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. Luke

    A smarter Bush is still a Bush. To all you conservatives out there... when will you learn? You prey on ignorence, greed, and fear. This man is no different from any of the other conservative slime balls – Karl Rove, George W Bush, Ted Stevens, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin.. etc...etc. I just wonder how you can look at these people and say "Gee, I think they are doing a great job!" ??? If making sure that the wealthy keep every penny, and everyone else stays screwed over is your idea of smart, then yes, Jeb Bush is for you! If using military strength to make the rest of the world hate us then, Yes, Jeb Bush is for you! Have any of you even looked at the taxing of the different demographics under republican rule? Get educated! This isn't politics, it's blatant stupidity. Enough is enough! If you elect Jeb Bush, you are only furthering America's failures!

    December 3, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Phil

    I just want to add that while I think he would be a great Senator I would not vote for him at any point for President. Thats not because of him, it's simply because if we elect another Bush the world would think we are a country full of morons.

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


    First off, Jeb Bush should not even consider running for a seat in the Senate, because if his intentions are to eventually run in 2012 for the Presidency its not going to happen, simply due to the Bush Legacy which has been shattered by W.

    Secondly, though this has nothing to do with Jeb, PLEASE tell Campbell Brown to stop with her ridiculous points on sexism. Just watched the video of Rendell going on about how Napolitano has no life. What does her being a woman have anything to do with this?? Why is Campbell bringing up the fact that if it was a man with no family, then this would not have been said.
    Campbell Brown get your act together because what your saying is BULL .. Cut through it! Isnt that the point of your show?? Its getting just frustrating watching you now!

    December 3, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Guess What?!!

    If you do not live in FLA. then, shuddup already!! Jeesh, worry about your own state and what's going on in your state government. You have NO SAY in who becomes FLA's state senator, so keep your ignorant comments to yourselves. Boy the overall intelligence level of this country is LOW!! Thank God there were enough of us smart enough to vote for Obama, and not buy into the McCain/Palin Bulls#$T!!! And to those few who posted here about Palin running for the senate in Fla?!!! LOL ... Move to Alaska!! Wow, you people are so easily manipulated! Funny, ... but kinda scary as well.... seeing as you all are obvioulsy allowed to walk the streets

    December 3, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. Kim

    This family needs to let the dust settle for a while before tossing yet another Bush into the ring (again).

    December 3, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. jane

    If anyone in America votes these guy into a high level seat in the government including a seat in the senate, America deserves exactly what it gets subsequently. Never! Never again should the Bush brand be allowed in politics...and that goes for anyone with a different last name with the Bush regime behind it.

    Anyone with half a brain should realized that if 'ol' Jeb' gets a senate seat, his father and his father's cronies would continue through governmental access to further divide and then destroy the principles of this country while fleecing the American public of everything we have... Two thumbs down. Let's not make the same mistake a third time. Question authority and popularity!!

    December 3, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Tom

    The entire bush crime family should be in jail. NO MORE bush.

    December 3, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. Jakob

    This has to be some sort of joke. Can we ban the Bush's from being politicians?

    December 3, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Debbie

    Oh my God, please don't let is get Bush wacked again!!!!

    It's like the 3 strikes law and in this situtition we don't want or need another Bush in office.

    December 3, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. Shannon, IL

    The father didn't do so well, so the oldest son stepped in and did worst. Now the youngest son is going to run because Republicans are just greedy enough to put him in, and the religious right is just selfish enough to let them. We're doomed with any Bushes, but I guess we'll have to find that out.

    Trust me, this guy won't ask for small donations. He's in big business' pocket already.

    December 3, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. terry

    No Mas, no more Bush....they have no clue what ordinary americans are....

    December 3, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Stephen

    Hopefully the residents of Florida are not stupid enough to elect him as their Senator. Just because he had a high approval rating as a Governor doesn't mean he'll be an effective Senator. After all, the world and the US have changed. All you have to do is remember Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris from the 2000 election to say.."enough is enough".

    December 3, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Hank

    Oh please – just shoot me instead!

    December 3, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. JFK

    We have had enough from this family! No more!!

    December 3, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Jim

    Yah, let's vote in Joe the Plummer while we are at it. Yay America!

    December 3, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Dayahka

    Two Bush presidents is two too many. No more Bushes.

    December 3, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. Kelly, MO

    How many Bushes are there. Just enough to make our lives miserable for generations to come.

    They are wealthy and have a lot of time on their hands. They can keep running for office until eternity or as long as people are stupid enough to keep voting them in.

    Jeb is smart, he thinks by 2012 we'll forget how much damage his brother did. And he may be right.

    December 3, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Pat F

    Luke, come down from the Mount – you're not qualified to deliver any sermons.

    December 3, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. James

    Has the Bush family no shame at all?

    December 3, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Biff

    The Carlisle Group ought to be THRILLED....

    Another of daddy bush's boys to puppet around

    December 3, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. Barbara Laird

    I don't think sociaty want o hear the word Bush ever again, we're talking nightmare action when you here that name! Maybe he needs to let the dust settle before running for anythin in that name!

    December 3, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Pat F

    @ The Joke: You are so right about how stupid the American electorate is – look who they just elected president!

    December 3, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. mark in az

    I dunno. There's alot of stupid people in Fla. It just might happen.

    December 3, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Marcie, VA

    Jeb Bush is a big fat lazy pig. He doesn't have to do anything, all he has to do is stand up there with his big Barbara goofy looking face and folks will vote him in.

    Get a real job and stop pandering to the lowest form of life Jeb. You're slime.

    December 3, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. David/Florida

    Bil Clinton for US Senate in2010, for President in 2012. NO MORE BUSCH, NONE!!!! EVER!!!!!!

    December 3, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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