Jeb Bush made an appearance in the Chicago area on Wednesday, just one day after his mother Barbara Bush passed away.
Bush's mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, died at age 92 on Tuesday evening.
"(His mother) would have wanted him to honor this obligation," a spokeswoman said in a statement.
Bush was slated to speak on leadership around noon at the Hilton Hotel in suburban Oak Brook, moderated by Chicago Tribune Editor-in-Chief Bruce Dold.
"Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I'm a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother," he continued, adding, "our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes."
The need for a higher sustained economic growth to create more opportunities and primarily dealing with political challenges on a local level, were among some of the topics discussed Wednesday.
“If you look at how politics is working right now, it’s a little frustrating because we’re missing a huge opportunity to fix the things that need to be fixed—to take advantage of the most exciting time to be alive,” he said.
Bush continued saying “it is no surprise to me however, why people are anxious, because they see the future as not as bright as I do…they believe for the first time, their children will have less opportunities than what they were afforded.”
He concluded his speech encouraging people to engage in a new dialogue about politics, to come together and form a consensus.
Bush said people should be focusing on “making sure the next generation has the power that comes with knowledge and the grit determination to be successful in life.”
“I do believe that my mom is looking down on us for the next years, and say ‘this is still the greatest country in the place of the earth’ and I hope you stay engaged to make sure that it becomes that way," Bush said.