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. James

    If Jeb wants a high profile gig in Florida, I think Disney has an opening for a Mickey character. W can visit and play Goofey.

    December 3, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. RJ, Phoenix

    Wait... so Jeb has had a high approval rating for 8 years as FL Governor, yet all you anti GW folks want to brand him an idiot like his brother?

    Unlike his brother, Jeb appears to be a good guy.

    And to all you who say he "rigged elections", where's your proof?

    December 3, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. This Must Be Hell

    I've lost two cousins in Bush's stupid war. Forgive me if I don't jump for joy over Jeb Bush. In fact I think I'll pray that he loses any and all elections.

    December 3, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. rich

    America needs to be free of ALL Bushes! They are toxic. All they are good for is running businesses, states, and the country into the ground. It's time to move on, and the Bushes find some other line of work.

    December 3, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Allison

    All I can say, is Dear Lord–help us all now. Our country cannot deal with another Bush for a very, very, very long time. The concept/possibility of this scares the heck out of me.

    December 3, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Hell's Angels

    How can one family cause so much harm for so many Americans. I don't get it. They like seeing people suffer, otherwise why would they keep coming back?

    December 3, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Debbie

    How about we retire the "Bushes" name like hurricane names when they do so much distruction.

    December 3, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Kiz

    Just what the US needs...another incompentent Bush!

    December 3, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Daniel-orlando,fl

    If jeb bush runs he will win! the guy will get the hispanic vote hands down, guy can give speeches in spainish, he was a great gov, he did a lot for our state. and 2010 is a ways off he has 2 years of no bush in office to clear the family name, and if obama and the dems suck, he win win easily

    December 3, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Tim in NC


    No more Bush! I don't care which one it is, we've dealt with this family's idiocy for 12 of the past 20 years, enough is enough!

    December 3, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Mick

    Pretty Meh. It's Florida, the Republicans will take it in a Senate race. However, on the plus side, Jeb is the smartest of the brother's Bush-except the one that made the baked beans. Hell, if THAT Bush was running, I'd vote for him...if he can do that do baked beans, think what he can do on Capital Hill! <_<

    December 3, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Dave

    Oh my God, please, NO!!!

    December 3, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Ex-Republican

    The last thing we need is this family crime syndicate in office! They are responsible for the complete destruction of all that is american.

    If you want to kiss more of your constitutional rights, more of your american dreams and kill more of our soldiers, and do more harm to our economy, and allow even more attacks on our country to happen.......then by all means, vote for these domestic terrorists, aka "the Bush boys"!

    The Bush's are the worse enemy we face as a nation today...they are a more tangible threat then any foreign terrorist we have!

    December 3, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Carl Justus

    We have had enough of the behind the scenes manipulations, lies, giving the country to the oil companies, multi-national corporations, the military/industrial complex to fill the pockets of all the Bush's for a couple of hundred years and if he wants to run then it will be fine with me.
    The billionaires and the multi-millionaires have had a hay day under this intellectual challenged second Bush and we certainly do not need another one. If he wants to be a so called leader let him migrate to Cuba.

    December 3, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. TPayne

    Being a student of Constitutional policies , I truly feel that the framers did not intend for American dynasties to be perpetrated on the public.

    December 3, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Fla. Voter

    Sadly, the GOP has become too obsessed with power, instead of governing. The newly elected officials have not even taken office, yet, and it appears the Republican Party members are already manuevering for the next election. The challenges our country faces right now deserve all leaders' attention, not political plotting and positioning.

    I had been a Republican all my life, but their actions for power instead of serving the people have made change my affiliation. Jeb Bush is not the GOP's "answer" now. It should be finding a way to address our challenges by working with the incoming leaders, not the next election.

    December 3, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Herman Johnson

    Last thing this WORLD needs is another Bush in anyone office. I would't even go to the movies if there was a Bush in the box office. I wouldn't want my mailf if there was a Bush at the post office...If I got sick...I'd probably just suffer through it if there was a Bush in the Dr.'s Office. LEAVE OUR ECONOMY ALONE!! Because their focus is clearly on NOT helping black people...putting money in their own pockets and keep rich people rich with little guys still struggle. And I'll agree to W's comment about him helping Obama get votes. Everyone was so ready for him to get out of office. Not only did you help us get our DREAM PRESIDENT but you sabotaged the micro fragment of a chance McCain and the Republican party has this year.

    December 3, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. John

    We are BUSHED! No, Never Ever Ever

    December 3, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Rod Hale

    s once said- Read my lips- NO MORE BUSH!!!

    December 3, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Bill

    Jeb was mainly a do-nothing governor. He did nothing terrible other than jimmy the 2000 election with the help of Katherine Harris, but Charlie Cris has proved to be a much more effective governor. Don't we already have enough do-nothings in Congress?

    December 3, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. yes we can

    @Pat F
    .." how stupid the American electorate is – look who they just elected president!"

    I guess you are very intelligent, attended a pretigious University and graduated with cum laude. If not, you are white, not so intelligent, not so educated but racist. What a shame! I prefer an intelligent black President over a white zero.

    December 3, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. GB

    People in Florida surely cannot be that stupid.

    December 3, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. 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 having the Bush regime behind it.

    Anyone with half a brain should realize 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 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Jeb Bush will never become President in the era of You-Tube politics. He has so many racist good ole boy gaffes out there that he will galvanize the minority vote against him. He may win Senate but he won't run in 2012 for Pres.

    December 3, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. carmen

    Can someone please stop these people from re-producing?

    December 3, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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