Former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush celebrates after announcing his candidacy for the 2016 presidential elections, at Miami Dade College on June 15, 2015, in Miami, Florida.
Jeb Bush's 2016 run
06:29 - Source: CNN

Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM’s weekly program “The Dean Obeidallah Show.” He is a columnist for The Daily Beast and editor of the politics blog The Dean’s Report. He’s also the co-director of the documentary “The Muslims Are Coming!” Follow him on Twitter: @TheDeansreport. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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Jeb Bush says President Obama has given U.S. a 'zombie economy'

Dean Obeidallah spoke with 'World War Z' author for his take

CNN  — 

Zombies are coming to the 2016 presidential race! No, there isn’t a zombie presidential candidate – at least not yet. But thanks to Jeb Bush, we will likely be hearing the word “zombie” a great deal over the next year. Why?

Well, Bush penned an article Monday claiming that: “Barack Obama’s policies have given us a zombie economy where no matter what else happens, most Americans are falling behind.”

The media immediately latched on to the term “zombie economy.” But what exactly is a “zombie economy”? Some turned to economists for answers. But I went to a better source: A zombie expert. Yep, I reached out to Max Brooks, author of the best-selling books “World War Z,” which became a hit feature film last summer, and “The Zombie Survival Guide.”

I have known Brooks for years, since our days working together in the mid-2000s at “Saturday Night Live.” I can tell you first hand this guy knows zombies inside and out. And I can also tell he’s not the least bit happy with Bush’s use of the word zombie. Why? As Brooks made clear, when it comes to understanding zombies, Bush is dumber than a person whose brain has been infected by the zombie virus and who has already transformed into a walking dead creature solely fixated upon consuming the flesh, and especially brains, of living human beings.

Dean Obeidallah

“From a figurative point of view, George W. Bush, not Obama, had a ‘zombie economy,’” Brooks stated emphatically. And for anyone thinking a “zombie economy” is one that is sluggish or dying? Well, those people are clueless about zombies, as Brooks remarked.

Brooks explained that zombies, “mindlessly and ferociously devour everything in their path with no regard for the consequences nor concern for the future.” And that, Brooks noted, is “exactly what we saw in the 2000s during the Bush administration with Wall Street and predatory mortgage lenders.”

“It wasn’t until they ran out of food, or capital in the bankers’ case, that they stopped their rampage,” he added.

In contrast, the Obama economy would more accurately be described as a “post-zombie apocalyptic economy,” Brooks noted ahead of his appearance at Comic Con in San Diego this weekend

“After a massive zombie outbreak, the first priority is to survive,” Brooks commented. Adding, “that is exactly what we saw during the Great Recession with Obama’s economic policies trying to save us from economic extinction after Bush’s economic ‘zombie apocalypse.’”

Per Brooks, the next priority is resuscitating the trappings of a society and just as importantly, “implementing measures to prevent another massive zombie outbreak.” Brooks pointed to the passage of the Dodd-Frank law in 2010 as an example of a safeguard instituted to prevent another economic collapse/zombie apocalypse.

Brooks was also shocked that Bush didn’t get one fundamental fact about zombies. “If this were a ‘zombie economy’ as Bush claims, then we wouldn’t have seen the steady, although slow, economic growth under Obama,” the zombie expert explained. (There has been 64 straight months of private sector job growth, with the unemployment rate falling to 5.3%, but it has not been an “exciting” economic recovery so to speak.)

“In contrast, a ‘zombie economy’ could arguably be considered very exciting because the zombies would keep crazily eating until food supply was depleted – or until they were shot in the brain, whichever came first,” Brooks noted.

Brooks, the son of comedy legend Mel Brooks and the late actress Anne Bancroft, was clearly frustrated with Bush’s lack of any understanding of zombies and co-opting them for political purposes.

“Before Bush talks zombies again he really needs to do some homework,” stated the perturbed Brooks. When I asked if he had a suggestion for the GOP presidential hopeful to bone up on zombies, Brooks quickly shot back, “For starters, he should take out two hours and 30 minutes from campaigning and watch George Romero’s classic zombie film, ‘Dawn of the Dead.’”

Brooks did, however, make one surprising point. He believes that Bush and other pro-business people might actually be supportive of an economy powered by zombies since, “it would offer a very cheap labor force.”

Brooks predicted that if somehow an army of zombies could be corralled into a workforce, (and that is a very big if) it could mean a big upside for corporate bottom lines. “For starters, zombies don’t need health care, so that’s a big saving.” He added, “They also don’t need vacation days and are very hard workers, often working until their arms fall off – literally.”

Before we wrapped up the interview, I asked Brooks if it there’s any possibility that Donald Trump was some type of zombie. Brooks coyly refused to answer. I guess only time will tell on that issue.

The bottom line is that if Bush wants to make zombies a centerpiece of his 2016 run for president, at the very least he should do some research to get his facts right. Bush owes the living dead at least that much.

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