December 3rd, 2008
01:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Jeb Bush considering Senate run

Jeb Bush may mount a bid for Senate.
Jeb Bush may mount a bid for Senate.

(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.


Filed under: Jeb Bush
soundoff (768 Responses)
  1. mightyfudge

    Twelve years of Bush Presidency, twelve years of war and economic disaster. We clearly need a Constitutional Amendment outlawing the Bush family from ever setting foot in Washington D.C. again. Just to be fair, throw in the Kennedy's as well.

    December 3, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Dexter Skagway

    How many times do conservatives need to fail with the Bush family before they realize that they will always lose with the Bush family?

    December 3, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Jozee

    In another two years, we may have forgotten how painful and catastrophic these past 8 years have been. We may not be as reluctant to elect another Bush to a public office.

    Any time we begin to feel benevolent toward any Bush on the planet, just think back to the wars, the failed economy, and the worst presidency in the history of the world. That should remind us that we never want another Bush in office-–EVER!

    December 3, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. FreeNLovIt

    We love the Bushes, but there's too much voodoo boodoo and doodoo with the name. The name just brings really bad luck. Let's rest this name in peace (RIP)

    December 3, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Buddy

    Next stop: U.S. Senate. Get ready for the stop after: U.S. President in 2012.

    December 3, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. KC in FL

    No, I'm not a fan of the Bush clan either, and had my fill of both of the brothers over the last couple of years. But despite what a lot of the pervious commentary have stated, you all did not live in Florida while Jeb was governor. You are judging a person based on his name, not on his actions as a former governor, which was WHAT SHOULD be analyzed. I thought Jeb did a good job while he was office, giving all that was handed to him. I see no problem if the man wants to run for Senate. There is no sure fire prediction that the man will actually win or not in the first place.

    December 3, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Agnes Fleming

    This truly is the day I thought I'd never see, another Bush with his eye on the White House, especially after the disaster created by the one in it currently and the nature of the presidential campaign by the first, Daddy Bush. There is another reason why I am skeptical about this Bush run on the White House: I am still suspicious about Jeb Bush's role in the Florida 2000 debacle. I do not believe there was a co-incidence or irony that the brother of the future president Bush of 2000 was governor of the State of Florida, with Katherine Harrison as his henchman/woman in this case, and that voter count came to a grinding halt. Al Gore was declared the winner of Florida early in the evening; by midnight the state went back into play, and Job Bush is George's brother. Please, folks, don't take my word for it, the issue was never investigated, so chaotic were the shenanigans in Florida surrounding that election nobody noticed or called for an inquiry. Please, the Bushes ought to stay out of politics and keep their heads low for a awhile. As a nation, we will have enough problems as it is getting over the damge of this Bush without having to face the potential of another – and karl rove. Have no fear, the carpetbagger Bushes do not run for political office without they eye on the main prize and the dynasty.

    December 3, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. mightyfudge

    Twelve years of Bush Presidency, twelve years of war and economic disaster. We clearly need a Constitutional Amendment outlawing the Bush family from ever setting foot in Washington D.C. again. Just to be fair, throw in the Kennedy's as well.

    December 3, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Dexter Skagway

    How many times do conservatives need to fail with the Bush family before they realize that they will always lose with the Bush family?

    December 3, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Agnes Fleming

    This truly is the day I thought I'd never see, another Bush with his eye on the White House, especially after the disaster created by the one in it currently and the nature of the presidential campaign by the first, Daddy Bush. There is another reason why I am skeptical about this Bush run on the White House: I am still suspicious about Jeb Bush's role in the Florida 2000 debacle. I do not believe there was a co-incidence or irony that the brother of the future president Bush of 2000 was governor of the State of Florida, with Katherine Harrison as his henchman/woman in this case, and that voter count came to a grinding halt. Al Gore was declared the winner of Florida early in the evening; by midnight the state went back into play, and Job Bush is George's brother. Please, folks, don't take my word for it, the issue was never investigated, so chaotic were the shenanigans in Florida surrounding that election nobody noticed or called for an inquiry. Please, the Bushes ought to stay out of politics and keep their heads low for a awhile. As a nation, we will have enough problems as it is getting over the damge of this Bush without having to face the potential of another – and karl rove. Have no fear, the carpetbagger Bushes do not run for political office without they eye on the main prize and the dynasty. The very thought of it makes me shudder.

    December 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Betty Webster NY

    Dang! Too many Bushes! Good ole Jeb should just forget it. His brother fixed his career for him with the "good" job he did as prez.

    December 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Anna

    Any tom dick and harry will get that. first thing i got on my mind is that younger bush will run for senate when i read the news. bush family want one more idiotic person to become president. Americans are not fools, you better get that Jeb. you better stay away from presidency, people suffered enough in your family ruling.

    December 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Jozee

    In another two years, we may have forgotten how painful and catastrophic these past 8 years have been. We may not be as reluctant to elect another Bush to a public office.

    Any time we begin to feel benevolent toward any Bush on the planet, just think back to the wars, the failed economy, and the worst presidency in the history of the world. That should remind us that we never want another Bush in office-–EVER!

    December 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. Agnes Fleming

    This truly is the day I thought I'd never see, another Bush with his eye on the White House, especially after the disaster created by the one in it currently and the nature of the presidential campaign by the first, Daddy Bush. There is another reason why I am skeptical about this Bush run on the White House: I am still suspicious about Jeb Bush's role in the Florida 2000 debacle. I do not believe there was a co-incidence or irony that the brother of the future president Bush of 2000 was governor of the State of Florida, with Katherine Harrison as his henchman/woman in this case, and that voter count came to a grinding halt. Al Gore was declared the winner of Florida early in the evening; by midnight the state went back into play, and Job Bush is George's brother. Please, folks, don't take my word for it, the issue was never investigated, so chaotic were the shenanigans in Florida surrounding that election nobody noticed or called for an inquiry. Please, the Bushes ought to stay out of politics and keep their heads low for a awhile. As a nation, we will have enough problems as it is getting over the damge of this Bush without having to face the potential of another – and karl rove. Have no fear, the carpetbagger Bushes do not run for political office without they eye on the main prize and the dynasty. The very thought of it makes me shudder.

    December 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. FreeNLovIt

    We love the Bushes, but there's too much voodoo boodoo and doodoo with the name. The name just brings really bad luck. Let's rest this name in peace (RIP)

    December 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. KC in FL

    No, I'm not a fan of the Bush clan either, and had my fill of both of the brothers over the last couple of years. But despite what a lot of the pervious commentary have stated, you all did not live in Florida while Jeb was governor. You are judging a person based on his name, not on his actions as a former governor, which was WHAT SHOULD be analyzed. I thought Jeb did a good job while he was office, giving all that was handed to him. I see no problem if the man wants to run for Senate. There is no sure fire prediction that the man will actually win or not in the first place.

    December 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Conservative James, Phoenix, AZ

    Wasn't H.W. and W. enough of a reason to stop electing members of this family?

    December 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Not This Time!

    Jeb's legacy is tied to the Bush name as well as the names Elian Gonzalez and Terry Schiavo.
    Thanks, but no thanks!

    December 3, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Jerry

    Jeb ruined Florida.. I am a "State Worker" and know we do not need anyone with his greediness and skewed view of government.

    December 3, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Jim in Asheville

    Let's not be too quick to judge an entire family by the actions of one member (whether good or bad). Jeb and George Bush are obviously two completely different people who do not march lockstep with each other. Each has different management/governing styles. Jeb Bush should be judged on his record as governor of Florida–period.

    December 3, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Tulsa

    no surprise here.

    December 3, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. Liberal Elitist from Connecticut

    You must be joking.
    Instead of electing any more Bushes, perhaps we could hold all people with Bush as their last name in detention camps (along the lines of what we did to the Japanese during WWII, or what we are doing now in Guantanamo) until we finally have undone all of Big Brother George's damage – it will take years if not decades.

    December 3, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Sierra

    Oh dear lawsy, no. Please, no.

    December 3, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. RO

    GO away, Bushes! Enough of that dynasty... how can anyone forget how Jeb got in middle of the Terri Shivo's situation...

    December 3, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. FreeNLovIt

    I rather take Palin over Bush ANYTIME!!! I hope Palin makes a RUN for it in Florida!!

    December 3, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.