For 2016, Rice says Jeb Bush would be 'fantastic'
May 15th, 2014
01:55 PM ET
4 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. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Hey, all you tea bags! It's started .... The gop establishment has picked their guy, and it isn't Rant or Christie or Marco or Ricky or that guy born in Canada of a Cuban father and American mother who somehow thinks he's a natural-born citizen.

    So here are your choices: Keep sending your guys cash, knowing that it's down the drain.
    Or break from the gop so you can start your own party, because unless you hold your nose real tight, you're not going to vote for the latest shrub.

    May 15, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    Iraq-the US Congess, Dems. included, gave W. a loaded gun & said"Use ONLY if necessary & use it Wisely. W. & Cheney shot up the place inflicting serious, long term damage to our Military, Moral High Ground & stamina to confront other World wide Problems.o

    May 15, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Can't wait to see Thom Tillis,Sheldon Adelson,Rupert Mourdoch,Rove,Grover Norquist and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea party's throats EXACTLY like they stuffed Romney down. Hear that wingnuts? The drumbeat is getting louder.

    May 15, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @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 |
    ***************************************************************************************************************************************

    Rudy, why do you insist on talking to a rock?

    May 15, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Apparently, Rice switched from being a Dem to a repub in 1982 because she didn't agree with Carter's foreign policy stance; also, because her dad was a repub because Dems in Jim Crow Alabama in 1952 wouldn't register her father to vote, but repubs did.

    My question is: Why is she still a repub, given repubs' disastrous economic, military and foreign policy record, not to mention their efforts to disenfranchise minority voters?

    May 15, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    On Benghazi 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."

    We as a nation need to start treating gop/tea bags as the children they are: Put them in time-out starting on November 4, 2014.

    May 15, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Ruh roh Crispy....😳😳😳

    May 15, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Tommy G

    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.
    ---–

    Rudy, it is clear you are very uninformed on this topic.

    "The letter also discloses for the first time a bombing at the U.S. consulate that occurred on April 6, 2012. It says that on that day, two former security guards for the consulate in Benghazi threw homemade improvised explosives over the consulate fence. That incident resulted in no casualties. The Wall Street Journal first reported last month that on June 6 militants detonated an explosive at the perimeter gate of the consulate, blowing a hole through the barrier. The letter to Clinton quotes one source who described the crater as “big enough for forty men to go through.”

    And the host country is not totally responsible for security as these sites are considered US territory. And you of all people should know that Obama took down the government and left the country a lawless shambles with Benghazi in particular crawling with AQ affiliates.

    You really do need to learn at least a little about the topic you post about.

    May 15, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. DRAKE MALLARD

    BUSH FAMILY=Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    May 15, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. DRAKE MALLARD

    Given the Republican obsession with Benghazi talking points, it’s time for a very specific flashback. In 2008, two non partisan groups released a study that determined that President Bush and his top aides made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001

    We Won’t ‘Let Our Campaign Be Dictated By Fact-Checkers’ THE GOP””

    May 15, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Condoleezza Rice is hopeful that Ahmed Chalabi runs for president in 2016 but said it's unlikely she'd be seen on a ballot with the potential candidate. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

    We need a common enemy to unite us.
    Condoleezza Rice

    What you know today can affect what you do tomorrow. But what you know today cannot affect what you did yesterday.
    Condoleezza Rice

    May 15, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Dumbas[R]ocks

    political trollop (noun) - a woman who deliberately debases herself for political consideration.

    That's about dead on, right Donna?

    May 15, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. Donna

    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?
    ---–

    Rudy, you need to stick to one topic and stop conflating. We are talking about people giving money to groups or organizations with which they agree in order to educate people about their viewpoint. Campaign contributions directly to candidates is not the topic being discussed.

    Why are the lefties so afraid of the voting public being educated about the issues when they go to the polls? I know you don't agree with many others and label everything they say as "lies", but that itself is a lie. You say the glass is half empty, I say it is half full. Are either of us wrong? That is what opinion and debate is all about. What is the left SO agraid of? There are many mega-billionaire lefties out there so go get their money and sell your failed ideas in the free and open marketplace of ideas. Stop whining about others selling their ideas. You all sound like two year olds.

    May 15, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. 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?
    -–

    Rudy, you need to stick to one topic and stop conflating. We are talking about people giving money to groups or organizations with which they agree in order to educate people about their viewpoint. Campaign contributions directly to candidates is not the topic being discussed.
    ===================================================
    Uh-uh. You are the one who conflated the conservation by changing the subject to campaign contributions. Wasn't me. You're the one who first bought it up.

    May 15, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Boomer in Mo

    I used to like Jeb. I usually vote Democrat, by the way, but not always. Now he is just a chameleon, saying whatever he things the crowd in front of him wants to here. So who is he? What does he really believe? I have no idea. Can't vote for someone like that.

    May 15, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. Southern Shottie

    Smart, classy lady.

    May 15, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. freedom

    Condi Rice is a class act – and the first female African American Secretary of State – appointed by George W. Bush! The democrats – and our current African American president disregard this fact – with there bogus war on women BS. And the Benghazi questions have become partisan because of this administration – they're lying and refuse to be accountable for their criminal acts – that's why the hearings are necessary – the truth will be exposed once and for all.

    May 15, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. Dumbas[R]ocks

    It appears the politically correct police are out and about protecting rightwingers. Its a shame Donna, because I provided a post that cogently refuted your idiotic quotes of [D] women on the subject of WMDs.

    It looks like you [R]s have guardian angels looking out for you here on the PoliticalTicker to protect you from a harsh reality. It would seem they know you would not be able to stand up to the harsh light of reality all by yourself.

    May 15, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Why are the lefties so afraid of the voting public being educated about the issues when they go to the polls?"

    Why do you characterize Koch brothers/AFP advertisements consistently found to be dishonest and full of lies as helping "educate" the public? Why do you characterize demagogue ads from anybody as "educating" the public when they do nothing but make claims that are not backed up by data, but rather are nothing more than a collection of conclusory statements without any backup, data, facts, analysis and cogent argument to support them? It's fine if you admit that it's nothing more than opinion...but please, you're fooling nobody by calling it "education."

    If you'd like to get on board with truth-in-political-advertising legislation, you let us know, mmmkay?

    May 15, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Hillary Clinton - Butcher of Benghazi

    Jeb Bush would never have stood around and let 4 American be murdered. Obama and Hillary Clinton did exactly that. They are worse than failed leaders, they are deadly failed leaders.

    May 15, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. ChrisM

    Anyone with names like Bush, Cheney or Rumsfield, etc., will not win any election for a long time in America.

    May 15, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. Thomas

    It's amazing how the conservative right wing republicans complain about big government and wasteful spending .

    Yet they are all in favor of unlimited campaign spending , and unlimited campaign contributions .

    So it's ok to spend big money to elect politicians to make a smaller government. Thats such a hypocrisy . it's like giving a meth addict more speed to come down !

    May 15, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Thomas

    @Donna
    Why are the lefties so afraid of the voting public being educated about the issues when they go to the polls?

    Were not !

    Don , why are you and your republican friends so afraid of voters rights ?

    May 15, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Everybody KNOWS rice is just a bush family GOP STOOGE, your all done with NO CREDIBILITY like the REST of the GOP !!!!!!

    May 15, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Thomas

    @Donna

    Jeb Bush / Condoleezza Rice
    No Voter Left Behind 2016 ?

    May 15, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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