Taipei, May 25 (CNA) The economy is the overriding issue in the United States and gay marriage is merely a "distraction" in the presidential campaign, former Florida Governor John Ellis "Jeb" Bush said Friday.
U.S. President Barack Obama should drop issues that are highly partisan and focus on economic policies, Bush said in a question-and-answer session after giving a speech at a foreign ministry agency in Taipei.
Earlier this month, Obama, who is seeking a second term, announced his personal support for gay marriage, drawing wide international media attention.
Bush, who has indicated that he would consider running as vice-president on the Republican ticket, said the U.S. is "next up in line" in terms of a financial crisis and he called for an economic revival strategy plan.
A sustainable economy is not in the interest of Americans only, but the international community as a whole, Bush said in his speech titled "How to Restore Sustained Economic Growth in the United States."
"A weakened United States economically means a United States that will pull back from its commitments around the world, that will not have the ability and the interest in being a partner for stability and for peace," he said.
To create sustainable economic growth, policies on energy, regulation systems, immigration and education should be prioritized by American politicians, he said.
Bush is the son of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and the younger brother of former President George W. Bush.
On his current visit to Taiwan, he has met with President Ma Ying-jeou, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and Foreign Minister Timothy Yang. He had previously visited Taiwan in the 1980s for business purposes.
(By Nancy Liu)