"You can't take and spend one's way to prosperity," said Bush, whose brother and father both served as presidents.
The Chicago event was the second stop for Bush in Illinois. Wednesday Bush headlined a private fundraiser for Brady in Bloomington, Illinois.
While in Chicago, Bush was asked about a potential connection to the Blagojevich corruption trial. He was rumored to have received a call from then-governor Rod Blagojevich to help arrange a presidential pardon for indicted fundraiser Chris Kelly.
Bush denied the claim.
"It would be humorous if it wasn't so tragic," Bush said. "Only in Chicago."