Jeb Bush opens up about White House bid
March 4th, 2013
12:01 PM ET
7 years ago

Jeb Bush opens up about White House bid

(CNN) - In what appears to be his most in depth public comments regarding 2016, Jeb Bush says he's not ruling out a run for president.

And the former two-term Florida governor says he doesn't support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S

The comments come as Bush releases a new book on the issue of illegal immigration. He heads to two events over the next two weeks considered early cattle calls for Republican White House hopefuls.

Asked Monday morning on NBC's "The Today Show" if he was going to run in 2016, Bush said "that's way off in the future. I have a voice. I want to share my beliefs about how the conservative moment and the Republican Party can regain its footing, because we've lost our way."

Pressed by host Matt Lauer on whether he would not rule out a run for president in 2016, Bush answered "I won't. But I won't declare it today either."

Bush is doing television interviews this week to promote his new book "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution." At the end of this week Bush heads to Coral Gables, Florida, to meet with GOP officials and top donors at the Republican National Committee's quarterly finance meetings. Bush will join other possible 2016 GOP contenders such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Next week Bush speaks at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, a popular cattle call for Republicans considering bids for the White House. CPAC, which turns 40 this year, is the largest annual gathering of conservative leaders and activists, and it's boosted the presidential campaigns, or ambitions, of many Republican candidates. The annual CPAC GOP presidential nomination straw poll is considered a key gauge of conservative sentiment, and garners much media attention.

While most other Republicans considering 2016 runs are speaking at the conference, Christie was not invited. But Bush said it wasn't a big deal and said he's a big fan of the tough talking GOP governor of New Jersey.

"I love Christie. I think Gov. Christie is a part of the future of the Republican Party for sure, and whether he's going to CPAC or not is not really changing that."

Tuesday Bush speaks with CNN's Jake Tapper. That interview will run on CNN, including on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

Bush, the younger brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H.W. Bush, served two terms as governor of Florida, winning election in 1998 and re-election in 2002. He ruled out a run for the White House in 2012.

On the issue of immigration reform, Bush has criticized his party and has urged the GOP to embrace reform and to improve their outreach to minority voters and immigrant voters. But he says an eventual pathway to citizenship, which is supported by a bipartisan group of eight senators, would violate the rule of law. Bush, along with many other Republicans, is pushing for a path to legal permanent residency for many of the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants.

"Our proposal is a proposal that looks forward. And if we want to create an immigration policy that's going to work, we can't continue to make illegal immigration an easier path than legal immigration," said Bush. "I think it is important that there is a natural friction between our immigrant heritage and the rule of law. This is the right place, I think, to be in that sense. Not to take away people's rights."

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2016 • Jeb Bush
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    A Bush? NEVER AGAIN!!!!!

    March 4, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Wake up People!

    Another Bush?? No one cares, they would vote for Lucifer if he had an R after his name and white skin. Pathetic, poor saps.

    March 4, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Steve

    He and Christie would be a big ticket.

    March 4, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. kmp

    The country has just started to put its self back together again financially no thanks to his brother and he thinks he would even stand a chance.

    March 4, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Tommy G

    Most of the American people are not smart enough to vote for Jeb Bush. If you thought the Democrat/Obama/LSM Smear Machine did a number on Romney, just wait to see what they do to Jeb Bush and any other Republican that runs in 2016. Republicans had bettter be prepared to fight on the same terms.

    March 4, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Bill

    Wrong last name. End of story.

    March 4, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Peace

    Jeb Bush knows his sins he did in 2000 election. He will be a big activator to all Dems in case he runs in 2016. Even those who have never voted before, will come in drove to vote against him. Who can forget the 2000 election fiasco he created.

    March 4, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. just sayin

    after 8 years of obama, with the country near bankruptcy with $22 trillion in debt, 8 years of unemployment near 8%, taxes going through the roof, and obamacare killing the healthcare industry, the country might be ready to turn to jeb bush because if they put another democrat in the whitehouse, the country will definitely be lost forever.

    March 4, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    Nope Jeb, you maybe a decent guy & your Dad was a decent guy, but your arrogant, smirky, incompetent, Draft Dodging, Cocaine Sniffing, politically divisive ,Inside Trader Info, Recovered Alcoholic, insecure, War Mongering Brother, George W., left a smell in the room that will be hard to ever get rid of.

    March 4, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. WatrGrrl

    I'd like to hear more about Jeb Bush and his positions. To me, he has appeared to be an intelligent man, conservative and patriotic but moderately so – not a far right wing wacko. I do hope, if he runs for President, that he chooses a Vice President that is not simply a Halliburton mouthpiece – or other sleazy multinational corporation. This nation is being destroyed by a radical that is soiling the Office of The President and who will continue to do so for the next three and a half years unless he is removed from office by whatever means are expedient.

    March 4, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Tommy G

    Most of the American people are not smart enough to vote for Jeb Bush. If you thought the Democrat/Obama/LSM Smear Machine did a number on Romney, just wait to see what they do to Jeb Bush and any other Republican that runs in 2016. Republicans had bettter be prepared to fight on the same terms.
    Kerry 2004. Republicans invented the art of political smearing decades ago. Democrats didn't smear Romney. Romney never denied any of the ads aimed at his experience at Bain because it was the demonstrated by the 47% video. Voters looked at the Real Romney in London. Voters looked at the Real Romney and saw a man who was "seriously conservative." Voters looked at the Real Romney and saw a man who had initially flatly refused to release any tax returns, and we he finally did he found it necessary to significanly revise his financial disclosure filings. Voters looked at the Real Romney and decided to vote for President Obama. And that, is the truth.

    March 4, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. critical thinking

    The fall out from 4 more years of this incompetent President will require a person who is fiscally minded and potically prepared to be truel a one term president. any takers?

    March 4, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Babyboomer

    There's no way another Bush will ever get elected to the Presidency in this country. We are done with that family.

    March 4, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Wake up People!

    Would that be the same Obama/LSM Smear Machine that helped Willard DECIMATE his opponents during the Primary??? Would it be the same one that helped him ATTEMPT to DECIMATE President Obama even BEFORE Willard was the nominee??

    That's the funny thing about the GOP. They start off attacking(usually in large groups), but the minute their opponent strikes back they start yelling about how unfair they are being treated. I know the GOP suffers from Select Amnesia, but EVERYONE else KNOWS the GOP began the attacking, and the bully bishop led the attack. Ask Santorum and Newt. Ricky was so befuddled he dropped out before his state even voted, using his sick child as an excuse.

    March 4, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Pete

    If republicans want to be viable ever again a Bush should never be on any political ticket..Bushs family created so much economic strife,hardships and wars like no other president in modern presidencial history and you republican posters here the ignorent ,uninformed ones want another one in office..Yah don't want a republican party any more do yah because with this pick you finally finished off what those morons from Texas really started,your partys extinction!!

    March 4, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. freedom

    Call a Clinton, and I'll raise you a Bush!

    March 4, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Jinx9to88

    Nice try to all you Bush followers!!! Been there, done that!!!

    March 4, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Florida Joe

    No No NO! We all remember what this clown and Katherine Harris did here in 2000. They threw thousands off the voting list. The Bush's panicked on the night of the election when NBC called it for Gore. They knew they had done all they could to put in the fix. This Bush is no better that little Shrub that was elected in 2000. Thanks but no thanks

    March 4, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Wake up People!

    Thank you Florida Joe. I was just about to comment on that!! This crook is the reason we got stuck with Lil Bush for 8 years, also two unnecessary wars and a huge deficit.

    No more Bushes EVER.

    March 4, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. nate

    Unless he is prepared to speak openly and honestly about the failures of his brother's administration, he is dead meat

    March 4, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. MarKris629

    The Repulican party has way to many bright new faces to back track and go with yet another Bush.

    March 4, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Jay

    Jeb may not be ruling out a run for The White House...but America is. There will NEVER be another Bush in The Oval Office. If the fool Jeb tries to run, he won't get past the primaries. Even the GOP is not dumb enough to nominate him. If they did nominate Jeb, it would be a shoe-in for his Dem opponent. Even Biden would win a landlside against Jeb.

    March 4, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. never to vote republican again

    NEVER Again! They have stupid running through their veins!

    March 4, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. Donna

    Jeb Bush's problem is that he is far too nice. Romney was too nice and wasn't willing to nail Obama when he had the chance in the second and third debate. Unless the Republican candidate is willing to adopt a "take no prisoners" campaign strategy with a campaign staff of the same tough caliber, then they will lose. Romney had some real milk toast idiots for spokesmen. They got eaten alive by the Obama snakes.

    March 4, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. Look at History & Facts (follow the dollar)

    Ladies and Gentlemen, another Bush? Really, you must be joking. This is a family that has clearly shown ineptitude in public office and we are still rectifying the problem caused by Dad and Big Brother. Trillions spent needlessly that put our economy on the brink of collapse with one war after another. When there wasn't a war, they generated one against our own people. But, on the other side of the coin, I would love to see the GOP put up Jeb and let's let the electorate decide. Oh heck, let's put up Barbara too. But, back to the name – let's take a look at history and facts.

    March 4, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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