Jeb Bush opens up about White House bid
March 4th, 2013
12:01 PM ET
2 years ago

Jeb Bush opens up about White House bid

(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.


Filed under: 2016 • Jeb Bush
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Roy

    Please not another Bush in the White House the previous two have screwed up the country bad enough.

    March 4, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Mike

    Really?Another Bush? Why in God's name would the American people even consider voting for this man? As if the country didn't lean from the first two. All we'll get from this one is the same stuff we got from the other two: Economic decline and failed policies. He brings nothing new to the table.

    March 4, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. boyamidumb

    Grandpa supported the Nazis. Dad was head of CIA an made a deal with Putin to take down both governments and put them into the hands of the plutocrats. Mom's family had even better connections.

    He will likely be "elected" because the power has been totally taken from "we the people" and no one seems willing to do what it will take to get it back.

    Sound like a novel? It's not.

    March 4, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. ghostriter

    Republicans just aren't paying attention.

    Jeb has a glaring weakness......he takes the immigration issue off the table. As it stands, republican hopefuls all have some baggage that will hurt them big time. In the primaries and the gen election.

    Jeb also said not totally evil and mean hearted things about democrats. Clearly a RINO.

    March 4, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Ken C

    Just Google Florida 2000 Presidential Election. Nuf said.

    March 4, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. Dan

    Jeb was for a pathway to citizenship before he was against it.

    President Reagan would never win the Republican nomination today.
    1) President Reagan raised taxes on multiple occasions. For example, Reagan made Mitt Romney's capital gains tax rate taxed as ordinary income. If this were still in effect, Mitt Romney would pay a 35% instead of 13.9%. That's right, President Reagan signed legislation making Romney pay a higher tax rate than his secretary.
    2) President Reagan supported and signed legislation providing a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.

    March 4, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Thomas

    No Thanks , were still getting over the last Bush .

    March 4, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. gregory21

    Maybe he'll pick sara as his mate. Dems. can't loose.

    March 4, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Anne

    I don't think I could stand another Bush as president. On the other hand, that WOULD be the third one.

    March 4, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    sooo hilarious to see all the lefty koolaide drinkers denying the reality of the 2000 election. bush won by any count and recount that was taken. get over it and start worying about your failure in the whitehouse. 4 plus years later, still record unemployment, record debt, record deficits, record food stamp recipients, and what has obama got but excuses and finger pointing? ground hog predicts 4 more years of obama jobs winter. enjoy america. you voted for it.
    **************
    Yes American did vote to get out of the ditch the Crawford idiot put us in. Its amazing to watch anyone defend the Bush years as some kind of Golden Age: it was missed opportunity after missed opportunity, and the Right does not get it. They have been rejected as thoroughly as the GOP was after 1929. Keep thinking we are sore about 2000: it exposed the Right for the lie and the liars they are.

    March 4, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. calvin

    Yes, Jeb, PLEASE run in 2016. That will guarantee that we'll have another democratic President in the WH. NOBODY wants another Bush after your incompetent brother (worst President in US history) ruined the country.

    March 4, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. Mac

    Better than what we have now.

    March 4, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. nu2okc

    looks like everyone here voted for the guy we have now who has out spent the previous presidents... and since he wants to give 11 million illegals to the system.. I think I'll just quit working and collect your tax dollars. how long will you feed me and my kids..for generations like we have been doing? heck I am allset got my 65 inch TV, new car, new cell phones for the kids.. I like it when you pay me not to work

    March 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Sarah

    I don't think we will get a third Bush. No one could be worse than the Narcissist and Chief. The country could not take another 4-8 years of ridiculous spending and cellar dwellar job creation. Whoever it is will have to clean up after Obamanation. Some of us thought he would clean up after Bush's last four years but evidently that is a pipe dream. You know its sad when Bush's job numbers and spending (which were obscene) look good compared to the Divider.

    March 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. kathy

    Oh PLEASE...not another Bush...the country can't afford it...don't care how 'different' or smarter he might be that Dumbo Dubya he is still a Bush and we have all suffered enough under that family's name running the country. Forget it dude...stick to golf.

    March 4, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. jtsilver2th

    This is from the Onion right?

    March 4, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Dude in Colorado

    OK – Lemme get this straight another Bush "not ruling out" a run for the Presidency? BWA-HAH-HA-HA-HAAA!!!!!

    Whether or not the man would make a good president is immaterial, Jeb needs to go kick his brother's A$$ for making "Bush" the most hated Republican name since "Nixon".

    March 4, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. cbr

    Jeb Bush needs to talk about his ideas for the country before he runs. Public education, immigration, etc. are all issues that effect the future of America. So far he has not said anything new. He does seem to be very conservative and that may not be what this nation needs. We did not elect two other Republican candidates with similar backgrounds.and there are six other people who may run for the same nomination.

    Why talk about this now? Why not help to get the nation moving again instead of standing still.

    March 4, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Toosliq

    Jeb Bush and Susan Boyle...separated at birth???????

    March 4, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Bloom3r

    I think calling CPAC a "cattle call" is just about the most accurate thing I've heard all day.

    March 4, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Naldoman

    Jeb Bush: Because We Need Another War Over Oil

    March 4, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. S

    Please do not run............2 Bush men did enough damage. And we have to win the next one. You would loose so bad esp...if the Wicked Witch Hillary ran. We need a strong. younger, not fat, knowledgable candidate! Sorry no go for you!

    March 4, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Grahame Rhodes

    Arctic to Bush. Welcome, because the only chance you have is to move up here. Anywhere else is tantamount to a snowballs chance in hell. Please spare us the stupid rhetoric. Please take you stupid family and go far away.

    March 4, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. kiwisepp

    GWB made me wonder that there is a defect in Bush's genetic code. you can not have a president with IQ below average.

    March 4, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  25. norma jean

    Say anything you like....George Bush took a major surplus at the beginning of his presidential run and turned it into a major deficit along with the cost of two wars which he left for the next administration..!!!! If you'd bother to read you would already be aware of this !!!!!......We don't need cool-aide to make our assessments of past administrations.....we kept track as we went along!!!!!

    March 4, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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