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. SAB

    Washington does not need another Bush. Look how long it is going to take us to recover from this train wreck.

    December 3, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Alan

    some guy in New Hampshire December 3rd, 2008 10:50 am ET

    "Not all of those colored folks like to tap dance and eat fried chicken and not all Bushes are arrogant, ignorant, and ideologically hidebound. Jeb's name doesn't define his intellect or ability. The question that matters is whether he can be reasonable about the issues or if he's willing to enter intellectual servitude to right-wing party bosses to gain their permission for his candidacy. How he answers that one will say a lot about his character and direction."

    Do you play banjo by any chance? I haven't heard the term "colored folks" used in a public discussion in at least a decade. Interesting you seem to be leaning toward yet another Bush in office.

    Come down of of the hills and catch up with society, would you?

    December 3, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Dave

    Here's the problem. the Bush family has sought to screw over America. This goes back to Prescott Bush who wanted to overthrow FDR. Then the neo-con takeover of the GOP commenced with George H.W. becoming Reagan's VP (by virtue of arm twisting over the nomination since Reagan diliked him). Bush screws over America with NAFTA and continued with Clinton. We all know what George W has done. There is no reason to elect another Bush.

    December 3, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Chris

    I don't think public service comes into play with the Bush boys. It's just pure ego and a lust for power. Enough already with the Bushes!

    December 3, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. David

    GO JEB GO, GO JEB GO!!!! Sounds like a plan to me.

    December 3, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Guess What?!!

    ........... All of you who DO NOT live in Florida, give it a rest!! Your negativity towards Jeb based on what W. has or has not done, is ignorant! Not surprising. Comments like "... Florida love's the Bushs'"... and "Enough of the Bushes".... Well, lets see, Florida voted for Obama... and Jeb is not W. Jeb actually was a good gov., and if he decides to run for the senate seat.... gues what?.... those of you NOT in Florida don't get a say in the matter. Do you even know who your own State Senator is? Most of you prob don't. Worry about them, and quit spittin out critisizms based on a last name. Jeb isn't running for prez, and won't. He doesn't want to be the prez. Besides, Obama is in thru 2016 ( oh and to mike, regarding " the man (obama) has no intelligence".....dude, and you are like, what, a greeter at dollar tree? Obviously you are VERY intelligent, your post was so interesting.... you ignorant idiot).....

    Those who DO NOT live in Florida, worry about your own state and what it is that is going on in YOUR state government. I would say ... try to stop being so ignorant...... but.... those of us with an open mind, who know how to think for ourselves, do find you to be amusing sometimes... so go ahead.. keep judging based on your so called "reason".

    December 3, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Nathan,

    How many of these Bushes are there. The two we've had before were disasters. How can a family of such mediocre minds become so prominent in American politics and power. The answer probably says more about us then them. Florida needs to know that where there's a Bush there's a disaster.

    December 3, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Dee

    I don't think it matters how GREAT a Gov he was...or that he is NOT his brother..the fact that his last name is BUSH is enough for MILLIONS of people to not want him in office...he could be the best thing walking but as long as the name Bush is tied to ECONOMIC failings, WAR, ABUSE OF POWER, etc, he will have a hard time...

    Plain and simple..people are TIRED OF THE BUSHES....

    December 3, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Sodi

    A Republican named Bush has about as much chance of winning election as my Golden Retriever. That this man is even thinking about it is testament to his lack of brains. Obviously, the Bush gene pool has gotten a little shallow these days.

    December 3, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. No Bush

    Sorry JEB your Brother and your dad spoiled the soup for you... no chance !!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Chris DD

    Thank god for Obama. GHWBush, BClinton, GWBush, Obama, HRClinton, JebBush, ChelseaClinton, Bush (George P), etc etc etc etc etc etc.

    December 3, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Phil in KC

    He may be the most competent Bush (he HAS to be better than his brother), but I'm not ready to see another Bush in Washington. The one thing W did was to make his father look good by comparison.

    December 3, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Eric

    A NATION OF WINERS. December 3rd, 2008 11:30 am ET



    Who's "WE" you got a mouse in your pocket or are you pretending to speak for every other American?

    December 3, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Kim

    Good God not another one.

    I wonder if he has a choice in the matter.

    December 3, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Evil Clan

    That was always the plan. Then after stupid Americans put him in the White House, his son will run. We just can't get it right. We want more heartache and pain.

    December 3, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Jerry

    Two Bushes. Two recessions. Bush = recession. Just remember that.

    December 3, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. Kim J

    Unity at its best on this site.

    December 3, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Was I mistaken or does Jeb Bush look like the man who sold me
    real estate. after all he is a real estate agent. I wonder how he ever became a governor. he probaly fixed that election too. With his suntan and his ever growing lines under his eyes he postures and preens like Hilary Clinton. Well Hilary will never be president neither will Jeb.
    Being a senator will satisfy Jebs urge to control and manipulate people, something that jerk likes to do. So now those losers in Florida will have their "suntan" senator.

    December 3, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Jim from CT


    December 3, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. The Joke

    Why not? People are so stupid, they would be willing to vote him back in and then we can have more wars.

    Yesterday someone said that the Bush family doesn't like to reflect. I guess not, then they would have to understand people's pain.

    If this guy gets back in ANY office, I think we'll get what we deserve. He's a loser and so is the rest of his stupid family.

    December 3, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. ChrisB

    Not knowing much about his governorship, I don't know what kind of senator Jeb might turn out to be... or president, for that matter; I'm sure he has his eyes fixed on the White House. But, as the saying goes, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and if he does become senator and/or president, we can expect more of the same Bush politics that got us into trouble in the first place. I'm sure that when Dubya won Florida in 2000, he had a lot of help from his brother.

    It's too late for Jeb to change his name- he's too well-known.

    December 3, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    NO!!!!!!!!!! No more Bushes, and no more Clintons!

    December 3, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Democrat AGAINST Obama






    December 3, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. Sweetie

    Stay out of the Bushes!

    December 3, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Alisha, MN


    December 3, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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