Jeb Bush to Romney: Stay above the fray
April 20th, 2012
02:01 PM ET
10 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. Mgc tampa

    just we need another bush, what is this a dynasty?? as for Rubio I am from florida, all that glitters is not gold!

    April 20, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |

    "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.o.b. brother of yours lied us into war. I don't see anything honorable in that. He ruined any chance of you ever becoming VP or President. Prescott's reign of terror on the world ends with Dubya. As far as Willard goes, I find it impossible not to run a negative campaign. He's still in his groove from the primary. Why would he stop now? Willard may not personally say negative things, butyou can guarantee that SuperPAC of his will run negative ads relentlessly.

    April 20, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    Sounds like Jeb is subtly advising Flipper Rmoney to stop sucking up to insane lunatic bigots like Trump and Nugent.

    April 20, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. John

    Jeb Bush is naïve; Romney can’t stay above the fray. Obama will try to make the election about character and being likeable rather than being a referendum on the Obama record of FAILURE.

    April 20, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Wake up people

    Too late Jeb, Robmey has been completely about negativity since the campaign began. He slaughtered his opponents with negative ads paid for by his pimps and now he is trying to do the same with the POTUS. But I think all of this could backfire on him. So you'll accept VP huh? Another Bush, just what the country needs. Btw, where is that Howdy Doody looking brother of yours that caused so many to lose everything while he was in office? He sure has been quiet. I guess he doesn't want to remind the people that seem to have developed amnesia of how he brought our country to the brink of disaster. Probably playing in his tree house in Texas.

    OBAMA 2012!

    April 20, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. 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.

    April 20, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Maxx

    Romney run anything but a negative campaign? The man doesn't know how. He uses his money to tear down people, like a bully.

    April 20, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    This the guy who put a gun in the pockets of florida "pro martial law" The only ggod election is to cheat are you kidding. Phalin Palin and Jeb would be more better.

    April 20, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. JDinTexas

    It will be difficult for Romney to "stay above the fray" because he has demonstrated for about a year now that all he has is "fray," all he has is negative campaigning, he offers no concrete ideas, no well thought out plans. He has negative sound bites and advertisements and the worn out old Republican mantra of "government should take care of the rich and the rich will look out for everyone else." That's Romney.

    April 20, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    I actually agree with Jeb to a point. Unfortunately, for the past three years GOPer leadership has been ... well ... lacking in their ... shall I say ... respect ... of the current President of the United States. Now, when push comes to shove and Mittens is getting way too personal in his attacks, here they (GOPer leadership) are, asking for "civility". To protect Mitt Romney, NOT President Obama. At any rate, I doubt Mitt has his listening ears on ... he just doesn't strike me as a "listening" kind of guy.

    April 20, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. carlos

    him and rubio were complete failures, one as guv and the other one as speaker of the corrupt house in florida, and rubio cosponsored voted for the mysogynist blount bill, want more??? so far the rubio has been a failure in the senate, and latinos will reject the ticket of mittsy and the cuban by the millions.

    April 20, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    His brother was Draft Dodger, failed in the oil business, got bailed out by Harkin Energy when 'Poppy" got elected Prez., made a killing when he sold his Harkin shares just before it collapsed(Enron), got the GOVT. to build him a new baseball stadium for his Texas Rangers, hooked up with Karl Rove & smeared his way to beating Anne Richards for Gov. of TX, tired to hide his DWI in Maine, was a "recovered" alcoholic,& proved to be what the elder Repubs. feared–a terrible Prez. who had had his messes cleaned up by others his whole life. Yeah Jeb, Brother W. was a fine man.

    April 20, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Matthew

    Bishop Romneys Everything Sucks & Everything Blows Campaign motto is gettin real old. Bishop, why you be hatin & talkin so bad about our Great Country??

    April 20, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |

    First Mitch Daniels ,now Jeb Bush telling Mitt McCain to cool his jets. They should talk about his constant lying habit. Not Presidential at all.

    April 20, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. PJ/TX

    Romney can stay "above the fray" because he has the same team brother Bush had, ie the horrible Karl Rove and
    Company to do the dirty work for him. Rove and Gillespie certainly know how to play dirty. They are being joined
    by the swiftboaters, tea party, NRA (including the lovely ted nugent) Faux News, and the so-called "evangelicals".
    And now Jeb wants to be his running mate. Oh boy, this is getting scary.

    April 20, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. carlos

    the mittsy walks very funnnnnnnnnnnnny and that bloated head, UGH!

    April 20, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Sniffit - Actually, they only had it for a very short time in 2010 because of the election of the Brown Clown.
    And AGAIN, the American people, in the bluest of blue states, freely chose to STOP the Obama and the Democrats any way they could, which meant electing a Republican to a seat the Democrats had held for decades.

    Do all you lefty loons begin to see how badly the American people want the Democrats OUT OF DC?!! Obama, Reid and Pelosi are even too far left for Massachusetts lefties!! OUCH!!!

    April 20, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. carlos

    reject the bishop of utah, the french did......

    April 20, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Tyrone

    Why da Bishop be hatin & talkin bad so much bout The USA. He is going to be punished & his majic underwear is gonna get takin away. Romneys 2012 slogan EVERYTHING SUCKS & EVERYTHING BLOWS. Bad Bishop!!!!

    April 20, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. carlos

    April 20, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
    The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth.........absolutely NOTHING that makes sense....and your mittsy has no solutions, just look what he did to his poor dog, sickening to say the least.

    April 20, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. The GOP's "Trickle Down" economic policy left a wet spot on the shoes of middle America!

    Good advice but Mr. 1% only has negative remarks to make, because it keeps the tea baggers all genned up so fortunately, he will go further to the right during the general as he still has to convince the base he is one of them.

    Nothing to be gained by a Bush VP, Mr. 1% is getting TX already and the name recognition is not a positive one.

    April 20, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. hwkny

    Gee willikers.. You would kinda think Jeb's run for president 3-4 times ... from the way he talks...

    (maybe in his dreams, eh?)

    April 20, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. kayla

    sorry jeb, romney cannot stay above the fray, after all, he got to where he is by literally ripped his opponents heart out with his money. i have news for him though, this will not work with president obama,

    April 20, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. American

    Along with Ted Nugent, Romney unfortunately is the fray with his constant lies, criticisms & negativity while devoid of offering actual solutions.

    America deserves better...Obama 2012

    April 20, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. Larry L

    Romney is a pathological liar who obviously doesn't understand the concept of video recordings. The absolute flip-flopping of his many positions is shown in living color every day as he shakes the Etch-A-Sketch for each new crowd. His whiney, self-rightous smirk is his trademark and negative campaigning is all he's ever done.

    April 20, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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