For 2016, Rice says Jeb Bush would be 'fantastic'
May 15th, 2014
01:55 PM ET
5 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. Rudy NYC

    "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."
    --------------------------------------------–
    "This isn't about talking points, it is about talking points. Hodor. Hodor. Hodor."

    FIFY

    May 15, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Dumbas[R]ocks

    Hey Rick McDaniel:

    The Dems HAVE ALREADY WON in 2016, you just don't have the brains to know it yet.....sort of like turd blossom sitting on-camera on FoxNews election-nite 2012.

    You frantic little rightwing drama lemmings crack me up.

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

    @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.
    ---------–
    I know. "you lefties, blah blah". But how about an answer?
    Are you OK with that?
    Are you OK with only signing people up that vote a certain way because of "free speech"?
    So what if " that is already being done" – Are you OK with it because of "free speech"?
    Are you OK with a union leader telling his members to vote a certain way because he has "free speech"?
    Are you OK with a CEO using their influence to get everyone in their company to vote their way because "free speech"?
    Are you OK with someone electioneering by voting locations? Used to be illegal but maybe OK because "free speech".
    Are you OK with me getting more votes because I have more money? Hey, it's my "free speech".
    One question – are you OK with extraordinary influence besides money?

    May 15, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Donna

    Rudy NYC
    What morality is involved in unlimited campaign contributions? Money is exactly that money, not free speech.
    --–

    Unlimited campaign contributions are not allowed as backed up by the Supreme Court agreeing to limits per candidate. What the heck are you talking about?

    Money is whatever you decide to turn it into! People that have money can decide to broadcast their political poiunt of view and what they believe or go out and buy a new car or a dinner.

    Lefties just simply hate a free and open market where all viewpoints are heard. The fact is THEY want to decide which ones are valid and can be heard. You want a country like the old Sovient Union, with a government approved news media. The ability of people to express their opinions is a direct threat to your failed leftist ideas.

    May 15, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Bill from GA

    Tommy G – " What is becoming very obvioyus is that this bogus video lie was first floated by Hillary Clinton "

    That's funny. I read the story in my local paper on September 12, 2012. The byline was: Maggie Michael and Sarah El Deeb Associated Press.

    I guess that is an alias for "Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State".

    May 15, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Thank you Dumbas(R)ocks!!!!

    I've tried saying that at least 3 x with no success.....

    May 15, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. What's in that Tea Anyway?

    My goodness...There are GOP/Tea Pharty members have an abysmal record of what's in this country's best interests. If it were left to the GOP, this country would be completely destroyed...policies that allow the greedy to continue their unregulated/unfettered raping of this earth's resources (duh....climate change doesn't exist) and the home schooled that follow this party blindly. Sad, sad state of affairs.

    May 15, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. Bill from GA

    Tommy G – Oh, and,uh, the article starts out: " A movie attacking Islam’s prophet Muhammad sparked assaults on U.S. diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday"

    An article bylined: By Maggie Michael and Sarah El Deeb Associated Press

    May 15, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    "Fantastic"-Now we can "do" Iran;w/other folks kids & Grandkids doing the fighting, dying & losing legs. And w/out raising taxes on the "Job Creators".

    May 15, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    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....
    ---------------

    They've so confused themselves that at this point they wouldn't know what it is they are looking for if it jumped up and bit them shouting "here I am ... here I am".

    May 15, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. What's in that Tea Anyway?

    yes....let's have another Bush that we were told to "stay out of" in the WH. Good idea "Condi" we haven't learned from anything...heck, we still think that "there is no climate change...and it has nothing to do with people" ....what can anyone say??? the GOP/Tea Pharty (called Pharty because its all hot gas coming for behind)

    May 15, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. Donna

    Dumbas[R]ocks
    Wasn't this the SAME political trollop who said we should invade Iraq because of WMDs,
    ---

    Are you referring to these trollops and their statements about Iraq WMDs???

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.” — Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

    “Saddam’s goal … is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed.” — Madeline Albright, 1998

    “Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement.” — Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002

    “Over the years, Iraq has worked to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. During 1991 – 1994, despite Iraq’s denials, U.N. inspectors discovered and dismantled a large network of nuclear facilities that Iraq was using to develop nuclear weapons. Various reports indicate that Iraq is still actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability. There is no reason to think otherwise. Beyond nuclear weapons, Iraq has actively pursued biological and chemical weapons.U.N. inspectors have said that Iraq’s claims about biological weapons is neither credible nor verifiable. In 1986, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran, and later, against its own Kurdish population. While weapons inspections have been successful in the past, there have been no inspections since the end of 1998. There can be no doubt that Iraq has continued to pursue its goal of obtaining weapons of mass destruction.” — Patty Murray, October 9, 2002

    “As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” — Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998

    May 15, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    "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!"
    -----------------------------
    There were no "prior attacks on that very building" according to the report that was released on January 14th of this year. The most likely reason for this is the high wall that surrounded the compound. You really need to read the report. There was a CIA outpost that responded 20 minutes into the attack.

    The host country is responsible for providing the type of security that you are talking about, which they did at the embassy in Tripoli. The Benghazi compound was not officially an embassy, rather it was a work in progress, which is why Amb. Stevens had went there. He wanted to inspect progress on security arrangements prior to a visit by the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton a few weeks down the road.

    May 15, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Rice agreed "there are still unanswered questions about Benghazi."
    –from the article

    Unanswered questions? Um....about those WMD. Where are they again?

    *crickets*

    May 15, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Tom

    Actually I think this is kind of funny. It says to me Rice has already concluded that given the current state of Republican party, a Presidential victory in 2016 is unlikely. So she's all for someone else taking on a suicide mission but she's choosing to cheer from the sidelines.

    May 15, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    Hey Condi....when are you traveling overseas? We're waiting for you to be arrested as a war criminal. I'll help you buy the ticket

    May 15, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Donna

    Rudy NYC
    What morality is involved in unlimited campaign contributions? Money is exactly that money, not free speech.
    ––

    Unlimited campaign contributions are not allowed as backed up by the Supreme Court agreeing to limits per candidate. What the heck are you talking about?
    -----------------------------
    They are called superPACs, Donna. People no longer need to contribute directly to a candidate. Thanks to the SCOTUS, you simply form a superPAC and make unlimited, anonymous contributions to that, which then spends as much as it wants on a candidate. Don't you understand what the "money is free speech" argument that your side makes is really all about?

    May 15, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Bill from GA

    Tommy G – here's another line, 3rd paragraph ( By Maggie Michael and Sarah El Deeb Associated Press ), September 12, 2012

    "The protests in both countries were sparked by outrage over a video being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the United States."

    I still can't find Hillary's name, surely they would have credited her. If the comment came from ol Hill

    May 15, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Sniffitt whattttt???😳😳😳"

    Chris Christie on December 13, 2013: He says he "made it very clear to everybody on my senior staff that if anyone had any knowledge about this that they needed to come forward to me and tell me about it and they’ve all assured me that they don’t."

    Stepien's lawyer (Marino) in a letter this week to the idiots who faked Christie's exoneration: " Mr. Stepien advised Governor Christie on December 12, 2013, that he (Mr. Stepien) did have prior knowledge of the lane realignment...When the Governor asked Mr. Stepien directly whether he had prior knowledge of the lane closures, Mr. Stepien truthfully told the Governor that [former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive] David Wildstein had come to him with the idea, to which Mr. Stepien responded that Mr. Wildstein would have to run the idea by normal channels in Trenton (i.e. the Governor's Office)."

    May 15, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "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."
    --------------––
    "This isn't about talking points, it is about talking points. Hodor. Hodor. Hodor."
    ====

    Hehe...love the Hodoring. I was going to go this route:

    "This isn't about taking points, it is about fabricating an excuse for Mittens losing the election that doesn't involve admitting that the majority of the public is rejecting conservative ideology and policy proposals and the GOP/Teatroll agenda, and that demographic shifts are only going to make it worse in the years to come. Otherwise, we'd have to admit that it's time to actually change and we don't wanna...we don't wanna we don't wanna we don't wanna lalalalalalala WE DON'T WANNA!!!!!"

    FIFY

    May 15, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. salty dog

    97% of scientists agree that climate change due to humans is real, the gop has convinced many that they know more about a subject than educated men that gave spent decades researching, their voting base just isn't very bright, and that's just the way they like them!

    May 15, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Gurgyl

    Jeb is not even qualified to be a cook in WH. None of Texan thugs qualify. Next.....,

    May 15, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Donna wrote:

    In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. ... ... ...
    ----------------------------------
    Quoting anonymous sources is ignored, especially when they are inaccurate. There had been weapons inspectors in Iraq for months prior to the U.S. invasion. In fact, the U.S. told them ready or not, time to get out because here we come. There plane had taken off for less than an hour before we started bombing Baghdad. In other words, fighter jets were already in Iraq before they took off, and they were still in Iraqi airspace when the bombs began falling.

    May 15, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Gunderson

    Humm,
    Dangerous. Tea Party take away your Rubber Ducky. Then you have give up food stamps go to work. Sorry, it coming. Not sure who get elected next term but huge mess that just get's bigger needs to be fixed. Annointed One who say he one we (you) waiting for big know nothing. Sell much Snake Oil No fix anything. You Happy??

    May 15, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Dumbas[R]ocks

    Well Donna, you trollop on, yet NO significant stash of Iraqi WMDs were found. And the best way to have found them, had they been there, was to let the UN inspectors continue to do their job at the time. Sure, all politicos were worried about the POSSIBILITY of their existence, and they ranted about it, as they SHOULD have . But only ONE party was in power, and LIED about the supposed KNOWN existence of Iraqi WMDs as merely one in a string of LIES for going into a war of choice.

    Your string of parroted quotes has NO material bearing on Rice's shamelessness, and is useless in defense of her repeated [R] lies and stupidity that ultimately led to more American deaths in Iraq than occurred on 9-11 itself.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to defend the already DISPROVEN WMD lie, over the dead bodies of the Americans that paid for that lie. Shame.

    May 15, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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