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)

    eric the moron,

    WE ARE 68,000,000 STRONG & WE DO HAVE A FEW


    December 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Dinah

    I won't vote for him.

    December 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. No Bush

    Oh heck NO... No more bushes, shrubs, or weeds are allowed in Washington.

    December 3, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Iowa Mom

    @ Carol from Wisconsin:

    I'm pretty sure there is hate spewing from BOTH sides of the aisle on here every day.

    December 3, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. A. Rose

    Going to agree, if you don't live in Florida, what does it matter. Concerning yourself with your local and state laws is key. Of course, may attention on the bigger scale too, ex. U.S. Secretary of State, etc. We have a say but what will be, will be.

    December 3, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Petena

    I am from Florida and here is my answer and I can speak for the rest of my big family: NO, and please: what part of NO do you understand? No Bush Jeb, George, Bush Dog, Bush Cat, Bush Nada. Get it ? NADA

    December 3, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Leslie

    NO PLEASE NO, this is a family of idiots walking. The apple doesn't fall from the tree...and the mother is a catalyst of hatred and bigotry. I clearly remember her talking about the Katrina victims – well they are better of hear than where they were living – have all those wrinkles smother you brain?

    December 3, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. rockturner

    JEB was instrumental in his brother stealing the election in Florida, why woud anyone trust him not to make the same shady deals in
    the Senate.

    60 Percent approval rating is not good, it is just marginal.

    I think he should focus on fixing his family, before he tries to fix the

    December 3, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Terry M

    And I thought we were out of the bushes!!! We could finally see the daylight.

    December 3, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. nc_doc

    It's interesting that none of the people who complain about the "Bush Dynasty" seem to have any issues with the "Clinton Dynasty", the "Kennedy Dynasty", or any of the other political families on the Democratic side of the aisle.

    December 3, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. Bill Davidson

    I would hope after Mr. Bush as governor of Florida, we would never be foolish enough to ever put him back in office.

    December 3, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. No Bush

    Heck, while we're at it... let's appoint Chelsea Clinton as New York Senator since mommy is going to be the SOS. Then whenever a Bush takes a run at the White House, it'll be Clinton v. Bush III or IV, or...whatever. lol.

    December 3, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. suzyku


    December 3, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. T from AZ


    December 3, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. bigjoerice

    Let him run. The crushing defeat and subsequent humiliation will give him a conversation starter with his big brother at famiiy gatherings.

    December 3, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. David

    Why does CNN let so many ignorant people post I think we should make people answer a few questions to weed out people that have no idea about the subject at hand. Bush is popular in florida for a reason. If you know nothing about the man then shut up. He is not his brother!

    December 3, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Ignorant liberals

    Some of these posters are so ignorant. Some of these posts are from people from NY, PA, VA, etc and they are all saying how terrible a senator he would be. I lived in Florida when Jeb was governor and he was a very good governor. Just because his last name is Bush does NOT disqualify him. Some liberals are just plain sad.

    December 3, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. god bless the US

    I'm sorry, but when they ran a Jim Ryan here to replace the outgoing George Ryan, the democrats used the slogan "NOT ANOTHER RYAN" it was so effective that they ousted Jim Ryan from the nomination and placed in Alan Keyes to run against Obama for senate.

    "Not another Bush!" will be the political catch phrase that will destroy Jeb's run at presidency.

    not to mention the schievo case. I'm sorry Jeb, but your brother George ruined your chance and family name. Perhaps it should have been you in 2000 and 2004 sitting in that office 🙁

    December 3, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz




    December 3, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. Georgia Moderate

    One would tend to think that Jeb would understand that the nation is finished with his famiy. That Senate seat he wants will go to a Democrat. the Democrats just missed their super-majority, but they will most certainly get it in 2010. It's going to be many years before the Bush legacy fades enough for the GOP to become the majority party again.

    December 3, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. louise thomas

    I knew it when that little creep, Carl Rove who was W's advisor, moved to Florida! I just knew that Carl'd be grooming Jeb for the next Bush presidency.

    December 3, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Gary

    Their thirst for power is undying.

    December 3, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Vince

    Floridians, please do not elect this idiot. We've seen more than enough Bushes already!!!

    December 3, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. Chas in Iowa

    I truely believe America has seen it's last Bush in any office for quite some time.
    Everyone hails the good job Jeb did in Florida. I've personally seen the private dining area they built for this fool in Florida that nobody else was allowed to use, (it was located in the middle of a public dining area). Talk about gaul!
    This guy, like the rest of the Bush clan is an insult to all that is good and correct here in America!

    December 3, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Ryan

    I honestly think Jeb Bush in senate is just another step closer in running for president, remember little brother wants the same treatment daddy and big brother got, and republicans may push hin to run instead in 2010 against an incubemt President Obama.

    December 3, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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