(CNN) – In what appears to be his most in depth public comments regarding 2016, Jeb Bush says he's not ruling out a run for president.
And the former two-term Florida governor says he doesn't support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S
The comments come as Bush releases a new book on the issue of illegal immigration. He heads to two events over the next two weeks considered early cattle calls for Republican White House hopefuls.
Asked Monday morning on NBC's "The Today Show" if he was going to run in 2016, Bush said "that's way off in the future. I have a voice. I want to share my beliefs about how the conservative moment and the Republican Party can regain its footing, because we've lost our way."
Pressed by host Matt Lauer on whether he would not rule out a run for president in 2016, Bush answered "I won't. But I won't declare it today either."
Bush is doing television interviews this week to promote his new book "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution." At the end of this week Bush heads to Coral Gables, Florida, to meet with GOP officials and top donors at the Republican National Committee's quarterly finance meetings. Bush will join other possible 2016 GOP contenders such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Next week Bush speaks at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, a popular cattle call for Republicans considering bids for the White House. CPAC, which turns 40 this year, is the largest annual gathering of conservative leaders and activists, and it's boosted the presidential campaigns, or ambitions, of many Republican candidates. The annual CPAC GOP presidential nomination straw poll is considered a key gauge of conservative sentiment, and garners much media attention.
While most other Republicans considering 2016 runs are speaking at the conference, Christie was not invited. But Bush said it wasn't a big deal and said he's a big fan of the tough talking GOP governor of New Jersey.
"I love Christie. I think Gov. Christie is a part of the future of the Republican Party for sure, and whether he's going to CPAC or not is not really changing that."
Tuesday Bush speaks with CNN's Jake Tapper. That interview will run on CNN, including on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
Bush, the younger brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H.W. Bush, served two terms as governor of Florida, winning election in 1998 and re-election in 2002. He ruled out a run for the White House in 2012.
On the issue of immigration reform, Bush has criticized his party and has urged the GOP to embrace reform and to improve their outreach to minority voters and immigrant voters. But he says an eventual pathway to citizenship, which is supported by a bipartisan group of eight senators, would violate the rule of law. Bush, along with many other Republicans, is pushing for a path to legal permanent residency for many of the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants.
"Our proposal is a proposal that looks forward. And if we want to create an immigration policy that's going to work, we can't continue to make illegal immigration an easier path than legal immigration," said Bush. "I think it is important that there is a natural friction between our immigrant heritage and the rule of law. This is the right place, I think, to be in that sense. Not to take away people's rights."
– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
Jeb Bush's 2016 hopes are DOA
I think Jeb is as senile as Reagan and his brother.
Another Bush for President. The final nail in America's coffin.
A demographic tsunami is coming and the GOP is Fuchashima.
Another Bush in the White House...hell no!
This is better than asking Sarah Palin to be the Veep....
Better than asking the rich white guy out of touch with reality Romney.
Yes folks if you liked George Sir and Jr then you have to have the Jebster in office. This will definitely get the US into complete dismay and put the stupid back in the Capital.
So what skeletons are in this one’s background...?
The JR paid for his girlfriend abortion and snorted coke at Camp David and boozed thru the college years and military days too. Yep it’s okay though as the do as I say but not as I do rule applies to all if you’re a Bushier.
Hell no,say it ain't so!We sure as hell don't need the triology of terror in the White House.
Great news for us true tea party conservatives. He is just what we need to take us out of this mess created by the socialist Obama and his friends. I hope he runs and we can take the country back. Bush/Santorum 2016.
The comments of "not another Bush" are quite shallow. Just because Jeb is from the Bush family doesn't necessarily mean that he shares similar ideas with W. If you have evidence that Jeb is the same as W, please substantiate and educate us. It will serve everyone better than stereotypical accusations.
Sure, he should run along with any other Republican that wants to give it a shot. There is no way on Planet Earth I will vote for him or any other Republican after what we have been put through since they gained a majority in the House. Hopefully, Democrats will retake the House in 2014 and that will be end of any hope for Republican Presidential chances in 2016. Another couple of years of the nonsense we are experiencing now and the Republican brand will be hated.
What he means is, "Maybe by 2016, people will have forgotten what a loser my brother was." Sorry Charlie, your brother was unforgettably bad.
This would be good. We need a Republican candidate who can almost guarantee that the next president will be a Democrat.
Read my lips: no more Bushes.
The republican party keeps looking for plutocrats for president. Give it up.
He is out of his mind. There is no way another Bush will be in the White House. Too many bad memories, regardless of how well he may do. People won't take the chance.
It seems that every time we have a Bush as president we have a war and economic catastrophe, not to mention all the repressive stupid ideas they bring to the table like George the First saying that Americans should use their credit cards to get through the recession.
Best thing for dems. if he did run.
Name will turn off many to just stay home no matter what.
Already had a Bush; and a Shrub, what's next? Presidents roots? No, Jeb! Don't need or want another! Go home. Stay home. Let some other Republikook be embarassed at the poles! Maybe our Alaskan Commander-in-(Fantasy) could make a run? After the sequester debacle and the "non budget", I sure could use a few laughs! I'd love to find out if she can still see Russia from her house! And if as the ex-Gov, she still has the power to order up a first stike against those pesky Ruskies!
Jeb, go hide in the bushesss....HELL NO>