December 3rd, 2008
01:55 PM ET
14 years ago

Jeb Bush considering Senate run

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Jeb Bush may mount a bid for Senate."]

(CNN) – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is considering a bid for the United Sates Senate, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos told CNN Tuesday.

Republicans are urging Bush, the president's younger brother, to strongly consider making a bid for the seat currently held by outgoing Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. The first term senator announced Tuesday he would not run for reelection, setting off what's sure to be one of the most hotly-contested Senate battles in 2010.

Bush, who served as Florida governor from 1999 until 2007 and enjoyed high approval ratings, will take the next month to consider getting into the race, Castellanos said on CNN's The Situation Room. Castellanos is a CNN contributor. Bush also told the Politico he is "considering" getting into the race.

Should Bush decide to run, his presence would add immediate star power to a race Democrats are likely to make their top target in 2010. But the former governor, who has largely remained out of the spotlight over the last two years, could be hindered by his close association with the unpopular outgoing president.

"Let me give him some free advice," Paul Begala, a CNN contributor, said. "Change your name. Run as John Ellis not John Ellis Bush. The Bush brand is probably what croaked Mel Martinez."

According to Florida exit polls on Election Day, just 9 percent of Floridians approve of President Bush’s job performance. But Jeb Bush left office in 2007 with approval ratings well over 60 percent, a sign he could be insulated in the state from his brother's unpopularity.

Since exiting the governor's office, Bush has served on the board of Tenet Healthcare Corporation. He also joined the now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2007 as an adviser to its private equity business.

Bush endorsed McCain's presidential bid last February, though rarely campaigned on his behalf.

According to published reports, Democrats view Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer, as the candidate best positioned to run for the seat. Before Martinez's announcement Sink suggested she was uninterested in the run, but it's likely she now may reconsider.

Democrats are also considering Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a high-profile supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton's bid, though Schultz's congressional spokesman said it is unlikely she will run. Other Democrats mentioned include Reps. Kendrick Meek and Allen Boyd.

On the Republican side, Reps. Vern Buchanan and Connie Mack are said to be interested, as well as several GOP state officials.

Filed under: Jeb Bush
soundoff (768 Responses)
  1. sick n tired

    Jeb my friend I can save you a whole lot of trouble by telling you that YOU DON'T HAVE A PRAYER!

    December 3, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. george from alaska

    jeb bush is directly responsible for several florida scientists being fired for collecting water quality data that showed the water in the everglades might as well come directly from a cow's rear end. there are several lawsuits against the state for these ridiculous firings. all we need is for this dude to be anywhere near the us capitol!

    December 3, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. Phil, Ashburn, VA

    My drunk brother did it, why can't I??

    December 3, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Please Jeb


    December 3, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. GOP=Epic Fail

    Let Jeb run so that we can have a real investigation of the 2000 Florida election fraud.

    Lets find out how Bush Sr. Made Jeb Bush put Florida in favor of George Bush Jr.

    May Jeb lose his campaign due to family corruption.

    December 3, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Darko

    The fact that you still claim he 'GAVE' his brother Florida shows your idiocy.

    Remove the tin foil hat and take the florida election movies back to blockbuster.

    W had EASY terms as Texas' governor. Jeb...not so much. Multiple Hurricanes, etc...
    The fact that the democrats openly admit that they like him is enough for me.

    December 3, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Dayahka

    Well, he wouldn't have to run–he could just waddle in unopposed. But, please, no more Bush presidents, OK. We don't need a Bush dynasty.

    December 3, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. HouseDiva

    DEAR GOD NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jeb Bush was the financial adviser to Lehman Brothers!

    December 3, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. MsRotten

    Make the Bush's, ALLof them, GO AWAY!!!!

    December 3, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Bama for Obama

    The first Bush took us to war
    The second Bush kept us in war
    A third Bush will give us Armageddon and famine

    December 3, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Zaheeda

    I am not a fan of George Bush at all. However, I was a fan, and still am a fan of Jeb Bush. Honestly I think the people on here are being unfair towards him. How many of you are Floridians...I am. I remember how hard he worked for us in 2004 after four hurricane devastated this state. If he works that hard in the senate, he has my vote regardless of his party or his brother.

    December 3, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  12. Wise old man

    The comparison between George W. Bush and Sarah Palin were scary- they talk the same, they walk the same and they are both dumb and inarticulate....I would love for the repubs to let her become the candidate in 2012- she's a sure loser. She can get the uneducated southern yahoos to vote for her while the other 90% of us will vote for someone who can actually do something positive for our country...and perhaps Jeb will dumb himself down enough to be her running mate...this is probably as good as the repubs can do...they've become a pathetic lot.

    December 3, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. CMG

    Oh my gosh, is this family ever going to go away? Have you ever heard the old saying, "three strikes you are out."

    December 3, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. Gary

    Jeb better stay where the Repubs need him the most. On the Vote Counting Commite.

    December 3, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    some men like Bush and Romney they don't know the meaning of the word "no". You've got to slap them in the face, watch them lose an election by a great margin, bring them to their knees and finally they will learn the meaning of the word "no". and the meaning of "we don't like them".

    December 3, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  16. chris ludlow

    why can you post the ost inane comments immediatley? my God the bias is so obvious!

    December 3, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  17. VK

    One of the wonderful things about Florida politics is that the old politicos rise from the grave every couple of years like vampires, trying to live off the lifeblood of the electorate. If there isn't a place for them, somebody will create a position for them .

    Witness Bush cronie Tom Feeney's republican dominated congressional district, made for him after his state house position ended, and which he lost after being exposed as currupt. So we have put up with them over and over, just in different jobs.

    The neocons voted in W. because they hoped that he wouldn't fall far from the Bush family tree and look at the mess we're in now, with a record defecit, two wars and a recession. Pinning their hopes on the Bush brand is like eating rotten apples from the same barrel: well, maybe they're not all bad.....

    Remember that the deciding state during the Bush/ Gore election was Florida. Sure helps that the person running the elections in Florida under Jeb was also the state campaign chairperson for G.W.. Bush. If Jeb would have done the honorable thing and had someone else administer the elections, maybe the outcome would have been very different. Jeb allowed a flawed election to take place, making Florida the laughing stock of the world just to further the political career of his idiot brother.

    No more Bush.......

    December 3, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Jenn


    December 4, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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