April 25th, 2013
09:33 AM ET
1 year ago

Barbara Bush on Jeb in 2016: ‘We've had enough Bushes’

(CNN) – While former President George W. Bush says he wants his brother Jeb to run for president in 2016, their always-blunt mother said Thursday she feels differently.

“He's by far the best qualified man, but no. I really don't,” she said when asked if her son, the former Florida governor, will make a White House bid.

“I think it's a great country. There are a lot of great families, and it's not just four families or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough Bushes,” she said.

Her comments came Thursday morning on NBC’s “Today,” as the former first lady sat alongside former first lady Laura Bush and Bush 43’s twin daughters, Jenna Bush Hager (a correspondent for NBC) and Barbara Bush. The three generations were together for the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication ceremony in Dallas.

Asked if the Bush matriarch had expressed her feelings to Jeb, Jenna Bush Hager jumped in.

“Well, now!” she said, looking somewhat shocked at her sister and mother. “Surprise!”

“He’s the most qualified but I don't think he'll run,” Barbara Bush added. “There are other families. He'll get all our enemies, half of our friends.”

In a brief email exchange Thursday morning with Jeb Bush, CNN characterized his mother's comment as priceless. In a two-word response, Jeb wrote: "Priceless indeed!"

George W. Bush, who's stepping back into the spotlight with the opening of his presidential library, told CNN’s John King in an interview that aired Wednesday that he wants his brother to run.

"Well, big Jeb, you know, he's got a decision to make. And if I could make it for him, it'd be, 'run,' but I can't," he said.

"And I don't know what he's going to do,” he added. “He'd be a great candidate and a great president."

Jeb Bush hasn't ruled out a possible GOP run and won't make a decision in the near future. Asked last month by CNN's Jake Tapper if he'll decide in 2014, Bush said, "the only thing I've decided is I'm not going to think about it for 2013. It's just too far out for me personally."

According to a CNN/ORC International poll released late last month, 56% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the former governor, with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan being the only potential 2016 GOP contender with higher marks.

If he did win the nomination, Jeb Bush might face another family legacy on the Democratic ticket should former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, decide to run and ultimately become her party’s nominee.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Barbara Bush • George W. Bush • Jeb Bush • Jenna Bush
soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. Babyboomer

    Amen to no more Bush family members as President of these United States. I think even Republicans may think we've all had enough.

    April 25, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. Jeff in Virginia

    Thank you, Barbara Bush. I always thought that you were the sensible one in the family.

    April 25, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    There are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough Bushes,” she said.
    -------------------------------------------------
    HEAR!! HEAR!!
    That's how we ALL feel mama Bush. We've had ENOUGH Bushes to last us 3 lifetimes.
    Let the country heal and recover. To inflict another one of your relatives on us would be akin to a terrorist attack on America.
    We would NOT recover.

    April 25, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Data Driven

    I agree with Babs, but not in the usual partisan way. I think this country could do without the triumvirate of "royal families" - Kennedys, Bushes, Clinton's - continuing to manage matters. It's getting rather incestuous at the top, like the Plantagenets of yore when they ruled England.

    April 25, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. Michael Q

    For both the Democrats and the Republicans, America needs some new candidates rather than the same old same old. But, it does make for a news story doesn't it: Bush 3 vs. Clinton 2.

    April 25, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  6. bella

    Smart lady. Her stupid sons should listen to her.

    April 25, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  7. woodin

    "we've had enough Bushes" yes we have, the country is still hungover from the toxic political bindge of George W.

    April 25, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. Jeb

    But I wanna run for President!

    April 25, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Thank you Ma'am!

    April 25, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. skiimaan

    I think American people don't want to see any more of stock market crashes, space shuttle crash, wars, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc. Enough is enough.

    April 25, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. bankrupt1

    i think she's right. call it. we're bushed out (and maybe they are too). true. and maybe not that so much as tired of GOP mentality. and tired of people hating us all the time. i think it would evoke too many emotions for the world (i don't think all of that belongs to w, but he's taking the hit for it).

    April 25, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. JC

    As a libertarian republic I say listen to your mother. We don't need another war mongering Bush in the white house.

    April 25, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. Bob. N

    Please, Jeb! Listen to your mother. Our country can't afford another Bush White House.

    April 25, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. bankrupt1

    that said...it would be up to him.

    April 25, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    "There are a lot of great families, and it's not just four families or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough Bushes"
    -----------------------------------------------
    (Jaw drops) We've been saying that all along Barb. No more Bushes!!!

    April 25, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  16. Seattle Sue

    Barbara Bush got that right. We have had enough Bushes. In fact I think we have had one too many. W.

    April 25, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. Moonraker

    She's right, we have had enough Bushes. The two Bushes that have been president were awful. We don't need a third one screwing up the country even more. We're still recovering from the last one.

    April 25, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. bankrupt1

    i kind of think they understand what they are dealing with. but not pulling the rest of the world along with them.

    April 25, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  19. Bubba Ray

    No more bushes! Not even any more shrubs.

    April 25, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. El Flaco

    Electing another Conservative president would be like an abused wife letting her alcoholic husband move back into the house for the fourth time.

    April 25, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. hippie power 69

    omg. that would be the worst choice the repubs could ever make, so i say run jeb run!! you can finish the job and the country that your brother left intact. theres not much left but i'm sure you couldn't be as bad as gwb was. but you never know. maybe you could be. is this country willing to trust another bushie?? i doubt it. i think we are bushie burned out for the rest of the century, at least. maybe the country will forget by the time he has a great grandchild old enough to run, but by then i think the story of gwb/cheney will be out for the country and the world to see just what they did to us. just how much they hurt us, the middleclass, the poor and our world. ask the iraqi people if they are ready for another bush and be ready to duck!

    April 25, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. martin

    In this case, mom is right.

    April 25, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. Mark

    Bush vs. Clinton again! I love the 90s!

    April 25, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. Deepen

    thank god.. in other news.. HILLARY 2016!

    April 25, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  25. Donna Perry

    Listen to your mother, we have had enough Bushes and their dirty money

    April 25, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
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