February 17th, 2010
10:22 AM ET
5 years ago

Bush on Rubio: Who's he?

Rubio is battling Charlie Crist for the Florida Senate nomination.
Rubio is battling Charlie Crist for the Florida Senate nomination.

(CNN) – It appears former President George W. Bush isn't following the Senate Republican primary in Florida as closely as many members of his party.

Bush, appearing at the Naples Town Hall Distinguished Speaker Series on Tuesday, joked that he had never heard of Marco Rubio.

Rubio, of course, is the former Florida House Speaker and conservative favorite who recent polls suggest is locked in a tight race with Gov. Charlie Crist.

"Who the hell is Marco Rubio?" Bush said when asked about his thoughts on the election, according to local television station WINK.

Bush appeared to be joking, the station reported.

A spokesman for Bush told CNN the former president "of course knows who Marco Rubio is."

" He knows him, and he respects him," Spokesman David Sherzer said. "For anyone to use this quote out of context is a shame."

Jeb Bush, the ex-Florida governor and brother of the former president, also took part in the town hall event and said he is not taking sides in the divisive Senate primary.

While the national party quickly lined up behind Crist's candidacy last year, Rubio has won support from a steady stream of conservatives, most recently from  Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

Rubio heads to Washington later this week for a series of fundraisers and an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Committee.


Filed under: Marco Rubio • President Bush
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Stacie

    Ah, the dubya stories return...he, he, he!

    February 17, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Bush is no longer involved in the GOP, to the extent he once was.

    February 17, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Spoken like a true Texan Dubya. Don't follow politics and work on your Haiti relief efforts. It's still too early for you to make public comments.

    February 17, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  4. Hugo

    Who cares who he is, here in Florida we know who Charlie Crist is and that is enough to vote Rubio! I would like to say also that I did not care for John Murtha's politics but I learned recently that he was indeed a Hero that served his Nation in a time of need. Two purple hearts and the combat medal of valor during his deployment in Vietnam. Sorry for doubting you John, once a Marine always a Marine, 58,000 of your fellow troopers from all branches have prepared the way!

    February 17, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  5. Who said the Mayans were wrong?

    Rubio is a puppet for Grover Norquist,the greatest enemy America has ever faced.He is a greater threat to our freedom than than Bin Laden.He has undermined this country for years in the name of tax reform but his true intentions are much darker than that.

    February 17, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Liberal wing nut

    The tea party has fiscal responsibility values that if the gop doesn't get on board with they are out!

    February 17, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    No....duh duh Duhbya really DID NOT know who he is. Since leaving office and giving the world a break from his inane blather, Simple Simon is happy to stay in Texas whittlin' on the front porch, Shootin for some food, and choppin wood while wifey Laura bakes cookies, makes tea and coffee, and serves her man just like a good Republican wife should

    February 17, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. AJ

    Bush has more than likely been drunk for the past year so how could he follow anything?

    February 17, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. Andy

    Maybe Bush needs Obama's telepromter.

    February 17, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. inofritzn

    Another misleading story by the brain trust at CNN. How about ONE article about climate-gate, Phil Jones.. Not news that there may have NO global warming since 1995>???

    February 17, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Bob in Pa

    Technically thats the way it should be. This a s state issue, not a national one.

    February 17, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Conservative Voice

    CNN has put this here for the liberals to spew bile and hatred....George W. has made it clear that he is retired from politics. He has shown good manners not to badmouth anyone. Let's see what the liberals come up with.....

    February 17, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. Chad from Tampa

    I was at that event, GW was clearly joking. No wonder CNN has a few people watching them with these type of misleading headlines.

    February 17, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  14. Sniffit

    I'm pretty sure the Bushtard doesn't "follow" anything that isn't spoon fed to him while he's sitting in the providerbial political highchair wearing a bib that says "For Sale."

    February 17, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. SM

    "W" you are classic and not following each and every event which is going on. Leave it with the media, as the follow everything even people who have no any title like Sarah Palin!

    February 17, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. Ben in Texas

    Bush may not remember Rubio, but we all remember eight years of crime and greed under Bush and Cheney, and we will never forget.

    Now would be a good time for the right wingers around here to cleanse their souls and admit the Bush/Cheney crime spree. Real Americans could begin to forgive the right for its unflagging support of these traitors if they would admit what they've done. As long as the wingnuts defend their support of Bush/Cheney, while they raped the Constitution, weakened America and destroyed the middle class, they marginalize themselves on the outer fringes of society and make all their opinions moot.

    February 17, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. Charlie in Maine

    Dearest George, I've got good news for you. This next crop of Republicans are going to make you look like s genius by contrast. Thank God for the bell curve cause you are on it pal and every time they speak you get pushed towards the middle.

    Oh and to all my liberal friends convinced that George W was the worst possible, you aint seen nothin yet.

    February 17, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. Justen in Florida

    So Bush isn't paying anymore attention to politics, who cares?

    At least his presidency wasn't currupt, like Clinton (bad) or Obama (worse than bad).

    February 17, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Avg Guy in Red State Kansas

    Bush? Who's he?

    February 17, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. jules sand-perkins

    Former President George W. Bush is nobody's dumb guy. As when he was smart enough to pretend that he co
    uldn't pronounce "nuclear," to appeal to some group of voters he wanted, he was putting reporters on by feigning ignorance of Rubio and using the H-word.
    Bush is enjoying his retirement. Don't forget that we elected the last POTUS to two terms.

    February 17, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    I forgot to mention that he is a cabana boy to health insurance, big oil, and big banks. He will fit right in with the rest of the republicans in the senate.

    February 17, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. Jon

    I would prefer George Bush not to silent anymore. He should slam the Obama administration and its policies in the exact same manners Obama treats him during last 3 years. Obama never stops in a single minute to criticize Bush in order to cover his real. Bush is just too class and too gentleman. Yes, "Miss me yet"?

    February 17, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. Bo

    CNN... there's a video on it...

    BUSH WAS OBVIOUSLY JOKING. BE A DECENT NEWS SOURCE AND DO YOUR INVESTIGATING BEFORE YOU REPORT THINGS.

    "Bush appeared to be joking." No kidding. Watch the video... he was using sarcasm... yall are so biased.

    February 17, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. harvey

    Marco Boobio: no stimulus, no jobs, no taxes, no right to privacy, no abortion, lots of guns so the people without money and jobs and too many mouths to feed can shoot each other. Great solutions for the problems in our country.

    February 17, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. Anonymous

    He is probably using the Palin current events coach.

    February 17, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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