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. Ardilla Sinfronteras

    I wonder how much the Bush family paid Mel Martinez to bow out so that another of their worthless sons could revive his political career. No doubt their plan is for Jeb to win the Senate seat in '10 and run for President in '12. No doubt.

    December 3, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    We will never forget George W. Bush's failures and Jeb Bush is just another reminder. Old Man Bush cried when Jeb left his governorship of Florida, those tears were because he knew Jeb's chances for becoming another Bush president was over. Don't reward the Bush's for their failures to this country.

    December 3, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. guy

    Just what this world does NOT need – another Bush. These jerks have contributed to the downfall of this country in every aspect.

    December 3, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. Sidney

    As a Florida resident I have to admit as a Governor we could have had worse. But he should stay away because he probably won't get a a happy welcoming but he isn't a bad politician, he is much different than the other one. It won't be in his benefit to run especially if Obama can make all the changes he promised. The better Obama does the worse it's going to look for the Bush family.

    December 3, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    No,No,No-No more Bush's

    December 3, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Francine Quebec

    OMG..and I read somewhere that George was the smarter one!!

    December 3, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. John in Virginia

    Folks, as much as I hate to admit it, this is a very accomplished family. I do not and have not ever agreed with their politics, and I think as a whole, they've done more damage to the leadership of this country than good. I do not judge books by their covers, and I think Jeb Bush deserves to be judged on his own merits, rather than his brothers. At the same time, I really don't want to see him win. This is America; we have to realize that there are capable leaders outside the Bush and Clinton families. If you want a royal family, then this may not be the place for you. Americans have to step outside of our comfort zone in voting sometime to usher in leadership that can change with the times and keep us a strong nation. However, another member of an oil family is a serious risk to take, considering the lessons we've learned thus far.

    December 3, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. ET from Omaha

    Politics is Bullcrap. Only big banks and coorporations decide who can be president in USA.
    Mark my word this people have no morality. They will use the media to brainwash people and impose who ever they want for their own interest. Sort of a Mafia.
    Another moron from the bush family. Is it a Dynasty?

    December 3, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    That's just about all we need-another Bush in national office pandering to the rich and intolerant. This family of self-styled aristocrats have ruined this country. STAY HOME, BUSH!

    December 3, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Nancy

    I think he should whatever democrat he runs against will have smooth sailing! I think the Bush family should give up political anything!

    December 3, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. PL

    I think this bush might be the brightest of the bunch. The scary part is he's still a bush.

    December 3, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Jeb Bush is a nauseating individual. He is smarmy and sleazy. He might as well run for senate because he will never be president .

    December 3, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Larry C. Houston, Texas

    Wasn't H.W. and W. enough of a reason to stop electing members of this family?





    December 3, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. TJ in Tally

    JEB was a favorite with Florida voters but his legacy of privatization is partly responsible for the current woeful state of the Florida economy. If the Florida legislature can pull off an economic miracle and JEB can distance himself from some of those issues, he should do well in a Senate race.

    BTW – JEB on a Palin ticket would never work. He is an intelligent person and can actually speak in public without a translator. He can pronounce "nuclear". He is the Dr. Jekyll to George W's Mr. Hyde.

    December 3, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Missy M

    Well, I don't know if Jeb Bush will make it to Washington, but I'd keep my eye on his son, George P. Bush, who is rumored to have aspirations for the White House in 2012 or 2016. In George P. Bush, we could have our first Hispanic president and third Pres. George Bush all in one candidate.

    December 3, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. SC

    Oh, please. Did any of the Bushes have nothing to do other than running for a public office, which they never excel at? God, please help the Bushes find something to do other than running for an office.

    December 3, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Charles

    Another Bush in public office? You've got to be kidding.

    December 3, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Tally Girl

    GW ruined TX then the USA. JEB! did his best to ruin FL by trying to privatize everything. His friends made a lot of money off the government. I live in FL and can't ever imagine having another Bush in office anywhere.

    December 3, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |


    December 3, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. TyWebb

    Can Neil Bush run, too?

    December 3, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. getting closer

    His only chance will be to run with a Paper Bag over his face.

    December 3, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Mike Dallas

    Wrong last name, dude.

    You can thank your bro' for making the name a four letter word used as an expletive!

    December 3, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Nancy

    OMG – they all look like Barbara Bush, and we know she is a hot mess! Wrinkles and all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She had to be the most FUGLY first lady of all time! GEESH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    December 3, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  24. Soccer Nana

    So, the election rigger wants to be president?

    December 3, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Beca

    Who is going to be his mentor, daddy or his bro?

    December 3, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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