Former Florida governor and potential 2016 Republican candidate for President Jeb Bush has announced that he will resign as a paid advisor for Barclays bank. The move, which will become effective December 31, comes less than 24 hours after Bush criticized President Obama’s normalization of relations with Cuba. “I don’t think we should be negotiating with a repressive regime to make changes in our relationship,” Bush said Wednesday. But his statement seems in odd and even hypocritical contrast to the dealings Barclays has had with the Cuban government over the years.
As recently as 2010, Barclays paid forfeiture fines of nearly $300 million to the United States and the State of New York for violations of the “Trading With the Enemies Act.” The enemies cited in the agreement Barclays signed included Cuba, Iran, and Sudan, all of which are also on the Terrorist Nations Watchlist issued annually by the State Department.
Criticism of Bush’s ties to Barclays was swift and harsh, but not from the places you might expect. Failed 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was quoted by Politico as saying, “You saw what they did to me with Bain Capital. What do you think they’ll do to Bush over Barclays?” Another article in Bloomberg Businessweek declared, “Jeb Bush Has a Mitt Romney Problem.”
But this is only one of many questions Bush will have to answer should he decide to run for President in 2016. As Liberal America.org reported earlier this year, there are no shortage of contradictions, flip flops, and outright false statements which will no doubt dog Bush if he makes the decision to toss his hat into the ring of potential Republican candidates.
All of this makes me wonder: Why is it that the Bush family always seems to get a pass on their shady business dealings? Papa Bush was a longtime board member of the Carlysle Group, which, among other questionable actions, did business with the family of Osama bin Laden, the now-deceased founder of Al Qaeda. And George W. Bush was known in Texas for his failed oil exploration company, Arbusto, which went bankrupt. In spite of the bankruptcy, Dubya wound up making millions when his company went belly-up. Now we have Jeb pimping for Barclays while the London-based bank does business with countries most financial institutions know to avoid.
The 2016 edition of the Hypocrisy Games has officially begun, and Jeb Bush has taken an early lead in the race.