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. JB

    No thanks. No more Bushs in the White House. Jeb can thank Pres. Albatross for ruining his political future too.

    December 3, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Sense

    He is his OWN man!!! You idiots that cast a family name across someone should compare yourselves within your own must certainly be just like your brother or sister...right?

    December 3, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Kimberly

    i had to deal with this loser as Governor of Florida. He is horrible!

    December 3, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Monique

    Now, why doesn't this surprise this because the price of oil is declining? Or does he think he has a chance with the American People?

    Somebody pinch me! I must be dreaming....

    December 3, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. dave

    this country can not afford another Bush in politics anywhere.

    December 3, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Tom in Delaware

    I'd like to give Paul Begala some free should quit your day job and start working full-time as the new Mr. Potato Head.

    December 3, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. TheAuthority7

    This guy is just as bad as his brother. My brother was neglected in a nursing home in Fla., and thanks the Jeb, there's nothing we can do about it because he put laws in place to provide unbeatable protection to all nursing homes in Florida. They filled Jeb's pockets with large money bags, and now the new governer is trying to undo the mess caused by Jeb.

    The Bush family... so bad for this world, they sold their soul to the devil.

    December 3, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. James From Chicago


    December 3, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. Johny

    You people are trashing Jeb Bush simply because of his last name. For all of you morons out there, this is called prejudice. If you want to trash a person based on their family name, then why not pick on President-Elect Obama. Why? Because his middle name is Hussein. His last name is Obama, which is close to Osama. You see how ridiculous this sounds. If the man has a 60% approval rating, he must be doing most things right. The democrats always accuse the right-wing of fear and hate-mongering. It seems the dems are just as guilty of this.

    December 3, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. Peggy, Houston, TX


    December 3, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. EBinSF

    Carol from Wisconsin – You say you want to converse like adults, then in your next sentence, you attack the left for "immature, rude and childish hate mongering." That behavior exists on both sides – you are a good example, and until it stops on both sides, we can't converse like adults.

    December 3, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. sa miami fl

    no way...... because of jeb schools in florida do not teach they prep for the fcat

    December 3, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. logical

    And the hits keep on coming. Why can't they just retire and count the billions they've made over the past century??? After Jeb takes his turn at bat, there is yet ANOTHER generation of Bushes who will eventually run for office.

    America is not immune from hereditary, political dynastic rule (i.e. Tafts, Roosevelts, Kennedys, Cabot/Lodges, Clintons, Daleys etc.). In fact, we seem to embrace it too easily and too blindly.

    December 3, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Kaye- Jacksonville FL

    Florida here – loud and clear. Jeb Bush was popular because too many Florida voters are ignorant, right-wingers. He was TERRIBLE for education and his Republican SoS ensured that brother George stole Florida and the Presidency in 2000. Don't let that that oft quoted approval rating fool you – he wasn't a historically great Governor.

    December 3, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. JD

    I voted Bush in 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2004 and even I can't stomach the thought of another Bush in the White House.

    It's time for some fresh faces and revitalized conservative ideals in the GOP. I've had enough of this "go along to get along" liberalized brand of Republicanism.

    December 3, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Lorna, NY

    This is just great, he'll run for senate and try for the presidency in 2012. Are people this stupid to elect another Bush?

    December 3, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. mary, colorado springs

    The Bush family have had 2 members in Washington and both screwed up. I don't think the American people can survive a 3rd. Let's end it NOW!!! This country doesn't need another Bush, now or ever. Let Jeb find some other way to make a living. There's always McDonald's or Wal-Mart!

    December 3, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. ran

    Will the nightmare ever end. Please people of Florida don't let this guy anywhere near DC.

    December 3, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Chris

    NOt another Bush , Look at just one did in only eight years , What next ??? Palin in 2012 ??? Come on The republicans need to stop picking the creme' dela creme of the Idiot tree....

    December 3, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Florida for Education

    Oh mamma mia,

    another one???

    please, let's stop him ...............

    Floridians dont need such a curse, we are nice people

    December 3, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Bubba

    Stop saying it's a Florida "local-politics" thing. Jeb's been in our face for years, and since he went nutzo over the Terry Schiavo affair he's a national figure. Every American is allowed to think of him as a weasel, desperately craving power and influence, browbeaten by his weird old daddy until he'd do anything he was told. Despising rich kids is second nature to us Americans on account of our freedom and liberty, you know.

    December 3, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. DANA


    December 3, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Chris

    Not Another Bush !!! I mean look at just one bush did to the country in 8 years ..... What next ??? Palin in 2012 ??? The republicans need to stop picking the Creme' dela Creme' of the Idiot tree ....

    December 3, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. BB

    TO Leslie: You are a total idiot. To make matters worse you can't spell, and your grammer is even worse. YES you are obviously defined as an "Airhead Bama Booster". I'm suprised you are even able to read.

    December 3, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. ge

    I wonder if goofy jeb or shall i say (JETHRO -CLAMPIT LOOK ALIKE) brother G.W. will do any campaining for him?:) Another problem he may have is when his daughters drug addict friends come out of the woodwork could be a huge prob for jethro

    December 3, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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