(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.
Lying is the mother of all corruption
Nice try to all you Bush followers!!! Been there, done that!!!
Feel the exact same way about the Clintons !!! At least George W. wouldn't be back in the White House like Bill would be – and "What difference does it make!!" Hilary? Look in your own backyard.
Jeb Bush should not even dare to think for a minute running in 2016. He can not survive different Ads which will come against him. There are a lot of material to be used against him. From hanging chads, get connected to what his brother did e.g. Iraq war, dismantling the economy etc. etc. All these will bring back all bad memories which people tend to forget a little bit at this moment.
PLEASE, we have had two Bush losers. We do not need another one.
Wake up voters.
Really the guy who fixed is brothers elections is thinking about running?
If another Bush "wins" the presidency, there is clearly no god.
Hope he runs. Will be hilarious to hear him twisting in the wind to explain how his incompetent brother really was a great President. Pass the popcorn.
Bush vs. Clinton AGAIN?????
I'd like to hear more about Jeb Bush and his positions. To me, he has appeared to be an intelligent man, conservative and patriotic but moderately so – not a far right wing wacko.
does the name Terri Schiavo ring a bell????? Jethro stuck his nose where it don't belong and thankfully was put in his place. He is a right wing wacko as long as he takes his orders from the american taliban
No matter how talented he may be, he will never convince the Country to elect another Bush.
Donna, where to start, so bush was good for the economy, and he started a war that killed over four thousand, and tens of thousands more wounded?, and that war had absoolutely nothing to do with our deficit?, now you know how foolish that sounds? bad, real bad, im no obama fan, but to demand heads roll over banghazi, and ignore the whole iraq and afghanastan wars, idiotic at best, you have no merit,
America simply could not be so stupid as to entertain the notion of another Bush in the White House! Seriously, funny...
Why would anyone vote for a Bush. This hypocrite failed family. He needs to tell his brother that he and the whole family should pay the 1 trillion dollar debt we have thanks to the failed war and war of choice in Iraq. Since Jeb is a Catholic let him explain why the Catholic Church denounced the Ryan budget as immoral.
And how about having the scotus, deciding to allow repubs to enact voting fraud, nice stratagy, ill put myself on the never to vote republican agian list, changing laws to suit their agenda is the new repblican motto, vote them out while you still can
Another Bush?? P-uke!!
Why not just elect Neil Bush if you're interested in collapsing the economy. Skip the intermediate, Jeb Bush step...
Golly those Bush leaguers guys know the economy...
Libs fear Bushs
I have no ill will to the past Bush's but let's get this straight. #1 was voted out of office for the second term, #2 destroyed a great economy, took 1020 vacation days, more than any other president in history, etc.....
Just say NO to more bush !
No, No freaken way!
I wouldn't mind seeing Jeb Bush run. I'm a Democrat and a Clinton / Obama supporter but I do wish for a more balanced opposition party. And Jeb for all the things I may disagree with – is reasonably intelligent and conscious of the need to compromise.
I long for the day when the Northeast Republican wing of William F Buckley returns! And Jeb Bush ain't it, but we have to start somewhere.
Thanks, but no thanks! The bush clan is nothing but a bunch of thieving, warmongering low lives, and the vast majority of our current financial situation can be laid directly at their feet. A third bush in the WH would be the final nail in America, both finanically and morally.
A lot of people still have not forgotten the problem with vote counting in Florida when George was running... I still question that the situation was on the up and up!! Not only that but it seems very unlikely that the voters are going to put not one........ not.two,..........,,but THREE Bushes in the White House????
"Romney had some real milk toast idiots for spokesmen"
No, Donna, Romney WAS the milk toast idiot. The guy was on virtually every side of every issue depending on the audience and the day. Mitt lost because of Mitt, noone else.
Not another Bush.
Doesn't anyone remember Neil Bush running Silverado S&L into bankruptcy while enriching himself back in the 80s.
Do we really need another thief in the White House??
Mitt Romney lost, get over it. He forgot that if you are a leader of the free world then you are responsible for 100% of your people. I still remember that 47% statement. So you can call the President has many names has you wish, but he ran a great race and won it going away. Wake up and smell the coffee. The election is over you bimbo.