December 3rd, 2008
01:55 PM ET
6 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. Mark, TX

    No more Bushes. Their legacy have not been helpful to America and Americans. This is the time to tell them "Not Any More".

    December 3, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Sharon Kitchen

    Well...........say it aint' so jeb...............Palin has other ideas...........as was seen by the way she answered the questions from the gov. meeting. So...........she can see jeb from her back door.........
    and he is a bush...........wonder what will happen if further invest keep the bushy name in print?
    Just another attempt to get folks to look away from all the positive happenings around the Obamas.
    Won't work.

    December 3, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. GOP Campaign Strategy

    He could win, but he needs to make sure Sarah Palin does not campaign for him, or maybe he should have her campaign for him, too confusing to fully understand ,are we headed for Spongebob for a senate seat, makes about as much sense as anything else that has happened in the past 8 years.

    December 3, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Kathy in Indiana

    Oh for Pete's sake – can't these Bush jerks just go away?

    Enough!!

    December 3, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Matthew, Keller, TX

    Great! I love President George W. Bush! He would make a great Senator!! As far as being tired of the Bushes? Give me a break, this nation has had to endour too many of the Kennedy decades! The Bush Dynasty lives on!!!

    Bush/Palin 2012!

    December 3, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Florida Native

    Jebb, we Floridians set back helpless as hell and watch you and your chronies steal an election in 2004 for your brother! and look what he did to the whole world! Please continue to stay out of the Political Arena! The Bush legacy is over for Florida! The Old South is dead! Change has come to Florida.....and we will show you better than we can tell you! Ask John McCain!
    A message to Charlie Christ; Get your act together or your rear is out too!

    December 3, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. r sisk, nevada

    Read the first line of this post. United Sates Senate. That's a bushism. Let's hope George W. ruined any hope of another Bush in public office.

    December 3, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. Almost the end of THE error!

    Just what this country needs...another Bush. The entire world has lost respect for our country due to this family. Please run, so we can have the chance to say, "thanks but NO thanks!" Then maybe the entire family will retire.

    December 3, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    Please no more voodoo, boodoo and doodoo. The Bush name brings bad luck to America.

    December 3, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. GOP Campaign Strategy

    He could win, but he needs to make sure Sarah Palin does not campaign for him, or maybe he should have her campaign for him, too confusing to fully understand ,are we headed for Spongebob for a senate seat, makes about as much sense as anything else that has happened in the past 8 years.

    December 3, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. FreeNLovIt

    Palin please run for Senator of Florida

    December 3, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Sheryl

    Oh please lord no!!!!

    December 3, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. Michael ATL GA

    We just re-elected Chambliss despite his sheer ineptness. I'm sure Jeb will win handily.
    There is a segment of this population that just doesn't get it, and they are quite a majority. People get leaders they deserve. Good luck floridians.

    December 3, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Southern resident

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! We've had enough "Bush-whacking."

    December 3, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Kpawlak

    You are all so predictable.

    December 3, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. Adrian Veidt

    Wow... did this election somehow *not* prove that Americans are sick and tired of the Bushes?

    December 3, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Rush Lameduck

    Just when you thought you had the smell of limburger cheese out of your car.

    December 3, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  18. Don in FL

    There are alot of people that HATE the Bush's. I am not a fan of W or his father. With that being said I would vote for Jeb for Senate. He is not like his brother or father. He is a good man who did great things for Florida. He left with a high approval rating, what more can you say.

    For the record, I am an independent originally from NY. I can see why there would be a lot of negativity from outside Florida about this. The best thing for Jeb to do is to keep W from campaigning on his behalf.

    December 3, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  19. Roger

    While I have no doubt that Jeb Bush is certainly no carbon copy of his brother and certainly possess more "intellectual curiosity" than George, I hasten to say this country has had enough Bush's in a place of power to last a generation. The Senate may be a good place for Jeb Bush but the White House, I think not!

    December 3, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. NR MD

    No more Bushes for even High school PTAs. Don't we have better people in America?

    December 3, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. FL for Obama

    One word...NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that's coming from a native Floridian, born and raised here.

    December 3, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. Gaylon Barrow

    Not again. I can see it in the clouds. Another Bush along the trail toward the Presidency. Don't nobody get in the way. Remember his Pa is an old CIA man. He can make changes. Air National Guard records, Florida Vote count. Don't let it get that far. SAY NO TO JEB BUSH.

    December 3, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. Palin Fan

    That's a winner! By 2010, Bush's approval rating will be higher than Obama's.

    December 3, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Southern resident

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooo! We've been "Bush-whacked" enough!

    December 3, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. Johnny5bears

    Hey Andy H., Get it right Gore and his folks took it to the Supreme Court, in 2000, and they stopped the recount. Facts are fact Andy. Democrat that voted for Gore, and Jeb. And would vote for Jeb as a senator as well. And if your not in Florida, worry about your Senators, not ours.

    December 3, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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