(CNN) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is considering a bid for the United Sates Senate, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos told CNN Tuesday.
Republicans are urging Bush, the president's younger brother, to strongly consider making a bid for the seat currently held by outgoing Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. The first term senator announced Tuesday he would not run for reelection, setting off what's sure to be one of the most hotly-contested Senate battles in 2010.
Bush, who served as Florida governor from 1999 until 2007 and enjoyed high approval ratings, will take the next month to consider getting into the race, Castellanos said on CNN's The Situation Room. Castellanos is a CNN contributor. Bush also told the Politico he is "considering" getting into the race.
Should Bush decide to run, his presence would add immediate star power to a race Democrats are likely to make their top target in 2010. But the former governor, who has largely remained out of the spotlight over the last two years, could be hindered by his close association with the unpopular outgoing president.
"Let me give him some free advice," Paul Begala, a CNN contributor, said. "Change your name. Run as John Ellis not John Ellis Bush. The Bush brand is probably what croaked Mel Martinez."
According to Florida exit polls on Election Day, just 9 percent of Floridians approve of President Bush’s job performance. But Jeb Bush left office in 2007 with approval ratings well over 60 percent, a sign he could be insulated in the state from his brother's unpopularity.
Since exiting the governor's office, Bush has served on the board of Tenet Healthcare Corporation. He also joined the now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2007 as an adviser to its private equity business.
Bush endorsed McCain's presidential bid last February, though rarely campaigned on his behalf.
According to published reports, Democrats view Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer, as the candidate best positioned to run for the seat. Before Martinez's announcement Sink suggested she was uninterested in the run, but it's likely she now may reconsider.
Democrats are also considering Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a high-profile supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton's bid, though Schultz's congressional spokesman said it is unlikely she will run. Other Democrats mentioned include Reps. Kendrick Meek and Allen Boyd.
On the Republican side, Reps. Vern Buchanan and Connie Mack are said to be interested, as well as several GOP state officials.
I honestly think this guy is smart like his father. It goes to show that siblings are never the same in many ways.
I have had all I can stand of the Bush family.
I am tired of all the "dynasties" – Bush, Clinton, etc.... relatives should be discouraged from running...
Paul Begala looks and speaks like Gollum...
The tax payers of America just gave a blank check for 700 billion to unknown banks and you worry about this trivia?
Four words: HELL TO THE NAW!!!!!!!!
With his experience I think he will make great Sentor and I think Jeb Bush will be a sentor that votes!!
GOD HELP US, I LIVE IN FLORIDA & WHAT JEB DID TO THIS STATE (ALTHOUGH NOT AS BAD AS HIS OTHER TWO BROTHERS) IS CRIMINAL. HE HAS MADE A DISASTER OF THE MEDICAID PROGRAM AND HIS COUSINS FCAT TEST (THAT JEB FAILED) HAS THE SCHOOLS IN A MAJOR DISASTER. NO ONE IS BETTER OFF NOW THEN BEFORE THAN BEFORE HE TOOK OFFICE. HOPEFULLY THE PEOPLE WON'T VOTE FOR ANY REPUBLICANS TO REPRESENT US AGAIN. TOO BAD MOST PEOPLE DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO THEIR STATE OFFICIALS WHEN THEY VOTE SO WE CAN OVERTURN THE STRONG HOLD ON OUR STATE OFFICES.
Terrible Governor. The new guy Christ did more to help the average guy in 6 months, then Jebbie did in 8. Before he left office, he gave billions back to his corporate buddies , and the state is suffering a deficit. Did nothing about the High property tax and homeowners insurance rates (Christ fixed those right away). Another incompetent, Bush!!
BUSH –like a rock, only dumber
I sincerely hope not?
Is this family going to destroy our country or what?
I grew up in Florida and went to school while Jeb was in office. He did everything he possibly could to RUIN education in Florida. I will NOT be voting for him.
Awesome... do it, Jeb!
Unlike the Kennedy's service doesn't mean a whole lot to the Bushes. They just want the power. They get in power and then give it away to any greedy opportunist who is man enough to take it (Cheney).
I don't trust the Bushes. George Sr. is a nice man who needed to retire along with Reagan. George W. is an idiot who was way over his head. Jeb Bush is an opportunist who will ride the name for all it's worth, which isn't a lot these day.
We have to be stuck on stupid to give any Bush ANY office. Haven't we suffered enough?
To those of you insisting on judging Jeb Bush on his record, let's begin with the skyrocketed cost of education in Florida, the property tax outrageous increases and the property insurance debacle we continue to live withdown here. We can end with his interference with the Terry Schiavo case and suspect collaberation pertaining to the general election. Judge fairly – not by party – and you'll see that his "record" is nothing to write home about.
I cannot believe the IDIOTS who still say the republicans stole the election in 2000. How about they stopped the democrats from stealing it in 2000 by not allowing the recount to only happen in democratic counties!
Get you facts straight people. But again, I guess someone in the democratic party has to actually tell you to believe the facts before you actually can do it on your own.
What sheep you all are!!!!!!
Haven't we learned from the first two? "Read my lips NO new Bush's!"
I voted for Obama and despite my deep disdain for Bush, I have heard of no faults of Jeb. In fact I wouldve rather had Jeb then George anyday. I wouldn't vote for him as president, however I wouldn't be so heartbroken if he was elected a senator.
There are just enough idiots out there who will vote for this moron. Enough is enough. Surely there are others who can be elected and provide a service for the people. I think the Bushes have depleated their brainpower.
AP in AUrora-No need to worry, the Peach State brain cramp is not necessarily representative of the rest of the Great Republic. I lived in Augusta for 3 years and have concluded that if the nation were a dog, GA and SC would be the rearmost parts, and I'm not talkin' about the tail and hocks, 'neither.
President of Pakistan hopefully.
We had a recession when the first Bush was in office, and we have had a recession now with the second Bush in office, haven't the Bushes made this country suffer enough? This family has brought this country to its knees, and they claim they love this country, I would hate to see what they would do if they hated this country? P.S. Please refrain from telling me that he is different from his brother, people already used that line for the current genius in office that he was different from his dad, and look what happened?
NO, NO, NO, please, God, NO....
If he runs I hope the people of FL elect anybody else by a wide margin. Send the Bush family the message that that are not wanted in politics anymore. Look what they have done to this great Country.
I guess it has to be Clintons or Bushes. Have we come to that ?