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. YesWeDid

    I am a Florida Democrat and I will say that I will do ANYTHING to prevent Jeb Bush from being elected in Congress. Of all the Bushes, I sincerely hate this Bush more than any of them. He is the worst Governor ever. He's the one responsible for our horrible education system.
    Jeb Bush does not represent my state and he never will.
    Please, someone nominate Robert Wexler for Senate.
    Anyone. Except. Bush. Enough is enough!!

    December 3, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. California Girl

    Jeb seems to have more brains than the rest of the family, but I have had enough of that family, period.

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

    Can we find a good star Democrat to run for the Senatorial seat in Florida and real soon. Lets get the Republicans out of office in Florida. The sooner the better!!! We've got to get moving on this.

    December 3, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. J.Crobuzon

    Since you mention it, I would favor a Constitutional amendment barring any close relative of a former president from holding political office for fifty years. Call it the "No Bush Left Behind" Law.

    December 3, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. AP in AUrora

    If Georgia can elect a thug like Saxby Chamblis, why not Jeb? We will never learn, do we? How can we forget Jeb's politicizing of Terry Schiavo?

    December 3, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Milhouse van Houten

    It should be part of the constitution,no more than TWO members from any ONE family should be able to occupy the White House.

    December 3, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. chuck

    America does not need another BUSH . They are just like the terrorists--just occupying space.

    December 3, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Grog in Ohio

    ARG... I just lost my lunch...

    48 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    December 3, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. JWheeler

    This is truly bad news! This country cannot afford another Bush in the White House and a Senate run could only mean that Jeb's eventual target is just that. Dems need to fight this eventuality starting NOW!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. ran

    To nc-doc that is because those you cited never tried to screw over the American people like all of the Bushes. This country deserves better then the Bushes.

    December 3, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Wow?

    Excuse me for going to throw up.

    December 3, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Floridafish

    Never gonna' happen in this State. I think the Bush name is to toxic, and will be until the next generation is dead and gone. If he is elected it surely will be a sign of the "End Times". However, I didn't think we would vote for George W. in 2004 and I was worng.

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

    remember terry shavio? this is the man that butted into a family decision because the parents would not accept the fact that when terry married her husband has the right to determine the course of treatment. he then started the whole fiasco that followed. this man should never run for public office. he would stick his nose and ideas into areas are for family decisions only. please, don't have this man in office again.

    December 3, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Joeseph

    We should never let another Bush near Washington DC again. I'm sorry, but this country will take years to recover from his brother's administration.

    December 3, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Yet another Bush in office? Hopefully he will realize the damages caused by his brother W. and find another line of work.

    Right now the Bush name has been a train wreck, so he may have a hard time getting any where. With a name like Jeb, he could a part in the Dukes of Hazzard. Or a remake of HeeHaw!

    December 3, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Proud American from New England


    December 3, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. KMAN

    The Bush family ... far too much ego ... far too little talent!

    December 3, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. IRISH

    I think the Bush "dynasty" is a lot better than the Kennedy "dynasty". There are WAY too many Kennedy's sticking their nose into everything and at least, as far as I know, Bush has not killed someone with his car and then played "injured" while his family & cohorts tried to make everyone believe he did all he could. Yeah Right. Guess the good thing is Kennedy will never attempt to run for president again. The one and only time he ran, people couldn't talk enough about Chappaquidick. What a joke that family is. Sad to say, he is the senator from my state. So just remember, there are MUCH, MUCH WORSE people than a Bush you could have for president. ANY KENNEDY!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Rumsfeld

    ...and you know the sad truth is, this Bush will win simply because people are sheep and fail to make informed votes. You know that Daddy Bush always wanted Jeb to be president, not George. Jeb was/is the Bush golden child and due to unfortunate circumstances and his older brother's stupidity, has been written off due to the Bush name and legacy.
    If he runs, he will prediction. And, in 8-12 years we will see the Bush family "grow" back into another presidential run....another obvious prediction.
    Please people, let's all do our part to maintain awareness and strive to return this country to some beacon of intelligence and leadership for ourselves and the world. A return to the Bush legacy is unacceptable. Honestly, I would take the Clinton legacy over the Bush version ANYTIME.

    No more Bush family...ever.

    December 3, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Lynn

    Enough is enough! Hopefully Bush family can find other business to do to show their talent, I mean talent, to save their reputation.

    December 3, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Jacob

    I have taken my time and read through all of the comments, I have seen words like "obamaiacs", and "stupid liberals". My question and comment for the residents of Florida who ultimately have the last word if such a situation were to occur, how do you say not to judge a person based on his last name, his grandfather Prescott Bush helped fund The Nazi movement, his father George H.W. Bush forced his way on the political scene by using his influence to become a vice president of a President didnt like him and then became a President who was of no value and directed the country into a useless war and then George W. Bush became president after inherting a wonderful country with a surplus enjoying peace and prosperity and ruined that by creating a defecit so large it's unbelievable, finished up his dads issue with Sadamm and steered us through a near recession and then finally to a complete recession. My queestion are you crazy, how do you see this history and say give him a chance; to do what kill us all.. Please make comments that make sense.

    December 3, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. JT

    Oh God please not another Bush.

    December 3, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. ScottC543

    Does the name Terry Schiavo ring a bell with anyone?????

    December 3, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. RW

    He helped his brother cheat his way to the White House.
    in 2000, we don't need another Texas Horse Thief in Washington.

    December 3, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  25. Jaye

    Jeb will have no problem winning Florida.

    December 3, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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