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, FL

    Please...if there is a God...don't let this happen! We have suffered enough! Fellow Floridians...a call to (figurative) arms! The state is under attack! The Bushes are like vampires...they drink our blood and they never die!

    December 3, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |

    Bush Palin in 2012, what a ticket ! with those two running our country corporations will have full authority to bankrupt themselves once more.

    December 3, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Dan

    Wow, I wonder if we'll have any trouble tying him to George Bush

    December 3, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. RPB

    WHAT.......The U.S. cannot afford another Bush in Washington

    December 3, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Vote against Jeb. He was a sorry governor, ruined state government. Try to get services from state agencies after the huge cuts in staff, with little or no raises to the remainingemployees who had to shoulder the additional load. This was while the economy was very strong. I can't think of a single thing about him that would recommend him for a government position, elected or non-elected.

    December 3, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Bill Charlotte,NC

    What the world needs is yet another Bush and a Palin press conference.

    December 3, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. jomo

    Oh nooo, not another one! Will we be destined to have them come back every several years to wreak havoc like the locusts do in Africa??

    December 3, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. IndyVoter

    Actually, Jeb wasn't that bad of a Republican Gov. and he speaks Spanish. I would have prefered him as Prez than Dubya.

    December 3, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. Cynt

    oh no not another bush in office in FLA. Jeb go far, far, far, away we have had enough of you and you dumb brother.

    December 3, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. Victory Gin

    This man isn't fit to run a 7-eleven, much less my beautiful state or this NATION, for that matter.
    I've lived through the Bush rule of America and my beloved Florida. If this man makes it anywhere near the Whitehouse, the world will collectivelt wipe us out for the dangerously high level of ignorance and stupidity.

    Florida is my home and has been for 29 years. I dare you tell me I don't know what I'm talking about when I say this man is just another Bush menace. My kids have a terrible education to look forward to and insurance/property taxes that are beyond ridiculous.

    Thanks a lot...JEB. Moron.

    December 3, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. tony_n_atl



    December 3, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. Chris W

    1. Jeb Bush is W's older brother, not the other way around.

    2. Most of you people are ridiculous. Supporting someone or opposing someone based solely on their last're way better than that. Many of us have horrible fathers and brothers, do you want to be held accountable for their actions and mistakes.

    3. The amount of hatred by you sickens me.

    December 3, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Jack Mehoffer

    SHouldn't we wait until America has something of worth to steal before electing another Bush thief?

    December 3, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Jeana

    Oh HECK NO! That is one family that should take their defective genes and vacate any position of power. I'm hoping I never hear the Bush name again in Washington!

    December 3, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. divad

    Man they just keep coming don't they.
    I guess Dubyas daughters will run for president in the future too...or Jeb's kids (if he has any). Bushes go away!!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Marie in California

    Jeb Bush sounds good to me.

    December 3, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Lutisha BeeBranch Ark

    PLEEZZZZZZZZZ say no we had enough with the Florida Vote Fix ,Which gave us your brother give it up we have had enough Bushes!!!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. Laverne

    I am sure having a brother named George W. Bush won't help his chances. Besides, Jeb Bush is a crook too, he help steal the election from Al Gore in 2000, and it won't be forgotten!

    December 3, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. ME AT FL

    NO WAY!!!! He was bad and inefficient in FL as governor !!! STAY HOME, RETIRE!! NO MORE BUSHES!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. Jo

    Common!!, just because they share the same last name does not mean anything. George W. and Jeb Bush are not the same person. Jeb Bush is actually very popular in Florida after several years as Governor. That is the difference!! Also, he has great executive experience and could be a great president!!! Nothing like his brother!!! He actually worked with Democrats in Florida to get things done!!!

    Mmmm,,,,,I just remember. George W. was also very popular after two terms in Texas. BUT!!, well, no, they also said he had great executive experience. Aghh!! He also claimed he would work with Democrats like he did in Texas!!! Ohhh no!! They may actually be exactly the same guy!!!

    December 3, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. who?

    We wont get fooled again, or will we??

    December 3, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. Jeff

    Is there anyone, ANYONE, in the country who cares about what spews from the lips of Paul Begala?

    The guy defines "irrelevant".

    December 3, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. LM75

    Keep Jeb Bush out of there, please. Haven't we suffered enough?

    December 3, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Independent Voter

    I wouldn't be surprised if America was dumb enough to put another Bush in office. Even though the Bush name is tainted right now. I just have a feeling 8 years from now, another Bush might rear it's ugly head.

    December 3, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. Tim

    Please, Jeb, stay away from Washington.

    The country has suffered enough from the foibles of the Bush Family

    December 3, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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