(CNN) – As former President George W. Bush and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin compete for book sales, a slight war of words has flared up between the two sides. Barbara Bush said Palin should "stay in Alaska," with Palin responding that the Bushes are "blue-bloods."
Now Bush's brother is jumping into the mix: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says Palin has "incredible skill" but sides with his mother in the debate.
In an interview with right-of-center Newsmax, former Florida Governor Bush said Palin is skilled at turning media critiques into a positive for her. "She's managed to figure out how to deal with this almost irrational displeasure of her," said Bush. "She turns it into a huge political strength."
But in the wake of Palin's disagreement with Barbara Bush, "I've got to go with my mom, just in general, because she's my mother," said Bush. "I think it's way too early to be speculating about who's on first in the political process." (He also said he's a "big Mitt Romney fan.")
The former Governors have generally held each other in high regard publicly. During an October campaign rally speech in Florida, Palin praised "native son" Bush while also speaking positively about his brother. One reason for the camaraderie could be the fact that, despite former Pres. Bush's hope otherwise, Jeb confirmed in July he would not be running for President in 2012.
In the Newsmax interview, Jeb Bush had harsh words for soon-to-be former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who he said "abandoned" the Republican Party. Bush said Crist was "not welcome" to come back to the GOP, but did predict he would run again in some capacity.
The fact that Jeb Bush will not be running for President could prove to make him a valuable commodity as a media commentator in 2011 as the race heats up. It is a crowded GOP field of potential candidates (five of which work for Fox News), and finding what could be seen as an unbiased Republican voice will be hard to find. With his brother refusing to weigh in on the political scene, Jeb Bush's positive words, and eventual endorsement, will be a sought-after campaign booster.