Jeb Bush to Romney: Stay above the fray
April 20th, 2012
02:01 PM ET
11 years ago

Jeb Bush to Romney: Stay above the fray

(CNN) – Jeb Bush, whose endorsement of Mitt Romney helped secure the candidate as the all-but-certain GOP nominee, said an interview Romney should avoid the urge to wage a negative campaign. The popular former Florida governor also offered up his pick for Romney's running mate, and said he'd consider a spot on the GOP ticket if asked.

"I think Mitt needs to stay above the fray a bit, and to offer a hopeful message that can lift people's spirits up," Bush said in an interview this week with the conservative website Newsmax. Video of the interview was posted on Newsmax's website.

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Bush said American voters have had their fill of nasty campaigns after a blistering GOP primary process.

"After the end of this four or five months of really negative campaigning I think people are going to be motivated by a more positive message," Bush said, adding that he believed personal attacks should stay out of the campaign.

"I don't think we need to demonize the president," Bush said. "I know a lot of people when my brother was president spent a lot of energy trying to demonize a good honorable man."

"That's not what campaigns ought to be about," he added.

Bush served as Florida's governor from 1999-2007, and is the son of former President George H.W. Bush. His brother is former President George W. Bush.

Jeb Bush was considered a favorite to jump into the 2012 GOP contest, but stated firmly in May 2011 he would not be a candidate for his party's presidential nomination. He declined to endorse a candidate ahead of Florida's January 31 primary, saying he wanted to allow a candidate to "earn" his victory in the state.

Jeb Bush's name is often mentioned as a potential running mate for Romney, though the former Florida governor downplayed any speculation in the interview.

"Well I'd consider it," Bush said of joining a GOP presidential ticket. "I doubt I'll get a call, and I don't know if it's the right thing for me to do. I didn't run for president for a similar kind of reason, so I'm all in to try to help him get elected."

Bush did, once again, offer up another name as a strong choice for Romney's running mate – the junior senator from his state, Marco Rubio.

"Well I can't speak for Gov. Romney, and I can't speak for Sen. Rubio, but if I was on both sides of that conversation I would ask – and I would hope - that Marco would accept," Bush said.

Bush said he thought "the combination would be extraordinary" between Romney and Rubio. Last month Bush also hailed Rubio as a strong vice presidential pick, saying the tea party favorite was "the best orator of American politics today, a good family man."

Rubio has consistently indicated he would turn down a spot on the GOP ticket if asked.

Also see:

Romney releases March fundraising figures

Paul campaign touts campaign cash

RNC looks to Facebook for political edge

Biden says Democrats have chance in Arizona

Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Jeb Bush • Mitt Romney
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    -The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    More good advise.... Let the others do the real dirty work. Obama looks horribly unpresidential when he goes into his rants and raves thaqt divide the country. Romney should focus on the solutions to all the problems Obama has caused.
    Well, what solutions has he offerred, except for the tired, recycled failures that Jeb's brother, Poppy, and Uncle Ronnie inflicted on us? Yes, please tell us how the aristocrats are going to help us. I actually hope he does put Jeb on the ticket, since it would send a clear, unequivocal signal to the Independents that the GOP is truly lacking in any ideas or vision, and that we should not have to continue to clean up after the Bush family's reign of error. By the way, have the Hosue GOP members cracked 20% approval ratings at any point during their tenure? You really need to look at their lack of performance.

    April 20, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    Romney has done little but run a negative campaign and not just against the president. When Newt Gingrich called him a liar then that just about seals what he is. Romney can not stay above the fray since he is part of it. And if you think Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers are going to run a good positive ad campaign I have some swampland here in Texas you might be interested in.

    April 20, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Lando

    Anything Republican is matter who or what or where...

    April 20, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    How can he stay positive when the rightwing base's principle and doctrine is to spread bigotry and racism and divide?

    April 20, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. gregory21

    Just what we need another bush chimp in the White House.

    April 20, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Meese

    Obama record is so bad economically who needs to be negative. He is a socialist and if any of you libs ever do well financially in life he wants to take it away and give it to others who refuse to work hard. That and of course trashing Romney's father for prospering as a self made man in America. The haters of American prosperity.

    April 20, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. gino

    Of course good 'ol Jeb would consider a spot on the ticket if asked; another Bush through and through.

    April 20, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "It should be pretty easy to not act like our classless President who seems to revel in trashing other Americans."

    Examples please. Fact-free rants waste our time.

    April 20, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. nell

    Romney really thinks the American people are dumb! Look at what happened when Palin came along. When Steele didn't deliver the Black vote, look what happened to him. Go ahead Reps and Romney, Bush or Rubio, we are not that dumb? I heard that Condi Rice was being looked at for VP!

    April 20, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "That and of course trashing Romney's father for prospering as a self made man in America."

    Stop lying; President Obama never trashed Rmoney's father.

    April 20, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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