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. Mike

    God help us all. NO MORE BUSH IN OFFICE – EVER!!!

    December 3, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. hollyglightly123

    This whole family should retreat to an island and never be heard from again. Jeb. Mr. "Rush to get the Senate to oppose taking Terry Schiavo off life support." Is this the kind of action we can expect from him?

    December 3, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Steph


    December 3, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. zzzzzz

    The United States cannot afford any more Bushes in office.
    No more Bushes! No More Bushes! No More Bushes!

    December 3, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Mike in Dallas

    Great. That's just what we need, another Bush in government. With that said Jeb's time as governor leads me to believe he would be the least damaging of the Bush crew, but I still would prefer to have the Bush's continuous failures confined to the private sector instead of in government.

    December 3, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! PLEASE NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! After what his brother and Father did we can not except another BUSH!!! NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    December 3, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Angie

    not another bush. each time a bush is in ofc, the economy get worse. even through this one is "thinking" about running for the senate. Heaven help that state. NO MORE BUSHES!!

    December 3, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Ken in NC

    The only difference between Jeb and George is that Jeb looks smarter than George and he only has to comb his hair to do that.

    December 3, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. No Bush

    If Bush succeeds, I will run for Senate too.................

    December 3, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. Mike in Dallas

    I propose a new constitutional amendment banning Bush family members (including extended family) from public service of any type. They are just too incompetent to let them play with things of importance.

    December 3, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Marc P. Blumberg

    As much as I despise W,it would be wrong to make Jeb suffer for his brothers sins.

    December 3, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. jomo

    Mary-We are still the majority...hahahaHOHOHO!

    December 3, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Babs

    This is almost Biblical. Jeb is the real brains in the family, but his brother got the birthright because he arrived first. I strongly endorse a run by Jeb. The Bush connection will not be a roadblock. He should go for the Senate seat full steam ahead. Run, Jeb, run.

    December 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. the kid

    just another crook to the political process..... deport the bum

    December 3, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. PK

    Just what USA needs, another Bush to really mess things up.

    December 3, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. Angie-OHIO

    not another bush.plz. go away. they seem to get dumber and dumber. i feel sorry for Florida is he does. just remember the diaster of the hanging chads.

    December 3, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. rob

    just send him to Russia with Palin–birds of a feather

    December 3, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. cbarb

    I think we had enough of the Bushes. If he ever runs for president he's DEFINITELY not getting my vote.
    This one might make the country worst than what W did.

    December 3, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Laurel

    To much bold ambition in one family...we've had enough of them.

    December 3, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Joyce in Florida

    Please no more of the Bush family. We have seen and been through enough of their mishandling our Nation. Just please stay home and out of the political limelight.

    December 3, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |

    The apple don't fall too far from the tree.

    December 3, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    I wondered how long it would be before another BUSH decided to run for a political office. I really thought Jeb would try for the White House this year but guess he decided to let his familys (wife, children, mother, father and of course brothers) reputation calm down a little. Lets see how long it takes for the American voter to forgot how much damage THE BUSHES have done to the United States AND Florida in the Bush quest for ruling the world. Maybe Jebs wife and kids will give up their bad habits (stealing, alcohol and drugs) but I don't know how he can repair or out live his helping his brother steal the two elections that got George into the White House in the first place.

    December 3, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. Vicki5

    Just Say NO!!! pretty please

    December 3, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Willy Brown

    President Jeb Bush and VP Sarah Palin 2012

    December 3, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Patricia Wagstaff

    OMG. have we not learned from Daddy and Jr - and now baby brother. Where are you americans , what does it take for people to take notice that this is very very wrong and downright scary. ,Plz put your thinking cap on and yes THINK. PW

    December 3, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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