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. 60 year old white female and proud supporter of PE Obama

    Bushes and Clintons...will it ever end???

    December 3, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. Matt

    God I hope FL stays smart. The Dynasty of Idiocy needs to end with W. Stop electing this family.

    December 3, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Well...surprise, surprise! I am shocked (not).

    December 3, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Lauren the Designer

    Oh please god no more Bushes.

    December 3, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. The Bushes

    Great!!! This guy wants to run for Senat and maybe he would like to run for 2012 as well.

    Why not! Papa was a President, Brother was a President, and just maybe he would like to be the President as well. Keep rigging the votes.

    December 3, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. Wes

    Please Lord, no more Bushes in politics.

    December 3, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. give me a braek!!

    oh no not another bush!!!!!

    December 3, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. Bubba

    Change your name to "Jeb Mud." We talkin' about the guy who said he hadn't foreseen a hurricane ever striking Florida?

    December 3, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Oh No...not another Bush. Shame on America if a third Bush makes it to the White House.

    December 3, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Scott NYC Independent

    I guess he'll run for President in 2012; well there goes Sara......he he

    December 3, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    He had better change his last name if he wants to stand any kind of chance to get elected to anything even dog catcher!

    December 3, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Jeff Brown

    One would think that smart people would have had enough of the Bush family. That being said, we are talking about Florida here, so all bets are off!

    December 3, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Shirley

    Just what we need. Another Bush who is seeking steps for his turn at the White House after Obama straightens out the mess. I sure will never ever vote for another Bush.

    December 3, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Jordan - South Dakota

    Great... that's the last thing we need is another bush in office.

    December 3, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Dan in PA

    Awesome. Another Bush in Washington.

    Maybe he can be Palin's running mate?

    December 3, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. NYFN08

    Times have changed Jeb. People are smarter. It's not as easy to rig an election in America these days

    December 3, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. Doug R.

    Anyone who votes for this JEB Bush moron should have their head examined. This man is a big pile of you know what.

    December 3, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. carol

    We don't need to see the Bush name again anywhere, we've had enough of that family....after seeing his brother trash this country does he think we need another one to take his place..... I don't think so!!!

    December 3, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. Tony


    December 3, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. newz4i

    Please, please, give us a break for at least 20 years.

    December 3, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. Frank the Tank

    And I thought no more Clintons and no more Bushes, awesome!!!

    December 3, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. whotoo

    enough of the Bush's. Let other be given the chance. Let the Republican Party bring new names and young faces with intellectual abilities. Jeb Bush's role in 2000 general election is well known. His brother won. Won? yeah right.

    December 3, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  23. Joe M

    Sad truth is that Jeb was a good governor and far better suited to be President than brother George. That being said, Begala is right. That last name is a big handicap

    December 3, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  24. Donkey Party

    We need another Bush as badly as we need another Palin.

    December 3, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. Chuck

    Ole lord!!!!!!!!!! This is just what we need! Although he was pretty good as Florida's gov., his brother might have made it impossible................. I take that back. Jeb is in the south so he has a great shot at winning actually. And being from Savannah Georgia, I should know!

    December 3, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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