Jeb Bush to Romney: Stay above the fray
April 20th, 2012
02:01 PM ET
3 years ago

Jeb Bush to Romney: Stay above the fray

(CNN) - Jeb Bush, whose endorsement of Mitt Romney helped secure the candidate as the all-but-certain GOP nominee, said an interview Romney should avoid the urge to wage a negative campaign. The popular former Florida governor also offered up his pick for Romney's running mate, and said he'd consider a spot on the GOP ticket if asked.

"I think Mitt needs to stay above the fray a bit, and to offer a hopeful message that can lift people's spirits up," Bush said in an interview this week with the conservative website Newsmax. Video of the interview was posted on Newsmax's website.

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Bush said American voters have had their fill of nasty campaigns after a blistering GOP primary process.

"After the end of this four or five months of really negative campaigning I think people are going to be motivated by a more positive message," Bush said, adding that he believed personal attacks should stay out of the campaign.

"I don't think we need to demonize the president," Bush said. "I know a lot of people when my brother was president spent a lot of energy trying to demonize a good honorable man."

"That's not what campaigns ought to be about," he added.

Bush served as Florida's governor from 1999-2007, and is the son of former President George H.W. Bush. His brother is former President George W. Bush.

Jeb Bush was considered a favorite to jump into the 2012 GOP contest, but stated firmly in May 2011 he would not be a candidate for his party's presidential nomination. He declined to endorse a candidate ahead of Florida's January 31 primary, saying he wanted to allow a candidate to "earn" his victory in the state.

Jeb Bush's name is often mentioned as a potential running mate for Romney, though the former Florida governor downplayed any speculation in the interview.

"Well I'd consider it," Bush said of joining a GOP presidential ticket. "I doubt I'll get a call, and I don't know if it's the right thing for me to do. I didn't run for president for a similar kind of reason, so I'm all in to try to help him get elected."

Bush did, once again, offer up another name as a strong choice for Romney's running mate – the junior senator from his state, Marco Rubio.

"Well I can't speak for Gov. Romney, and I can't speak for Sen. Rubio, but if I was on both sides of that conversation I would ask – and I would hope - that Marco would accept," Bush said.

Bush said he thought "the combination would be extraordinary" between Romney and Rubio. Last month Bush also hailed Rubio as a strong vice presidential pick, saying the tea party favorite was "the best orator of American politics today, a good family man."

Rubio has consistently indicated he would turn down a spot on the GOP ticket if asked.

Also see:

Romney releases March fundraising figures

Paul campaign touts campaign cash

RNC looks to Facebook for political edge

Biden says Democrats have chance in Arizona


Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Jeb Bush • Mitt Romney
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. harvey 60

    Rubio is a crook. He paid his American Express bill with campaign funds and was never charged. Bush is another Republican offspring living on Daddy's success. Oh, he signed the Florida Stand Your Ground bill into law.

    April 20, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Victor

    It should be pretty easy to not act like our classless President who seems to revel in trashing other Americans. I have never seen a President stoop so low.

    April 20, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Indy

    The Real Truth and Nothing
    I have never heard Obama rant or rave, but if you have some proof of that happening I would love to check it out. I totally agree with you that Romney should talk about solutions rather than stalking the President around the country and then making up stories after every speech the President of the United States makes. I agree with you that Romney should finally start to offer solutions rather then just say he is going to fix everything.If Romney has real solutions now would be a great time to talk about them in detail with a clear focus on how and when he would implement the solutions and exactly how the success will be measured.

    April 20, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Peace

    Two people today (Gov. Mitch Daniel & Jeb Bush) are openly warning Romney on his negative campaign. What a losing strategy!

    April 20, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Tyrone

    @ Carlos WORD!!!

    April 20, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Good advice, but it's a little bit late there, Jeb. Romney is already in it. He got into it just by joining the 2012 field. That's why you, and a few other folks with some smarts, stayed out of the race.

    You knew that the Tea Party was looking for someone to "be the beast" to tear through Obama's political guts. It was all too obvious to see. The front runner was always the rudest, most obnoxious and offensive voice out there. Romney is committed to serving up the red meat whether he wants to or not, whether he's capable or not. He's committed to doing it.

    April 20, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Willis

    Yo Jeb, you dont wanna join da Bishops Slogan of EVERYTHING SUCKS & EVERYTHING BLOWS???

    April 20, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Willis

    Why do both Bishop Romney & Jeb feel so special that they pay less than half the taxes as the middle class? What uo with that. Raise Their Sh-T!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 20, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Look people.... there is no such thing as "negative ads" when it comes to Obama's record. There are accurate descriptions of his last 4 years in office. The fact that he or you view them negatively is because of the negative results he has achieved. Had he actually accomplished something postive, he could point to it. But at this point many Democrats are running as fast as they can from Obama and his record of failure. You can't blame that on anybody but Obama.

    April 20, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    "your mittsy has no solutions, just look what he did to his poor dog, sickening to say the least."
    ------
    at least he didn't bring it anywhere near a barbecue.

    April 20, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "Obama looks horribly unpresidential when he goes into his rants and raves thaqt divide the country. "

    LOL! The stupid is strong with this one. Notice the glaring lack of examples.

    April 20, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "And AGAIN, the American people, in the bluest of blue states, freely chose to STOP the Obama and the Democrats any way they could, which meant electing a Republican to a seat the Democrats had held for decades.

    Do all you lefty loons begin to see how badly the American people want the Democrats OUT OF DC?!! Obama, Reid and Pelosi are even too far left for Massachusetts lefties!! OUCH!!!"

    Umm. that's an interesting theory; do you have any facts to back it up? The general view of that election is that Coakley did a horrible job, not that the vote was a referendum on the parties.

    April 20, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. FLIndependent

    "Obama looks horribly unpresidential when he goes into his rants and raves thaqt divide the country. Romney should focus on the solutions to all the problems Obama has caused."
    ____________________
    Statements like these just crack me up! When has President Obama ever ranted and raved – he is always calm, cool and collected. I really don't know what you people see but you must be living on another planet. Oh, that's right, you get all your "news" from Fox with it's cherry-picked soundbites. Also, I guess the Obama supporters will have to start calling Romney, "the Repub's Messiah" since you honestly think he's going to solve our economic issues and bring jobs back to the US and also start another war while cutting taxes. Talk about being naive.

    April 20, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. DC

    Well Jeb, nice talk from someone who just about lost Florida (actually you did until the Supreme Court came through for you) in 2000 for your brother. This comes from a guy who handed the reigns of Governor of Florida to the biggest idiot on this side of the earth.

    Back to reality. As an independent voter let me tell you what I want to hear out of Mitt Romney's mouth. Admit that he is rich and he is going to do everything possible when he is elected president to give everyone in America a chance to get to the same place he is. Then outline how he is going to accomplish that very path. Nothing more, nothing less. I was a Reagan republican and that is what he did. Look at his speeches when he ran for president. No fancy talk and tearing down the opponent. Just straight talk about what he was going to do for Americans. Clinton did it and got elected and so did Reagan. Mitt has not done it yet and yelling from the rafters at a plant that has been closed down since 2008 (when Bush was president) and blaming it on Obama is not going to get him elected. The American people are not stupid. They know the Saudi Arabian investors who own National Gypsum are not going to reopen a plant that has been closed since 2008 even if the economy is going great. So Mitt, you need to fire the advisor(s) who thought that photo op and speech was a good idea immediately and find someone else.

    April 20, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. B

    Romney IS most of the Fray Mr. Bush... and he isn’t above it at all.

    April 20, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    Stay above it? HE started it and continues to be the most active hater out there. Go home to Mommy, idiot jr.

    April 20, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. Bob

    Jeb? The one who's wife smuggles jewelry thorugh customs, and has a drug addicted criminal daughter?

    Get real.

    April 20, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. thomas

    IF Romney is elected is it true lacrosse will be are National Sport ?

    Romney is Bush , the Sequal !

    April 20, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. NOvember 2012

    good advice Jeb...obama don't need any help...he has cooked his goose and will continue to do so. He has a personality disorder (narcissism) and can not help himself...thin skinned and a huge ego... and a Marxist to boot!

    April 20, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    The Truth wrote:

    ...And AGAIN, the American people, in the bluest of blue states, freely chose to STOP the Obama and the Democrats any way they could, which meant electing a Republican to a seat the Democrats had held for decades.
    -----------------
    BTW, the two year 60 seat majority never really existed. That count included Joe Lieberman, who was against Obama during the campaigns. You also have to substract the late Sen. Kennedy, and add Sen. Brown who took over one year after Obama was sworn in. Republicans have successfully launched and sustained Senate filibusters almost since day one.

    So, the Tea Party *was* abot to "Stop the Obama and the Democrats" in any and every legislative way. So, all of the economic policies that we have seen have not been Obama's because the Tea Party has stopped him.

    April 20, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    Considering that flip flopper can't run on ideas or solutions all he has left is character mudnslinging.
    Fortunately the President has done enough without the help of the teapublikan congress and could do more with a Democratic majority. This from the governor who signed the stand your ground in Florida.
    Thenflip,flopper's negative ads before the MD elections were comical if you knew what big lies they were and this was just against sanatorium andnthdn a few against the President.
    Let's face it the party of he ll no has allowed itself to be taken ofer by the extreme crazies and it's going to be hard, if not impossible, to get back to what and where they were when their elder members only purpose is to make our president a one term president not caring one iota what happens to our country and its citizens.

    April 20, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. kate

    OBAMA 2012. Don't let the Repub. to continue robbing the middle class!

    April 20, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Malory Archer

    Malory Archer to jebbo: Too late! He's already gone after the Obama children – after whining that families are off-limits.

    April 20, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Malory Archer

    Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    Sounds like Jeb is subtly advising Flipper Rmoney to stop sucking up to insane lunatic bigots like Trump and Nugent.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Actually he's saying let the surrogates such as orange man & cowardly poopy pants do the dirty work for you – just like jebbo's brother did in '00.

    April 20, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. Diana

    The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Sniffit – Actually, they only had it for a very short time in 2010 because of the election of the Brown Clown.
    =================================================================================
    And AGAIN, the American people, in the bluest of blue states, freely chose to STOP the Obama and the Democrats any way they could, which meant electing a Republican to a seat the Democrats had held for decades.

    Do all you lefty loons begin to see how badly the American people want the Democrats OUT OF DC?!! Obama, Reid and Pelosi are even too far left for Massachusetts lefties!! OUCH!!!

    ******
    I think MA has come to it's sense and will vote Brown out and Warren in. Then what is your theory?

    April 20, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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