Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush arrives in the Bay Area on Wednesday to fundraise for a likely White House bid, as he faces likely criticism on the Left Coast for defending controversial “religious freedom” laws in Indiana.
Bush will be in East Palo Alto at the Four Seasons on Wednesday and San Francisco on Thursday to raise money for his Right to Rise Super PAC, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Bush arrives to criticism for defending Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican who set off a firestorm last week when he signed a bill giving businesses the right to refuse services on religious grounds. Bay Area businesses, including Twitter, Yelp, Square and Levi Strauss & Co., along with CEOs Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com and Tim Cook of Apple, have come out against the law or pulled business from Indiana.
Critics said the law opens the door to discrimination against gays and lesbians, but Bush argued this week that Pence did “the right thing,” insisting that “once the facts are established, people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all.”
The trip, his second to the Bay Area this year, also showcases his stylistic differences with his brother by holding a fundraiser in San Francisco, noted the San Francisco Chronicle. After a visit to the city in 1999, George W. Bush never set foot in the city during eight years in office.