November 15th, 2010
09:29 AM ET
12 years ago

Jeb says 'never say never' to White House bid

(CNN) – Ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has said time and again he's not running for president in 2012, but the younger brother of former President George W. Bush also isn't ruling out a potential White House run in the future.

"You never say never about anything," said the younger Bush brother in an interview with CNN's Candy Crowley Sunday that featured both the former Florida governor and his ex-president brother. The comments were a direct response to whether he had foreclosed any possibility of seeking the presidency one day.

"I'm going to be involved," he continued. "I have an education reform foundation, trying to improve the plight of our education systems around the country. And I'm helping candidates that I believe in." Video after the jump.

But when it comes to running against what now appears will be a vulnerable President Obama in 2012, Jeb again emphatically closed the door. The younger Bush also issued a clear "No" to running for chairman of the Republican National Committee, as some conservative bloggers have urged.

Related: Paging Jeb Bush for 2012

"I really have to stay focused on this goal of achieving some financial independence, financial security for my family," he said.

Meanwhile, the former president backed up his brother's 2012 denials, saying, "He's chosen not to run this time and I finally have to believe him."

Still, the older Bush brother said he's urged his brother to run for the White House and hopes he does one day.

"He's a successful person," said the former president of his brother. "He's smart. He's honest. And he had an unbelievably good record as the governor of Florida."

Talk of a potential Jeb Bush run has increased in Beltway circles as the former president's name no longer carries quite the toxic political baggage it once did - keeping political analysts speculating 2012 may be a ripe year for the younger Bush to take on the man who succeeded his brother.

The former president added his brother's star power within the GOP goes beyond his famous last name, citing his record as a two-term governor of Florida.

"Had he been a failure as governor of Florida, they wouldn't be touting him. And if he wasn't an honest guy, they wouldn't be touting him," he said. And if he wasn't, you know, a decent person who had a great heart, they wouldn't be touting him."

Filed under: 2012 • Jeb Bush • President Bush
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    Jeb would be great for 2012. He will be able to clean up the Obama mess.

    November 15, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Kwesoe

    The Bushmen have established a dynasty that will gradually turn America into a Kingdom to be ruled by them.

    November 15, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Freedomics

    As a Floridian who lived under Jeb's two terms as governor, I would not vote for him as president. During Jeb's tenure as governor, Florida benefited from the housing bubble, as well as giant infusions of cash from hurricane insurance. All of that extra cash sloshing around made it easy to be governor. Unlike his big brother, Jeb got out of office just in the nick of time, so he didn't have to make the tough choices that his successor, Charlie Crist had to make.

    Jeb was very autocratic, and was unwilling to compromise on most issue. As his brother famously said, "You're either with us, or against us." That was Jeb's approach to governing Florida.

    My wife and I are foster parents. Jeb privatized foster care here in Florida. Since the state is unwilling to pay free market prices, there's no real profit to be had. So the private companies come and go, while the children remain trapped in a free market black hole.

    November 15, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. carlos

    one FAILED in texas and the other one in that not enough, and gw popular?, did anybody see the protests in Miami when he went to promote the LIES in his book????

    November 15, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Rayray

    People please stay out of the Bushes!!!!

    November 15, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Haven't the Bush's caused enough damage to our country?

    November 15, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. matt

    another bush? kill me..
    when the highest position of leadership is passed from family to family–that is called a kingdom.

    November 15, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. bailoutsos

    Funny how the deciding state was controlled by a Bush. Jeb helped his brother steal the win in FL. Did they ever find all those missing absentee ballots?

    November 15, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Joshua Ludd

    Thats right, America! Never say never to MORE debt MORE needless war, MORE economic hardships, and MORE BAD GOVERNMENT! That is, after all, the only real legacy of both Bush administrations.

    November 15, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. becca

    Oh, I certainly hope not. We endured him as FL governor long enough. He is not an educator, so how can he even have an education plan? He is a politician with a political plan.

    November 15, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. DIANA

    Sorry Jeb, even though you're the smarter brother, this country won't tolerate another Bush, twice is bad enough.

    November 15, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Sergio D. Monterroso

    Where would this one look for Weapons of Mass Destruction? How long would it be before he becomes a Genocide as his father and brother?

    November 15, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Dave

    I will never forget the debacle Jeb Bush inserted himself into with the Terry Schavio case. Talk about a government intrusion into a private citizen affair. He showed his true side on that one. Anyone running against him should bring that idiocy up repeatedly.

    November 15, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. HD 100% ETH

    Don't you people know why we have Laws? Civil and Criminal?

    Therefore; those who do not obey Civility and damaging it severely, must face and see the Law of Criminality.

    What former Presidents' (Bushes'), has done was 100% right! They weaked and crushed American('s) enemies with the vote of American people. I fully support Republicans forever.

    November 15, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Pete in Guilford

    Please. No more Bushes.

    November 15, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. common sense

    Huh? Have you been to Florida lately? The place is a basket-case.

    November 15, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. Seattle Sue

    Twelve years of having a Bush for President was way too much. Having another Bush for President would be unbearable. I was hoping to never hear of a Bush again, I would like for the whole Bush clan to go live in Paraguay.

    November 15, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. HD 100% ETH

    Well come back! George Bush! I wish we have the Law that could make you to run for American Presidency again. Good to hear from you!

    God bless you!
    With health and prosperious! You are my hero!

    November 15, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. Enrique

    George W. Bush enaged in one of the largest spending programs in American Histroy, the invasion and occupation of Iraq. That war has cost us nearly $3 trillion by some estimates. Why on Earth would this country elect Jeb Bush as president? Haven't we already learned from the massive mistake that George W. Bush's presidency was for America?

    November 15, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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