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. Jim

    Isn't it a bit ironic that the United States discarded monarchies only to reinvent them a few hundred years later in the families of Bush, Kennedy, Clinton, ect...

    April 25, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Dino S.

    Mama knows best!! :) Jeb just stay home in 2016. People aren't going to forget about those hanging chads and butterfly ballots in your home state, while you were Governor, which allowed your brother to steal the presidency.

    April 25, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. ThatGuy

    Hoover, Nixon and Bush...Good company...Hope he runs so republicans will continue their downward slide

    April 25, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. karen

    It must suck to be Jeb and not have your Mom support you. I don't even like the Bushes.

    April 25, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Mark of Tennessee

    He needs to listen to his mother.... This country has had enough of the that family especially in the White House

    April 25, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. awesomesauce

    Jeb's brother Harry is the most qualified candidate. But he hasn't been seen since the 70's.

    April 25, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Hal A. Looya

    Now that's friggin' funny!

    April 25, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The GOBP are warming up. They picked McCain and Mitt the twit. Now it is Jeb Bush's turn.

    April 25, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Courtney

    No please let Jeb bush run so the Dem can have another shot at the White House.

    April 25, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Max

    Thank God !

    April 25, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Strangways

    how funny. Jeb – who actually had the smarts for the job – was mulling a run in 2000, but George decided HE wanted it and was able to get it done with a little help from the Supremes. Poor Jeb got scrod, but that's how George W rolls.

    April 25, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. Hogan's Goat

    Right now, America has no reason to hate and despise Jeb Bush. Let's keep it that way. Send him to some foreign country and make him stay there.

    April 25, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. J. Alexander

    come and listen to my story about a man named Jeb a rich texanire always keep his family fed and then one day pops was shooting at some food and up through the ground comes bubbling crude black gold Texas T oil that is and they moved to Washington and the presidency twice that is and the rest is history. The Texas hillbillies

    April 25, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Derek

    It would be a huge blunder if he ran. If he does run, he simply is not in touch with the American people, as a whole, and it would be a colossal embarrassment on his part ... and it would be an embarrassment to George W. Bush, as well.

    April 25, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Dug

    Run Jeb, run :)

    April 25, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. michael

    clinton would make mincemeat of him

    April 25, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. MEG

    Run Jeb Run! We need some change in this country...oh wait, someone else tried to do that...how's that working out for all of you?

    April 25, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. ERKO

    Yea, run .... go for it. Doesn't matter, there will be a Democrat president until at least 2024. The GOP is slowly losing ground and doning nothing to fix the problem. It's sad.

    April 25, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. jj

    Yes, Jeb, stay home and don't run

    April 25, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Nobland

    If GW thinks Jeb should run it must be a bad idea.

    April 25, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Rick

    For Goodness sake, listen to your mummy Jeb.

    America has had enough of Bushes.

    April 25, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. bill tomey

    \ u people keep saying I posted that-show me where,please

    April 25, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Foreverwar

    Poor Jeb, such bad news for his plans, he probably even already had a country picked out to invade and everything.

    April 25, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Norm

    Very wise woman.
    Listen to your mommy Jebster.

    April 25, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. William House

    We would all be better off if no republicans ran for office.

    April 25, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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