Jeb Bush says Obama's shift on Cuba undermines US credibility
Jeb Bush is facing questions about his personal email use as governor of Florida after criticizing Hillary Clinton for doing the same.
FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2014 file photo, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in Washington. Bush speaks Monday at the winter commencement at the University of South Carolina _ just the sort of thing a potential presidential candidate might do. He's also still raising money for his private equity businesses _ just the sort of thing a potential presidential candidate would never do. Bush has promised to decide whether to run for president "in short order," and the reading of tea leaves is reaching a frantic pace as the holidays approach. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks to the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC's 11th Annual Luncheon in Coral Gables, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. The presidential contest that's starting to take shape is exposing divisions among likely Republican candidates on the nation's role in global affairs. Among those outlining foreign policy this week: Bush, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal, as well as the party's 2008 presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
WOODBURY, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a Long Island Association luncheon with LIA President and CEO Kevin S. Law at the Crest Hollow Country Club on February 24, 2014 in Woodbury, New York. Bush is widely seen as a possible presidential contender in 2016. (Photo by Andy Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Alexander Hamilton Award Dinner, Monday, May 12, 2014, in New York. Bush and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., courted some of Wall Streetâs most powerful political donors Monday night, competing for attention from tuxedoed hedge fund executives gathered in midtown Manhattan as the early jockeying in the 2016 presidential contest quietly continues. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, left, gestures during at an education forum in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 with U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennr. Bush urged politicians to make the case to their constituents in favor of Common Core education standards. (AP Photos/Erik Schelzig)
FILE - This March 19, 2014 file photo shows former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaking at an education forum in Nashville, Tenn. Battling âthe soft bigotry of low expectationsâ with national education goals was former Republican President George W. Bushâs campaign mantra. But many of his partyâs would-be successors are calling for just the opposite of government-set rules, splitting the party over education policy as the GOP class of 2016 presidential hopefuls takes shape. Jeb Bush, who supports a national education policy, and Rand Paul, who abhors the idea, personify the divide. Forty-four states voluntarily participate in standards developed in part by GOP governors. (AP Photos/Erik Schelzig, File)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council's 40th annual meeting Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush prepares to board a carriage Wednesday, May 29, 2013, on Michiganâs Mackinac Island after delivering a speech to business and government leaders. (AP Photo/John Flesher)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks to supporters at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Coral Gables, Fla., Friday, April 19, 2013, an annual gathering of conservative Latino lawmakers. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Potential Republican 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Wednesday criticized the White House's move to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba, calling the shift a "dramatic overreach" of President Barack Obama's executive authority.
"Cuba is a dictatorship with a disastrous human rights record, and now President Obama has rewarded those dictators," Bush, the former governor of Florida, a key state with a large Cuban-American population, said in a statement.
"The benefactors of President Obama's ill-advised move will be the heinous Castro brothers, who have oppressed the Cuban people for decades," Bush said on Wednesday.
Bush, whose father George H.W. and brother George W. were both U.S. presidents, also welcomed the return of Alan Gross to the United States, but condemned the simultaneous release of three Cuban spies.
Bush on Tuesday announced his intention to actively explore a presidential bid, becoming the first major Republican to formally move toward a possible candidacy.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, another Republican presidential hopeful and a Cuban-American, earlier announced his own strong opposition to the Obama administration's policy shift.
(Reporting by Gabriel Debenedetti, editing by G Crosse)