jr. said after his talk. “We are focusing on a competitive economy and things like increased technology, things that dad has done in Florida and things we hope to focus on for young students in the future.”

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