April 30th, 2014
09:21 AM ET
4 months ago

Americans agree with Barbara Bush

(CNN) - Barbara Bush made national headlines last year when she said on NBC that her son Jeb shouldn't run for president in 2016 because "there are a lot of great families. It's not just four families, or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified. We've had enough Bushes."

And in an interview earlier this year on C-SPAN, the former first lady added that "I think this is a great American country, and if we can't find more than two or three families to run for high office, that's silly."

Photos: Political families

A new national poll indicates that most Americans agree with Bush, the wife of former President George H.W. Bush.

Sixty-nine percent of people questioned in a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday said they agree, with a quarter saying they don't agree with her statements.

With both former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seriously considering bids for the White House in 2016, the discussion of political dynasties is alive and well. If Bush ran and won in 2016, he would be the third Bush in the White House over the past three decades, following his father (1989-1993) and his brother George W. Bush (2001-2009).

If Clinton ran and won the next election, she would be the second President Clinton in the White House in the past two decades, following her husband Bill Clinton (1993-2001).

While Barbara Bush doesn't want Jeb to follow in her husband and son George's footsteps, it's not because she doesn't think he's up to the task.

"He's by far the best qualified man, but no, I really don't" want to see him run, she has said.

Jeb acknowledges dynasty issue

While Jeb Bush has joked about his mother's comments, he's also discussed how his family name may hurt him as much as help him if he decides to run for the White House in 2016.

Jeb Bush cheered on 2016

Speaking in February at the Long Island Association's biannual luncheon, a popular stop for former presidents and White House hopefuls, Bush was asked about his mother's remarks.

"It's an issue for sure," Bush admitted.

Bush told the story of sitting next to a man on a plane who talked about having a Bush and a Clinton and then a Bush in the White House, with the prospect of another Clinton and Bush to come.

Bush said "I get the point. It's something that, if I run, I would have to overcome that. And so will Hillary, by the way. Let's keep the same standards for everybody."

George doesn't see eye to eye with Barbara

Jeb Bush's father may not agree with his wife.

In an exclusive interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, Jeb's brother, Neil, made it clear that his dad - George H.W. Bush - wants his son to run, no matter what his wife says.

"If you asked Dad the same question 'Should Jeb run?' he'd say yes." Asked again whether Bush 41 would specifically be for it, Neil Bush replied, "Yeah, he would say yeah."

Has Neil asked his father himself? No. But he allowed, "I have heard him answer that question."

Hillary's numbers higher than Jeb's

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, like previous surveys, finds Clinton more popular with the public than Bush. Clinton has a 48%-32% favorable/unfavorable rating in the new poll, compared to 21%-32% for Bush.

Previous polling from other organizations also indicates Clinton leading Bush, as well as other potential Republican White House hopefuls, in hypothetical 2016 general election showdowns.

CNN special coverage of the 2014 midterm elections

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was conducted April 23-37, with 1,000 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


Filed under: 2016 • Barbara Bush • Hillary Clinton • Jeb Bush
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. Caty in MD

    Well this American finally found something in common with the Bushes. I agree they shouldn't run. I do think Clinton will trump them all in 2016. I am all four Hillary for President.

    April 30, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I respect Barbara Bush but don't be fooled. Bush family members in Texas have ran for offices and won as former George W. Bush did that paved his way to the presidency.. Speculation on Hillary's possible run was already out there when Barbara said that on April 25, 2013 so she needs to be completely honest, is she afraid Jen would loose. Again I respect her but politics is different.

    April 30, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. tom l

    The Real Tom Paine

    @, the GOP controlled the House and Senate for 12 years, so it was not a new Congress that triggered the financial crisis that you refer to. @grunt653, Clinton did not inherit a budget surplus, he created it. Check the data. The economic time bomb you refer to had its seeds in the Reagan administration, and it was accelerated under Bush 41 and 43. Once again, get your facts straight before you consider trying to rewrite history to make the GOP appear blameless.
    =====

    so odd. Somehow, magically the Clinton years took us off of this course? What's so funny is the double speak. So Clinton created the surplus yet I keep being told time and again that it's congress who sets the budget. So which one is it? Clinton gets the credit for the surplus and Obama gets the credit for an historically slow recovery OR congress gets the credit for the surplus and they have ruined the economy under Obama. Here's a hint...it's both parties that have crushed our economy. Come on, man. It's both parties that have screwed up our economy. It certainly isn't just one. The bubble of the stock market with valuations that were so far out of whack led to a huge downturn in the economy as people lost their savings and net worths plummeted. Then you factor in the housing crisis, spurred on by BOTH parties, and had people getting into homes that couldn't afford it which led to the mortgage meltdown where the only people that were ok were the bankers. Then you throw in TARP which was utilized by both parties and those bankers were a-ok yet the economy suffered. It's both parties. Both sides are beholden to the banksters.

    April 30, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Gunderson

    Whazzat?
    rs: I'll take skill education and leadership? Humm, that what we have now? At least that story but warts showing thru, big time. Pain say, show me one accomplishment of republicans who may be running? Now pain, how republicans top liberal democrats that give us 18 Trillion Dollar Federal debt last 100 years? Rudy has memory loss of who caused recent, and still in progress, recession/depression. Think Barney Frank and Chris Dodd who forced the rules to be relaxed so anyone could get mortgage with hot air. What Republican did that Rudy? In fact the Bush Administration tried to get it killed. Old Chinese Proverb: Those that don't learn from history bound to repeat it. Got it Rudy?

    April 30, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Josh

    I'm not sure which scenario I think is worse: another Bush or another Clinton. Isn't there anyone with the qualifications and actual leadership to step up and take the stick and pull this country out of its nosedive?!

    April 30, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. rs

    Rick McDaniel

    Jeb Bush is not a true conservative. I doubt he could even win the primary. He is too MUCH of a Democrat.
    _____________________
    Trust me. I know Democrats, and Mr. Bush is no Democrat. The perceived gap between Mr. Bush (and a few others) and the clown Car you can call the GOP is the rapidly rising insanity in the ranks.

    April 30, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. USA

    Let's get rid of the liars of the past & present [Hillary Clinton,Harry Reed,President Obama,and the likes] and support a new Republican, Ted Cruz. With him our Country would have a chance at a normal life for our families in the future. Please pay attention to the truth that is being reported.

    April 30, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. ????

    No more Kennedy's

    No more Clinton's

    No more Bush's

    April 30, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Prakash

    Its discriminatory to say that someone should not run for president just because he is the son of someone. If you don't want to elect him that's fine....but in a democracy he can run as much as anyone else.

    April 30, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    but demand the right to be a secret as possible when people demand public scrutiny of their political activities, isn't it?
    -------------------------------------------------
    Specifically what they're doing with their money as it regards those political activities.

    April 30, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. smith1

    I don't think Hillary cares

    April 30, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. TruthandConsequence

    That others are qualified is beyond doubt, but Jeb Bush – however effective he might be in certain areas of leadership, he is fully compromised on the immigration question. I have learned that politicians in heavily Hispanic districts cannot be relied upon to defend this country from the plight of illegal immigration. They are too accustomed to trading our sovereign and legal rights for Hispanic votes. If this nation spent has much time devoted to preserving the interests of Americans over the interests of illegal aliens, we could restore our sovereign right to control immigration as America requires and not as a marginal group with a history of cheating our laws requires.

    April 30, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. GMan

    Hey gunderson....The Democrats are not the ones who brought sub-prime to the market. I have been in lending for 15 years...since I started there was always a push to make loans achievable for the lower class...that was not the problem...the problem was the companies who entered the market in 04 with absolutely no regulation who came up with the crazy products that became weapons of mass destruction, because they knew they could sell them off and be done with them. The Bush Administration stopped regulation at every turn...that's just the facts...then Fannie and Freddie was pressured into buying these bad loans, and that falls on both Dems and Repubs...but make no mistake...the Repubs have been pushing for deregulation for 50 years, and they finally got what they wanted...and thus a meltdown of unbelievable proportions, explaining why they have been booted out of office.

    April 30, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. rs

    Gunderson

    Whazzat?
    rs: I'll take skill education and leadership? Humm, that what we have now?
    _____________________
    Yes. Not that the anti-American, anti-government Right would ever agree. The sun still rises and sets on the disaster that was Mr. G. W. Bush.

    April 30, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Loathstheright

    George Bush was never legally president....cheating is the republican way.

    April 30, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. kamarasune

    The Bush's and Clinton's have been instrumental in the downward spiral of the American middle class for the sake of globalization along with Obama....No more.

    April 30, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Al-NY,NY

    USA

    Let's get rid of the liars of the past & present [Hillary Clinton,Harry Reed,President Obama,and the likes] and support a new Republican, Ted Cruz. With him our Country would have a chance at a normal life for our families in the future. Please pay attention to the truth that is being reported.
    ----------

    Gasp.....choke.....gag. There goes my lunch I was laughing so hard. Ted Cruz couldn't get elected even if there were no other candidates. Try again.

    April 30, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. rs

    USA

    Let's get rid of the liars of the past & present [Hillary Clinton,Harry Reed,President Obama,and the likes] and support a new Republican, Ted Cruz. With him our Country would have a chance at a normal life for our families in the future. Please pay attention to the truth that is being reported.
    ____________________________
    Getting rid of liars of any cloth will leave you with no candidates.

    Meanwhile, sure, go with Mr. Cruz- the man whose coup d'état shut down the government , and cost us $24 billion. Is that really your definition of what is good for our nation?

    April 30, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Mike

    The only reason that I can see CNN posting something like this story is because Jeb Bush is a serious threat to Hillary Clinton's Presidency hopes!

    April 30, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Bob

    I do not want to see another Bush, Clinton, Obama, or Kennedy in the White House.

    April 30, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Dan

    @sly every US President for the past 50 years is a war criminal. So is Obama and so was Clinton.

    April 30, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    The Real Tom Paine observed:

    @ RudyNYC, its ironic that they scream for transparency in government, but demand the right to be a secret as possible when people demand public scrutiny of their political activities, isn't it?
    ---------------------------
    Ironic and hypocritical. They want "government transparency", while fighting for "campaign donor secrecy". Good call.

    April 30, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. Harley

    No more Bush. Take a shave.

    April 30, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Doug J

    Our problems aren't really just a result of our political leadership; they're caused by our people as well. Many Americans don't bother to get informed, so they allow themselves to be so easily misled. Without an informed electorate, our system just doesn't work.

    April 30, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    USA... But Turd Cruz isn't a natural born citizen....

    And what makes him so great? His ability to shut down the government or reading Green Eggs and Ham and not even getting the gist of the story??😳

    April 30, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8