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Jeb Bush: Paul Ryan made 'a very honest speech'

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush dismissed criticism that Paul Ryan’s convention speech was strewn with stretched truths, calling the Republican vice presidential nominee the only candidate with substantial plans to fix the nation’s problems. “I thought it was a very honest speech. Paul Ryan is in the reality wing of the Republican party,” he told TODAY’s Matt Lauer. During his speech to the

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush dismissed criticism that Paul Ryan’s convention speech was strewn with stretched truths, calling the Republican vice presidential nominee the only candidate with substantial plans to fix the nation’s problems.

“I thought it was a very honest speech. Paul Ryan is in the reality wing of the Republican party,” he told TODAY’s Matt Lauer.

During his speech to the party’s faithful, Ryan said President Obama failed to heed the recommendations of a bipartisan debt commission created by the White House.

“They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way and then did exactly nothing,” Ryan said in his nomination acceptance speech Wednesday night.

But Ryan failed to note that he was a member of the commission and, as the head of the House budget committee, he ultimately voted against its final report.

Bush defended the action, saying Ryan had concerns over the report’s lack of suggestions in dealing with entitlement reform.

“The only guy in the last few years that has actually had substantive plans to deal with our structural problems is Paul Ryan,” he said.

Bush also rejected claims that Ryan’s staunch opposition to abortion has slowed the momentum of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has been working to widen his support among women. Bush said those voters ultimately will be persuaded by the candidates who can do more to fix the nation’s economy than their personal views on social issues.

"I’m pro-life and I know Paul Ryan is. These are deeply held views, but that’s not going to create a job for someone who’s laid off,” he said.

Bush did give Obama “pretty good marks” for foreign policy efforts, but said his praise was only comparative.

“It’s because his economic policy is so bad. Compared to that it looks all right,” he said. “Romney will restore a sense that the United States has a powerful, moral role in the world.”

Bush, who had contemplated running for president last year, laughed off rumors of a 2016 bid. He told Lauer he has “no second thoughts.”

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