Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush visits Bay Area startup

Friday, July 17, 2015
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush visits Bay Area startups
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Republican Jeb Bush brought his campaign for the presidency to the Bay Area Thursday night with a special appeal to Silicon Valley.

MIAMI (KGO) -- Republican Jeb Bush brought his campaign for the presidency to the Bay Area Thursday night with a special appeal to Silicon Valley.

The former Florida governor made a campaign stop at a San Francisco start-up and he arrived in an Uber vehicle.

Bush tweeted a photo and wrote, "rode shotgun in Uber to Thumbtack in SF."

When Bush pulled up in an Uber car, that sparked controversy. The company faces a suspension and $7 million in fines from the California Public Utilities Commission and a month suspension for disregarding rules and not reporting data.

"If they are violating legitimate law along the way, they're exploiting workers in some fashion, there's ways to address it. The fact is this is disrupting the old order," Bush said.

Finding a new order is one reason Bush asked to visit Thumbtack in San Francisco Thursday. The Website employs 350 people and connects consumers who need jobs done to contractors who need work. It's part of a new 21st century sharing economy, fitting the Bush theme of government, getting out of the way.

Reporters covering him have heard multiple versions of this message across the nation.

"A lot of the times he will likes to point out that he gets this new economy; that he understands Uber, that he has wears an Apple Watch and that innovation and a sharing economy is the future," said Eli Stoklos of Politico.

"I think one of the major issues that the campaigns seem to be engaging with is the nature of jobs and technology, and growth and our future," said Marco Zappacosta, Thumbtack co-founder.

Outside the building, the Uber arrival fanned flames of concern for local businesses.

"Well, he is certainly not on the side of small, law abiding business, that's for sure," said Charles Rathbone, assistant manager of Luxor cab.

At least Jeb Bush is consistent. When he departed Thumbtack, he found Uber driver Joe Salazar waiting. Salazar said all he knew about his ride was that "a passenger wants to get a ride."

To mark Bush's visit to the Bay Area, his campaign produced a video for YouTube, on his favorite technologies. The video is actually a campaign commercial aimed at the techies of Silicon Valley.

In related news, Bush commented on his father, George H.W. Bush, who suffered a broken neck vertebrae in a fall at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine Wednesday night.

"He fell. He can't walk, so I think he was being picked up," Jeb Bush said. "He's a big guy now and he cracked I think the second vertebrae, He's in pain and some discomfort, but I think he's in pretty good shape."

The 91-years-old remains in the hospital in Maine where he's in fair condition. Doctors Thursday said he never lost consciousness. They plan to let the injury heal on its own, without surgery.

Jeb Bush is the highest-rated Republican in a newly released Univision poll of U.S. Hispanic voters, the first non-partisan poll of its kind. It shows that 92 percent of the voters they interviewed are very likely to vote next year and 68 percent gave Democrat Hillary Clinton a favorable view, followed by Bush with 36 percent and 35 percent for Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Only seven percent said they would vote for Donald Trump, who has called Mexican immigrants drug dealers and rapists.