Jeb Bush calls net neutrality ‘craziest' idea I’ve ever heard

Former Florida Gov. and likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush (R) is sticking to the party line on net neutrality.

While taking questions at an Iowa pizza joint over the weekend, Bush weighed in on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent move to impose utility-style rules for the Internet, which have been blasted by Republicans and major cable companies.

“The idea of regulating access to the Internet with a 1934 law is one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard,” he said, according to multiple reports.

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The comments were the first remarks Bush had made about net neutrality, though they mirrored the opinions of other Republicans after the FCC last month reclassified broadband Internet as a “telecommunications service” similar to phone lines under the 1934 Communications Act.

Bush’s potential challengers in a crowded GOP presidential field have largely offered similar lines, worrying that the tough rules amount to unnecessary government regulation of the Internet. 

In Iowa, Bush also echoed a common refrain that President Obama had “steamrolled” the FCC by openly endorsing the tough utility-style rules in a high profile video and through staffers’ work at the White House. Republican have worried that the FCC — a legally independent agency — has lost its legitimacy due to the new Web rules. 

“I hope that Congress acts” to reverse the rules, Bush added, according to Time

Obama has been a staunch supporter of net neutrality since his first run for president in 2008, and was a strong backer of the tough rules ahead of the FCC’s vote in February. Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton — the presumptive Democratic frontrunner for president — has also endorsed the FCC’s action, which she last month called “a value statement” in support of online freedom.