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. Lorraine

    We have been BUSH-WACKED over and over again. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!

    December 3, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Florida Joe

    To Guess What?!!

    I Do live in Florida and we do not need another Bush anywhere near Washington to represent us

    No How No Way...NO MORE BUSHES

    December 3, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. BS not Maverick

    I will campaign against you and vote against you, I had enough of your brother, Thank you very much!

    December 3, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Rush Lameduck


    December 3, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. John from SC

    Oh God NO!

    December 3, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. North Atlanta GA

    Maybe Jed can convince Cheney's daughter to run as his president running mate in 2012; Oh No, another Bush/Cheney Ticket!!

    December 3, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. Get over it

    To Luke

    "To all you conservatives out there… when will you learn? You prey on ignorence, greed, and fear"


    And democrats prey on hatred, lies, ignorance, greed, and fear. And all you have to do to verify that is to look at this last election.

    December 3, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. ben

    Enough, Enough, Enough. Please, no more Bushes.

    December 3, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Kristen

    To me, the Evil Smart of Jeb is even worse than the Evil Stupid of W. Jeb does not play well with others, and I was grateful we have term limits in Florida. Enough.

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

    good then us dems are going to win there too, Bushes are done forever we know how evil they all are we will never let them back in ever...

    December 3, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. SC

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. If you get fool once, you can't get fool again. Sorry! Sorry to disappoint you, Jab. That's your brother, GW's quote.

    December 3, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Michelle

    Terri Schiavo- Jeb Bush demonized her husband, made her business our business (unfortunately), and that gives us every right to an opinion, Floridian or not.

    December 3, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. norma wilkinson

    How can anybody even consider another Bush in the political scene. Speaking of Jeb in Florida, wasn't he the master of trickery during the fiasco in Florida voting in2001?He was responsible for George being president.Please,no more BUSHES.

    December 3, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. PAT California

    Jeb would probably be a good choice. Too bad he wasn't the presidential choice. Unfortunately, people find that another Bush is one too many! The other two left us in a shambles and is the country willing to take a chance on number 3? Could he redeem the family name? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    December 3, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Thought Criminal

    ... And here we go again.

    December 3, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Crystal

    Jeb Bush, please don't even run for the PTA! No member of the Bush family should ever be in charge of ANYTHING ever again. As for W...don't let the door hit you.

    December 3, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Chris

    LOL. I hope he teases this for awhile, just to see you leftists go nuts.

    December 3, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Jeb in OKC

    Not only is the nation tired of his family , but "JEB" Bush's real name is JOHN ELLIS BUSH. For all the real Jeb's out there, I say to this imposter - Go home, and let the country recover from what your family has done!

    December 3, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Joe, Florida

    I'm from Florida, believe that If Jeb Bush runs for the Senate, he will win it. He's very popular here; he's been effective at distancing himself from his brother (that's the perception) and perception is in practice reality.

    He won't get my vote, but he will probably win it.

    December 3, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Time Lord

    Too many shrubs obscure the view. Time to uproot this bush from the political gene pool.

    December 3, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Stephen

    If Jeb Bush wants to run for the senate he can probably win in Florida people you're forgetting that he was a popular governor and the state voted for Bush twice. Democrats, we keep forgetting that if Al Gore won his home state Florida wouldn't have been a problem.

    Now winning the Presidency is another issue for the republicans. Sarah Palin was seen by about 60% of those in exit polls that she's not experienced enough to be vice president! I definitely can't see her winning the White House in four years. This country is centrist, not conservative nor liberal. Republican's best bet is to wait until 2016 until anyone moderate and qualified shows up. Romney, Huckabee, and Giuliani will probably not be governing or legislating by 2012 if they were once again, they'd only be there for two years and they'd abandoned any chance of getting their home state as it'd be seen as just a stepping stone to once again run for president.

    December 3, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Trish Hussein - PA

    For the love of God, make it stop!

    December 3, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Pattie K


    December 3, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Gary

    What don't the Bushes get? Every time one is in office, we're plunged into war and recession. The country can't afford another loser.

    December 3, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Tammy, OR

    It's a trilogy nightmare. I hear three times is the charm. Well in this case, three times is the harm. Bushes = pain. Plain and simple.

    December 3, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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