For 2016, Rice says Jeb Bush would be 'fantastic'
May 15th, 2014
01:55 PM ET
6 months ago

For 2016, Rice says Jeb Bush would be 'fantastic'

(CNN) – Condoleezza Rice is hopeful that Jeb Bush runs for president in 2016 but said it's unlikely she'd be seen on a ballot with the potential candidate.

In an interview with Ozy Media, the former secretary of state also said more questions need to be answered about the deadly 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, though she argued the issue could be approached in a less partisan way.

'Jeb would be fantastic'

Rice has a long history with the Bush family. In addition to serving as national security adviser and the nation's top diplomat in the George W. Bush administration, she also worked for former President George H.W. Bush.

Rice said she thinks Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor, would be a "fantastic" candidate.

"Jeb hasn't said whether he will run. He's a friend. I hope he does, frankly," she told Ozy's Carlos Watson in the interview published Thursday.

In the constant ebb and flow of 2016 speculation, a Bush-Rice ticket has been floated as a potential GOP pairing. She was also mentioned in 2012 as potential vice presidential candidate.

But Rice, who runs the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California and serves on a number of corporate boards, once again shot down the idea of running for office.

"It's just not in my DNA," she said.

But she acknowledged "there are several others who are considering (running for president) who would be outstanding."

Asked about her thoughts on Sen. Ted Cruz, Rice gave a diplomatic answer, saying she doesn't always agree with the freshman senator from Texas but recognized that not every Republican has to be "backed by the establishment."

"Somebody who goes through the process and gets elected, more power to them," she said, adding that Cruz's wife used to work for her in the National Security Council.

As for Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rice also described him as "fantastic" and highlighted his background as a child of Cuban immigrants.

Rice stressed that she'll be looking for a candidate who favors immigration reform.

"What I love about the way that Marco Rubio talks about our country–or Jeb Bush for that matter–is that sense that 'We the people' is an inclusive concept," she said. "It's not 'those people out there' and 'we the people in here'."

Would she ever consider crossing the aisle backing another fellow secretary of state, Hillary Clinton?

"I have a lot of respect for her. It's a small club–the secretaries of state, or the 'living secretaries of state' as we call ourselves. A small, small club," she said. "I'm a committed Republican. I'll continue to fight for that party, and I'll fight for that nominee."

Benghazi shouldn't be 'political theater'

Clinton is seeing renewed criticism over the Benghazi attack as House Republicans form a select committee to investigate the assault that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Clinton was overseeing the state department at the time and has testified before Congress over security concerns leading up to the attack.

Rice agreed "there are still unanswered questions about Benghazi."

"They could be easily answered, but I think they need to be answered," she added. Rice said she's not interested in the debate over the now infamous talking points given to then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

More important, Condoleezza Rice argued, are questions about what happened during the attack and what the security situation was on the ground prior to the assault.

The issue has been repeatedly used as a major line of attack by Republicans against the Obama administration, with the focus on Clinton as she considers a presidential bid.

But Rice said the debate should be toned down.

"This can be handled...in a way that is open and isn't political theater," she said. "Done in the right way, with the right cooperation, we can put this to rest."


Filed under: 2016 • Condoleezza Rice • Hillary Clinton • Jeb Bush • Libya • Marco Rubio • Ted Cruz
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Excuse me if I find your endorsement of what is presidential material lees than credible, Ms. "Mushroom Cloud"...

    May 15, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    More important, Condoleezza Rice argued, are questions about what happened during the attack and what the security situation was on the ground prior to the assault.

    The issue has been repeatedly used as a major line of attack by Republicans against the Obama administration, with the focus on Clinton as she considers a presidential bid.
    -------------------------------–
    The wording of this is very misleading. "The issue" with Republicans is not what happened in Benghazi, which is how this sounds. Their issue is solely over the talking points. They haven't talked about anything else but talking points.

    May 15, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. PaulCat

    Is this the same Rice that sent us to (2) wars looking for "WMD", which was never found.
    ....and how many of our men and women were killed because of her lie???????
    VA seems to have problems right now taking care of our wounded men and women.
    Now she want us to believe her when she say Jeb would make a fantastic president.
    Maybe she wants to be his VP. (war #3)

    May 15, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    ""This can be handled...in a way that is open and isn't political theater," "

    HAHAHAHA, no it can't. The GOP/Teatrolls are running the show and doing everything they can to control the MSM's script and they are DESPERATE to try to undermine HRC for 2016. It's never going to get handled in a mature and responsible manner. NEVER. It's not "in the GOP/Teatrolls' DNA."

    May 15, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Richard in Houston

    With rights rants on Hillary Clinton about no more dynasties they blew their chance with a person who actually could get votes from independents and democrats. As for Bengazi. What a joke. Nothing but political theater. Even Darrell Issa thinks it a bad idea. Darrell Issa!

    May 15, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Bill from GA

    She sounded pretty good, for a repub, until " Rubio of Florida, Rice also described him as "fantastic" ".

    Reminded me of the old Condi, lying about the mushroom clouds, when they were nothing but a figment of cheney's imagination.

    May 15, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Bill from GA

    At least she got the " child of Cuban immigrants " part right,
    Rubio thinks he was a child of Cuban Refugees. At least when it is politically convenient to say so.

    May 15, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But Rice said the debate should be toned down."

    Oh, dear Lord ... the professional pandering is strong in this one.

    BENGHAZI

    May 15, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    Only if you want to assure that the Dem, whoever they may be, will win.

    May 15, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Sniffit:

    "HAHAHAHA, no it can't."
    -------------

    Oh how I give you kudos for being able to laugh ... ! This whole BENGHAZI thingy is getting old ... very old and very boring.

    May 15, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Bill from GA

    So Condi admires Rubio's " It's not 'those people out there' and 'we the people in here'." (which I somehow never noticed), but ol Condi is " I'm a committed Republican. I'll continue to fight for that party, and I'll fight for that nominee."

    Even if a better candidate for America is a Dem?? Of course! Party before Country!

    May 15, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Not only did Wilson immediately apologize profusely but guess who it was that capitalized off of that with a boon in fundraising??? "

    LOL. Wilson did. First, le's get something straight: that kind of behavior was something totally legitimate to point at and use as fundraising material by his opponents. It was universally criticized as a gross and irresponsible breach of political decorum and a blatant show of disrespect for the office of the POTUS...well, almost universally...there were, of course, several RWNJ activist outfits that lauded it as wonderful and somehow justified and deserved. Second, it sparked a fundraising haul for both Wilson and Miller without either of them having to ask for it. Third, didn't "immediately apologize profusely"...he gave the normal, obligatory non-apology that would provide him with the ability to claim he did, but wouldn't anger the RWNJs he was trying to appeal to. Fourth, he very blatantly made a web video very shortly after the incident, using it as a fundraising pitch by claiming that the criticism against him for having done it was part of a grand scheme to "muzzle" him and prevent his free speech blah blah blah [insert the usual GOP/Teatroll claims of "I'm the REAL victim here!!!!"].

    May 15, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Bill from GA

    " More important, Condoleezza Rice argued, are questions about what happened during the attack "

    More important is what was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi. This hotbed of terrorists didn't need an Embassy, or a Consulate. They needed James Fn Bond.

    i know Ambassador Stevens was a Super Guy, well liked by many in Libya, but I doubt he was trained for the kind of mission, in the kind of place, such as Benghazi. And with a troop of Marines following him, as would have been needed for security, he probably could not have even contacted those he was meeting.

    No juice there, though, so nobody is asking.

    May 15, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Oh how I give you kudos for being able to laugh ... ! This whole BENGHAZI thingy is getting old ... very old and very boring."

    Sometimes laughter is the only sane response, Ms. Lynda :-)

    I have to agree that it is getting old. These questions have been asked and answered and the answers weren't what the GOP/Teatrolls wanted to hear, so they simply dismiss them, pretend they weren't given and then claim that "we just don't know because we have no answers...we need to get to the bottom of this." The only "bottom" involved here is the barrel's. Scrape away, GOPers/Teatrolls, scrape away....

    May 15, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Donna

    Silence DoGood
    @Donna
    Why do the Democrats want to stifle and control free speech? Let the PEOPLE decide who and what they believe. We don't need our government controlling this in any way. ....
    ---–
    So is there no limits to your morality on this? The Kochs do their "free speech" with money in deceptive ads. What if the next guy doesn't have money but he is a union leader telling his members to vote a certain way. Are you OK with that? You must be because he is just exercising his "free speech". How about if I go out a sign up new voters that I think will only vote liberal. "free speech" right?
    -–

    What morality is involved in free speech? Free speech is exactly that, free speech. There is no morality involved in it. Actually, our freedom of speech protects immoral speech as well, as that is a subjective judgement. I consider people advocating for the killing of babies to be very immoral. So I should be able to stifle that right? Of course not.

    The ability to BROADCAST or AMPLIFY ones position in another issue. That of course requires money for that SERVICE. Maybe the far left should propose legislation to require TVs, radios, newspapers etc. to provide unlimited free ads to every American? Of course that would not be possible and is just as ludicrous as resticting people from buying services to broadcast their opinion or political view.

    And as for only registering people that will only vote for liberals and Democrats, I'm sure that is already being done. You of course won't say it or admit it but merely going to certain areas can almost guarantee that outcome.

    May 15, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Silence DoGood
    @Dems in PA
    Senator Reid wasting time on things like this shows it time for term limits, age limits; Harry Reid needs a competency test; he is delusional.
    ---–
    Just because it might not pass, it is not a waste of time. We get to see who comes out from under a rock to fight it. Those are the folks who are trying to run things with money or the fools that think they are for "freedom".
    --------------------

    I agree that we need to see who fights this, Silence. I for one am weary of the billions of lobbyist dollars financing election campaigns.

    Condi Rice might want to rethink her its all about "we the people" remarks. She's not fooling anyone but herself (if she really believes what she says).

    May 15, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Boy Foxlite must not like anything I've said today..... I'm getting zapped left and right.... Liberal media my eyeball.

    May 15, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. magyart

    Jeb Bush could run as a Dem.

    May 15, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Swedge70

    And we should trust her judgement why, exactly?

    May 15, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. Tommy G

    Rudy NYC
    The wording of this is very misleading. "The issue" with Republicans is not what happened in Benghazi, which is how this sounds. Their issue is solely over the talking points. They haven't talked about anything else but talking points.
    --

    More lies Rudy. There are MANY issues around Benghazi that still need to be answered for.

    There were numerous prior attacks on that very building and on many others in the area. There were open threats made against us. And yet we still had an inadequately protected American ambassador in a improper facility on a 9-11 anniversary with no plans to send help if any was needed!

    This isn't about taking points, it is about total lies and fabrication about a terrorist attack that killed our Ambassador and 3 others at a time when the Obama administration was parading around the country bragging about taking AQ down. A terrorist attack was an inconvient truth so they lied, just as they have been proven to do with so many other topics.

    And to this day, neither Obama nor Hillary Clinton has accounted for their actions or whereabouts during this 7-9 hour event. Hillary Clinton sham ARB didn't even interview her! As if she was some uninvolved bystander while one of her direct reports was being attacked and killed.

    What is becoming very obvioyus is that this bogus video lie was first floated by Hillary Clinton and that is why the Democrats are circling the wagons to protect her and obstruct these investigations. Obama has already been proven a liar about Obamacare and now Hillary Clinton is looking like she is a born liar as well.

    May 15, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    In response to Mike from the Campaign reform topic....

    Great comments Mike!!! Bravo!!!😍😍😍

    May 15, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Apparently, CNN likes to do Tickers articles on Christ this, Christie that only until something actually important and damaging comes out: Stepien is now saying that Christie lied to the public when he told the press that nobody in his senior staff had prior knowledge of the bridge closing plan. How does Stepien know? BECAUSE HE ADMITS HE HIMSELF HAD THAT PRIOR KNOWLEDGE AND TOLD CHRISTIE ABOUT IT.

    May 15, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    "What morality is involved in free speech? Free speech is exactly that, free speech."
    --------------------------------------
    What morality is involved in unlimited campaign contributions? Money is exactly that money, not free speech.

    FIFY

    May 15, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Dumbas[R]ocks

    Wasn't this the SAME political trollop who said we should invade Iraq because of WMDs, then because of ties to al Queda, then because of Saddam, and then about 10 other Bush admin. on-going lies-of the-week?

    Sure, let's listen to a known, lying political trollop who is known to kneel before the Bushs. After all, [R]s exhibit that behavior ALL the time.

    May 15, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Sniffitt whattttt???😳😳😳

    May 15, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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