Jeb Bush praises Trump's leadership handling hurricanes

Story highlights

  • The intense hurricane season is all too familiar for Bush
  • Bush has been actively posting on social media about the hurricanes

(CNN)Jeb Bush offered some rare praise Friday for President Donald Trump and the way he's handling two back-to-back hurricanes.

"President Trump has done a good job keeping, showing his concern for the victims of Harvey and I'm sure he'll do the same (for Irma)," the former two-term Florida governor said on CNN's "New Day." "The key, though, is to make sure Washington's here for the long haul, for the long-term recovery of our state."
The intense hurricane season is all too familiar for Bush, who dealt with the catastrophic storm seasons of 2004 and 2005, in which eight hurricanes and four tropical storms slammed into Florida. He won accolades for his leadership at the time and it became a selling point he sought to highlight during his unsuccessful bid for president in 2016.
    As Harvey pounded the Texas coast and as Irma has approached Florida, Bush has routinely been in touch with state and local officials, according to an aide to the former governor. He's also been talking with the staff and teams he worked with in the 2004-2005 hurricanes, including Craig Fugate, who previously served as director of Florida's Emergency Management Division and later went on to head FEMA during President Barack Obama's administration.
    Bush -- who's sheltering in place for Irma in his hometown of Coral Gables, Florida -- has been actively posting on social media. His Twitter feed is full of information about evacuations, retweets of government warnings, human interest articles from the aftermath of Harvey and links to volunteer and donation campaigns.
    "I am proud of how the local and state officials have prepared for this," he said, discussing Irma with CNN's Chris Cuomo. "We've always learned from the lessons of the past."
    Bush said government officials have to consider "hundreds of things" in post-storm efforts, including "many things that you don't think about."
    "For example, are all the generators in place for maintaining the water systems of every municipality that's going to hit by this? Can we get chlorine ... to make sure the water supply is safe when there's no power?" he said. "All of these things we've learned through trial and error."
    Bush was a vocal critic of Trump during the campaign and has made headlines this year for his critiques of Trump's decisions and leadership style. Asked how he feels about Trump's recent strategy to work with Democrats -- the President bucked his own party this week to attach emergency funds to a three-month increase in the debt ceiling -- Bush said it depends on the motive.
    "If it's based on trying to create a better bipartisan kind of culture in Washington, all power to him. If it's a short-term thing just to kind of have a win, I'm not sure that's going to be a long-term, positive benefit," he said. "The key right now is to make sure the fiscal solvency of the country remains in place and that there's money available for the recovery of these devastating storms that have hit Texas and Florida."