Bill Clinton, Jeb Bush Pine for Bygone Civility at University of New England in Maine - NBC10 Boston

Bill Clinton, Jeb Bush Pine for Bygone Civility at University of New England in Maine

Their discussion was narrowly focused on education, with both men reflecting on the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Education Summit organized by Bush's father, President George H. W. Bush, in 1989

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bill Clinton, Jeb Bush Talk Education Policy in Maine

    Former President Bill Clinton and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush got together at the University of New England in Maine on Friday to talk about education policy.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 27, 2019)

    It was a bipartisan get-together with a former president and someone who ran for the office.

    President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican, came together for a speaking event at the University of New England's campus in Biddeford, Maine.

    Their discussion was narrowly focused on education, with both men reflecting on the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Education Summit organized by Bush's father, President George H. W. Bush, in 1989.

    The elder Bush, one of Maine's most prominent summer residents, convened the summit with 49 of 50 United States governors to establish concrete education goals to unite state and federal education policy for the next decade.

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    "It sounds surprising now, but it was normal then," said Clinton, reflecting on the spirit of bipartisanship in the rooms of U. Va.

    Clinton was one of the governors in attendance at the summit and helped secure Democratic support for some of the initiatives that emerged from it.

    Jeb Bush noted that he used increased educational funding from the Clinton administration, too.

    "I took your money and opened the first charter school in Miami," said Bush, who reflected on various accomplishments he says made Florida education better that stemmed from the meeting, including, eventually, universal Pre-K in the state.

    Both men showed slight sense of dismay that a similar event could happen in 2019, though even before the 1989 gathering, governors had only gathered in a similar manner twice in American history.

    "I want to see them do it again," Clinton said.

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    "You think President Trump will stay for a meeting for two days?" quipped Bush in response, to which Clinton replied that the comments should be "attributed" to the former governor, as the audience laughed.

    Clinton, who survived impeachment, never mentioned Trump or the impeachment probe against him.

    Among the crowd was current Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills.

    It was not clear if she was going to spend more time Clinton and Bush after the event Friday afternoon.


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