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. jeff in MA

    No, that would totally bring down the cumulative IQ of the senate significantly. It would also pave the way for idiots like Jessica Simpson and Tom Cruise to be senators too.

    December 3, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    Hopefully Floridians will remember what he and Kathryn Harris did during the 2004 presidential election, and just say no to more Bush!

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

    Carol from Wisconsin

    Yeah, the Democrats should be mature any pure like you Republicans ... on which planet is Wisconsin located???

    December 3, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Kathy

    Thought Jeb was too busy screwing Katherine Harris, the original Mabeline queen, before Wasilla Hillbilly Sara took over that role.
    And Jeb was a TERRIBLE govenor, just ask Charlie about all the things Jeb messed up that he had to clean up.
    Well maybe Jeb can screw both Harris and Palin. Or maybe his daughter is in need of more Xanax!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    The republicans need to get rid of the Bush name and focus on people with a potential future in politics... Eric Cantor for president 2012

    December 3, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. karen raleigh

    OMG another Bush!!!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |

    Ugh. Please, the WORLD has a Bush hangover. Too bad it was George who's the eldest, because Jeb probably was far more qualified to be President. That said – enough. If we wanted a monarchy we wouldn't have fought a Revolution,

    December 3, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. mary, colorado springs

    Comparing the Bushes with the Kennedys and Clintons is comparing lemons with oranges. The Bush family Y chromosome appears to be defective and the American people paid the penalty twice. Let's not try for a third one. Some families have strains of stupidity, and this appears to be one of them. Please, God, no more Bushes nowhere, no time, no how.

    December 3, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Judy Miami Fl

    People: – Jeb Bush (if you can believe it) is EXTREMELY well liked in Florida even after he helped W steal the 2000/2004 elections.
    We would need to really get out the vote and have a really strong candidate in order to overcome Jeb.

    Please Lord not another Bush!

    December 3, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Bob in Texas with ties to Florida

    I'm not surprised at the comments I've seen here today. Every time I visit this website I am reminded of all the left-wing radicals who are so full of hate it fogs up their eyeballs so they can't see the end of their noses. He isn't going to run for King. He is only running for a seat in the Senate. Yeah, keep bringing up Ronald Reagan. I love being reminded of my favorite President. He wasn't perfect, but he was the best of my generation. And I've lived for a long time and seen a lot.

    December 3, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. Mary


    December 3, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. canuck

    jeb please run. it will continue the bush derangement syndrome and keep these libs busy and not screwing up the country more.

    December 3, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Denise Walters

    Sure why not? I can't think of any reason that Jeb BUSH would have a hard time getting elected.

    December 3, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Walt, Belton,TX

    As a life-long moderate Republican, I can honestly say we've had two Bushes too many! Thank you very much, but no way Jebadiah!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Brandee

    All of you that use these post boards to bash anyone and everyone are seriously sad. Who CARES what his last name is? Just because he is a Bush doesnt mean that he is like his brother, thas is just becoming another form of predjudice. I do not live in Florida and I can't claim to know much about Jeb Bush and his views but he must have done something right to have such a good approval from those who live in Florida. Before some of you say "Must be a Bush supporter" I can say that I did help vote Bush in for President, I can also say I have disagreed with a lot of his choices and agreed with few. However, it is a moot point now with a new President about to be elected. Why doesnt everyone just see what the new President can do? and stop bashing the one currently in office's family just because they have the same last name. All of you who seem to just want to say rude things without any reason need to grow up. To those who have legitimate reasons... good for you. You atlease seem educated. Having your views heard and saying rude things are completely different.

    December 3, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Matt, Chico, CA


    December 3, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. dave

    Is anyone even suprized by this? what a waste of time and money.

    December 3, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. bonnetteblj

    Jeb Bush helped his bro, George, get into the White House with
    his crooked tricks in 2000. Thanks to Jeb, we have two wars, a
    recession going into a depression. Jeb is a creep just like W.
    and we don't need anymore Bush's anywhere in Congress or
    the White House. The Bush's are only for the wealthy and
    the oil companies. Obama/Biden will now have to fix ALL of
    the problems caused by the Bush!

    December 3, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. Jack in Tampa

    This country cannot afford another Bush!!!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. No Hillary = No Obama

    They're bacccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccck!

    December 3, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Greg in Colorado

    Could this family just dissapear? They are like zombies and locusts they are every where and appear when you least want them too. He won't win... The last name Bush is now a term used for failure. Florida, be smart and get the Bush family out of here!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. Lori in St Pete

    Really bad idea. Jeb is the reason Florida is in such dire financial straits now.

    December 3, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Bob Baden

    Another Bush?!? Yes please. And I'll be checking to see if my new garbage disposal works with the one remaining hand I have left. Haven't we already learned this lesson?

    December 3, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. tony

    just judge a person on the principals/ policies he /her stand for ,
    good leaders are given by GOD

    December 3, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Noel teku

    I think, with his approval rating and all, he could make a senate run. But before decalring his candidacy, he should construct a way to seperate him from his unpopular brother. If he can't find a way to do that; he shouldn't run. But if he can find a way to do this, he should seriously consider running.

    December 3, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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