April 25th, 2013
09:33 AM ET
7 years ago

Barbara Bush on Jeb in 2016: ‘We've had enough Bushes’

(CNN) – While former President George W. Bush says he wants his brother Jeb to run for president in 2016, their always-blunt mother said Thursday she feels differently.

“He's by far the best qualified man, but no. I really don't,” she said when asked if her son, the former Florida governor, will make a White House bid.

“I think it's a great country. There are a lot of great families, and it's not just four families or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough Bushes,” she said.

Her comments came Thursday morning on NBC’s “Today,” as the former first lady sat alongside former first lady Laura Bush and Bush 43’s twin daughters, Jenna Bush Hager (a correspondent for NBC) and Barbara Bush. The three generations were together for the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication ceremony in Dallas.

Asked if the Bush matriarch had expressed her feelings to Jeb, Jenna Bush Hager jumped in.

“Well, now!” she said, looking somewhat shocked at her sister and mother. “Surprise!”

“He’s the most qualified but I don't think he'll run,” Barbara Bush added. “There are other families. He'll get all our enemies, half of our friends.”

In a brief email exchange Thursday morning with Jeb Bush, CNN characterized his mother's comment as priceless. In a two-word response, Jeb wrote: "Priceless indeed!"

George W. Bush, who's stepping back into the spotlight with the opening of his presidential library, told CNN’s John King in an interview that aired Wednesday that he wants his brother to run.

"Well, big Jeb, you know, he's got a decision to make. And if I could make it for him, it'd be, 'run,' but I can't," he said.

"And I don't know what he's going to do,” he added. “He'd be a great candidate and a great president."

Jeb Bush hasn't ruled out a possible GOP run and won't make a decision in the near future. Asked last month by CNN's Jake Tapper if he'll decide in 2014, Bush said, "the only thing I've decided is I'm not going to think about it for 2013. It's just too far out for me personally."

According to a CNN/ORC International poll released late last month, 56% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the former governor, with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan being the only potential 2016 GOP contender with higher marks.

If he did win the nomination, Jeb Bush might face another family legacy on the Democratic ticket should former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, decide to run and ultimately become her party’s nominee.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Barbara Bush • George W. Bush • Jeb Bush • Jenna Bush
soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. lewtwo

    ‘We've had enough Bushes’
    AMEN !

    April 25, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  2. reasonablebe

    i agree. enough bushes.

    April 25, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. yogi

    ‘We've had enough Bushes’ Make that "more than enough!" In fact, just hearing the word Bush is a bit like root canal. He left behind a worldwide path of destruction, economical and humanitarian. W should be in the Hague as a war criminal, along with Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    April 25, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  4. voiceinthewind

    She has one thing right. we don't want or need any more Bushes. The entire clan is a load of low lives who belong in prison. They been leeching off America for 3 generations and have destroyed America and the American dream.

    April 25, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. icgatee

    We need anothere Reagan.

    April 25, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  6. volsocal

    Censored again. Try again. If either the Honorable ex Secretary of State (who accomplished what, again?), Jeb, Ryan, or Rubio became president, we would be better off than we are today.

    April 25, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  7. Patines

    What's wrong with these people? They probably have computers,I hope they read the newspapers or watch tv, besides some morons out there, half of the worl population don't like you. She's right, we've had enough bushes.

    April 25, 2013 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. sqeptiq

    I don't like to make rash predictions, but I'm willing to bet that I will be president before Rubio will.

    April 25, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  9. nemo0037

    Yes, Jeb. Listen to mommy. Spare the country the pain of listening to yet another Bush.

    April 25, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. Jonline

    Screw the Bushs.....let's send the W to The Hague to be tried for crimes against humanity

    April 25, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  11. Alfranken

    The undisclosed meaning behind her statement is that she doesn't want to see Jeb get humiliated due to the fact that Jeb's brother messed up this country so bad that not even the GOP would consider can consider him.

    April 25, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  12. JM

    There are over 300 million people in this country. This isn't a monarchy.

    April 25, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  13. Margaret

    Listen to your Momma Jeb, Momma knows best, your brother gives awful advice.

    April 25, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  14. john

    Sounds like Barbara is the one with the brains............

    April 25, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  15. stwebb

    After the mess 43 left us with...

    I agree with 41's wife...


    April 25, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. Edward Clark

    Hell no!.We don't need any Bush in the Whitehouse again. They are war mongers. That has driven our economy into the abyss.

    April 25, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  17. anonymous101007

    Finally...a bush with some common sense.

    April 25, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  18. Dan5404

    The GOP is at a juncture where only a marginal wacko would not be blocked from nomination by the Tea Party, Grover Norquist and the NRA. They have moved so far to the right that any reasonable candidate would be wasting his time. The big problem is that they still think it wasn't their policies that cost them two presidential elections. It was, and they haven't changed anything.

    April 26, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  19. Tanya Scott

    " Presidential Photo with Barbara Bush"..." Holy Crap......They are ALL here???"

    April 26, 2013 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  20. W.G.

    Even she knows what Jerks her sons are . She´s right the U.S. can´t take anymore Bushes in office !

    April 26, 2013 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  21. Dug

    Owen loves his mama

    April 26, 2013 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  22. Dug

    Barbara will leave in a pine box

    April 26, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
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