The Jeb Bush train for 2016 appears to be forming.
NRO – THE CORNER: Former Florida governor Jeb Bush met Monday with a group of his former staffers at the J. W. Marriott hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, just steps from the White House. Bush, a potential 2016 presidential contender, spent an hour in the hotel’s Cannon room, reminiscing and entertaining questions about his political future.
In an interview with NRO, Bush did not rule out a presidential run. “I am here to catch up with folks and promote education reform,” he said, smiling.
When asked again whether he will issue a Sherman-type statement about his future, Bush remained coy. “We have an alumni group that I like keeping in touch with,” he said. “I’m here to focus on educational reform, and that’s what I’m going to tell people.” . . . Read More
Here is video of Jeb Bush Jr. on CNN where he was asked if his Dad – former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush – is going to run for President in 2016. He laughed, then said: “I don’t know. No comment. I certainly hope so.”
Here is video of Jeb Bush tonight at the Republican National Convention where he essentially said to Barack Obama: “Stop picking on my brother!” He didn’t actually say it that way, but that’s what he meant. He did directly tell Obama it is time to stop blaming all his failed policies on George W. Bush, and said it is time for Obama to take responsibility.
News is out this morning that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has endorsed Gov. Mitt Romney for President:
THE HILL: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush endorsed Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign on Wednesday.
He is the second member of the Bush family to endorse the former Massachusetts governor. His father, former President George H.W. Bush, endorsed Romney in December.
“I am endorsing Mitt Romney for our party’s nomination,” the former Florida governor said in a statement. “We face huge challenges, and we need a leader who understands the economy, recognizes more government regulation is not the answer, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism and works to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed.” . . . .
The endorsement follows Romney’s big win in Illinois’s primary Tuesday night and adds weight to the argument he is the inevitable Republican nominee.
In his statement, Bush congratulated Romney on his Illinois victory and said it was a signal for Republicans to line up behind the former Massachusetts governor.
“Primary elections have been held in 34 states, and now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Gov. Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall,” Bush said. . . . Read More
Here is video of Luke Russert and Politico’s Jim Vandehai on MSNBC today talking about remarks by Jeb Bush criticizing the GOP Presidential field. Jeb Bush seemed to suggest the candidates are “appealing to people’s fears and emotion”:
“I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that’s kind of where we are.”
Here is audio of columnist David Brooks on NPR saying he thinks there is “a remotely possibility” that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will enter the 2012 GOP Presidential race – particularly if Newt Gingrich emerges from the early primaries as the frontrunner.
Brooks said he does not believe the Republican Party will nominate Gingrich:
“I do think the Republican Party is not going to nominate Newt Gingrich. If he emerges from the primaries, the early primaries as the front-runner, someone’s going to step in.”
Brooks and E.J. Dionne disagreed on the chances that Jon Huntsman could win in New Hampshire. Dionne thinks he could emerge strong there, while Brooks said Huntsman is just not a good campaigner – that he is always “awkward.” I have to agree with Brooks on that.
Brooks did not elaborate on how he thinks Jeb Bush or someone else could even enter the race now. Many of the filing dates to get on the ballot for the primaries has already passed. I think it is a pipedream to believe that someone could enter this race now and win. I suppose if you have a deadlocked convention – with no candidate winning a majority of delegates, you could then have a consensus candidate emerge. But that is a real longshot.
Here is video of Politico’s Jim Vandehei reporting that “GOP Elites” are not satisfied with the current field of 2012 GOP Presidential Candidates. He said many of them are urging Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to get in the race, because they don’t believe those currently running can defeat President Obama in 2012. Vandehei rated the chances Daniels will get in at “50/50,” and said if he does not, the Elites are likely to turn to GOP Rep. Paul Ryan, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
I don’t agree with the “elites.” I think several of the candidates in the current field could defeat Obama. I believe Herman Cain is one of them. But the idea of Paul Ryan getting in the race is extremely interesting!
Here is video of Florida GOP Senate Candidate Marco Rubio being asked about his view on Jeb Bush running for President. “I wish he would,” Rubio said.
When told the news that Jeb Bush said yesterday he is “not running for President,” Rubio said he respected the decision, but “of course we all secretly hope he will reconsider.” Rubio said Bush would have his support if he were to decide to run.
Here is video of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush telling reporters in Louisville that he is not running for President. A reporter asked him when he would be announcing his run, and Bush responded with, “I’m not running for President.”
Bush also said GOP U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky – Rand Paul – is a “good man,” and that he supports his bid for the Senate.
Here is video of Gov. Mike Huckabee doing a “lightning round” with Chris Wallace on his opinion about other possible 2012 GOP Candidates:
Mitt Romney – Huckabee said, “No doubt in my mind that he’s running.” He hit Romney on the “RomneyCare” Health Care Law being the “blueprint” for ObamaCare. Huckabee said Romney has the GOP establishment behind him.
Sarah Palin – Listen carefully. Wallace asked Huckabee if Palin “has the experience,” “the knowledge” to be President. Huckabee carefully said: “She’s got the fire, the energy, and I think there are a lot of Republicans who love her, would support her, and she would be a very strong presence in a Presidential primary.” Notice he did NOT affirm that Palin has the “experience” or “knowledge” to be President.
Mitch Daniels – Says he is “a big fan” of Daniels, and believes he could be one of the GOP’s most “qualified” candidates – a great manager. Huckabee did say he thinks Daniels should not try to put social issues on the backburner, because those issues energize a large percentage “of the Republican base.”
Jeb Bush – Huckabee said, “I love Jeb Bush.” If Bush decided to run, Huckabee believes he could “rise to the very top because of his sheer brilliance and his ability to communicate.”