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. Ol' Lefty

    Actually, Ralph Nader's ego is to blame for the debacle in 2000 as well as SCOTUS. Let's hope the American people have had their fill of the Bush family's "legacy" of war, debt and incompetence.

    March 4, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. kmac

    Normally I would say he would be a shoo in, but no more. Look what is taking place with the true Republicans–Christie, Hatch, Jingle. Its the tea baggers party now and they don't like the moderate Bush family. We still have people talking bipartisan in a tripartisan world. Tea-party taking credit for the sequestor and will shut down the government in a few weeks. Paul is most likely Republican label candidate.

    March 4, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. KC Yankee

    Just take one look at that picture. Does that look like someone who could win the national election? Remember that Mitt Romney look? Same thing.

    March 4, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Did Bush just hire Romney's political strategist? He rather pander to Tea Party and anti-immigration reform extremists in the Republican Party than attract Hispanic voters. Going to be a repeat of 2008.

    March 4, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. longtooth

    Too bad big brother W, who was a bully to Jeb in their youth, wrecked any chance of little brother getting a chance to play in the toy box called the White House. Jeb actually seems to have a few brain cells, so it's a shame he's following his brother's disastrous presidency.

    March 4, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Gypsygirl

    Great, that's all we need is another Bush to ruin the country. Maybe start another war over lies? How about ruin the lives of untold people just minding their own business here and abroad? Like a hole in the head. That's how much we need it.

    March 4, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Mack

    He'd be a shoe-in..for Democrats

    March 4, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Ed

    Sounds like the libs are running scared on Bush. LOL.. I'm not necessarily for Bush but it is funny to read the libs. If they hate it, it must be good for the country.

    March 4, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    No way in hell. We are still burying the dead from the last Bush.

    March 4, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Please, America has been bushwacked enough.

    March 4, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. James Bond

    We all know how american, and patriotic george is, giving seminars on how to screw the us government out of tax money, by offshoring your accounts, what a total tool,

    March 4, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Homer and Jethro

    He could just kick back and let Cheney rule over us like his bro did, right?

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

    Does the 2000 Election ring any bells??? Or do all of the GOP supporters have Select Amnesia??

    March 4, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Nobody is going to vote for any gop slob for president especially a bush or anybody from Texas such as the peewee Herman look a like Cruz from the third world state of Texas ,all Texas presidents have been failures ,we don't need any more bushes just because your name is bush !!!

    March 4, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. James Bond

    Ed, good for the country, was w good for our country? i truly hope he wins the nod from repubs, he has zero chance of winning, no matter who he faces, how was george good, one example please

    March 4, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Larry in Houston

    LOL – well CNN – let me put it to you this way – – I'm glad that you all still have the "cafferty people" that used to post on His File(s) – lol – Guess they are still hanging around, posting on the political forums. I find that interesting. Glad to see them posting. They don't like any of the Bush's – and I don't blame them, ( or anyone else, for that matter) If uncle Jeb gets the nod, it will end up being like romney vs. obama – all over again. The GOP better get out of the "Rove" mind – set, and if they expect to win, they better start with trying to be a little more up to date – not the mind-set of the 1950's or 1960's, or 1970's. IF they do, they ain't gonna make it. Somebody should remind the GOP – this is 2013 – and the next (big) election will be in 2016

    March 4, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. us_1776


    You Bushes have done enough damage to this country already.

    We're still trying to rebuild after the past 33 years of GOP huge expansion of govt, massive debt from GOP wars and unfunded programs under Bush control.

    There is absolutely ZERO chance that another Bush will ever be elected.


    March 4, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. BD70

    He sounds more reasonable than his brother but unfortunately I am Bush shy a matter of fact I am republican shy period. After George W I have had my fill. And the fact all the republicans in the house are a shoe in no matter what due to gerrymandering...I won't vote for another republican in my life time.

    March 4, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Homer and Jethro

    "Sounds like the libs are running scared on Bush." Yep, that's what it is all right. Please don't throw us in that briar patch, GOP.

    March 4, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Ed wrote:

    Sounds like the libs are running scared on Bush. LOL.. I'm not necessarily for Bush but it is funny to read the libs. If they hate it, it must be good for the country.
    Scared? LOL! Fear? Sounds more like the right wing establishment is getting desparate to find a legitimate candidate that is in any way, shape, or form palatable to the Tea Party.

    March 4, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Voter beware

    Don't even bother. I will not vote for another Bush. A snowball has a better chance in the desert.

    March 4, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. BlueDem1

    KEEP OUT OF THE BUSHES. They have done enough damage to America already.

    March 4, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. Ohio gal

    Yeah that last name will win you vote...Not!

    March 4, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. just sayin

    sooo hilarious to see all the lefty koolaide drinkers denying the reality of the 2000 election. bush won by any count and recount that was taken. get over it and start worying about your failure in the whitehouse. 4 plus years later, still record unemployment, record debt, record deficits, record food stamp recipients, and what has obama got but excuses and finger pointing? ground hog predicts 4 more years of obama jobs winter. enjoy america. you voted for it.

    March 4, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. johnjon33

    please Jeb, spare us. for me............. the third time definitely NOT the charm.

    March 4, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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