SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush came to San Francisco Thursday to host a luncheon at the city's Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Well-heeled guests described it as a "kick-the-tires" event - a chance to meet with Bush before deciding whether to contribute to a potential presidential campaign.
"I hope to hear from him what his platform [is]," said venture capitalist David Morganthaler. "I am moderate and I hope to hear that he is more moderate. That's what I need to find out."
The luncheon came on a day that Indiana lawmakers amended the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act to clarify that it cannot be used by businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community.
Bush received heavy criticism for supporting Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's decision to sign the bill last week.
Marc Benioff, the CEO of San Francisco-based Salesforce, helped lead corporate efforts to reform the act and met privately with Bush Thursday.
"I just wanted to express to the Governor how I felt about this religious discrimination bill in Indiana," said Benioff. "I think he was extremely receptive to that. He's obviously changed his views, we've seen that this week. And I think we'll continue to see an evolution and growth in that."
Outside the hotel, protesters from the Center for Biological Diversity took Bush to task for his stance as a global warming skeptic.
"It is very surprising that Jeb Bush would come here to a place that understands the risks of climate change and look for support for his candidacy," said protester Patrick Sullivan. "Someone who - like Jeb Bush - denies the basic science of climate change is not fit to run for President."
But others said it was a rare chance to meet a conservative potential presidential candidate in San Francisco. "I like the fact that he's Republican but he's not uber-conservative," said Dan Strick. "I like the fact that he's more middle of the road, he's looking to gain a consensus."
The San Francisco event - organized by Bush's Right to Rise Super PAC- capped off a two-day visit to the Bay Area, including a Wednesday fundraising luncheon in Palo Alto. Bush was set to return to Miami Thursday.