April 25th, 2013
08:34 AM ET
12 months ago

Bush weighs in on brother's 2016 potential

(CNN) – If former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush decides to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, he'll have one major supporter at his side.

Former President George W. Bush, who's stepping back into the spotlight as his presidential library opens this week, says he thinks his younger brother should throw his hat into the ring.

"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 told CNN's chief national correspondent John King.

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

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.

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."

He passed on running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012. Instead, he's filled the role of a party elder statesman since leaving office in January 2007 after two terms as governor.

While in town for a dedication ceremony for his brother's presidential library, Bush spoke Wednesday in front of the World Affairs Council in Dallas about the ongoing immigration debate, which is also the topic of his recently released book "Immigration Wars."

If Bush does decide to run, and were he to win the 2016 GOP nomination, he could face off in the general election against a member of another famous political family - Hillary Clinton.

Both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush will attend Thursday the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication at Southern Methodist University.

– CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • George W. Bush • Jeb Bush
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Chipster

    America, stay out of the Bushes! The last Bush bankrupted us and it will take many more years to recover from all the unfunded mandates, corporate welfare, and efforts to rule (or buy) the world. By the end of W's 2nd term we were losing more than 600,000 jobs per month and wages began to plummet for the middle class, while the top income groups received huge bonuses and tax cuts.

    April 25, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. The Elephant in the Room

    And in other news . . . water is wet.

    Well, would you expect him to say, "My brother would suck as President?"

    Americans would have to be complete idiots to vote for another Bush and yet ANOTHER round of WARS.

    The sage [brush] once said, "Fool me once, shame on YOU. Fool me twice; shame on ME. Fool me THRICE; you can`t fool me THRICE.

    April 25, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. ST

    "W" has seen the polls like the rest of us. He knows that the memories of majority has sunk already. Why didn't he say what he is saying now during the last election (2012), and why his young brother Jeb didn't opt to run that time. I never thought I will say this: It is very, very expensive to lack the ability to stick on memories!

    April 25, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Another Bush in the White House is like watching another "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" sequel. Please spare us the horrors.

    April 25, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. Tea Party Thomas

    Please no more Bush family members in the White House.

    We need a true conservative in the White House in 2016.

    RAND PAUL 2016

    April 25, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Bessy

    If I were his brother I wouldn't want him anywhere near me or my campaign. He is responsible for Jeb not having a chance at becoming president. Then again, if Jeb plays his cards right, maybe the Supreme Court can put him in office like they did his brother.

    April 25, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. Data Driven

    A father and one son was enough. Say no to royal families in the White House. Conservatives, pick someone else for 2016.

    April 25, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |