April 30th, 2014
09:21 AM ET
8 years ago

Americans agree with Barbara Bush

(CNN) - Barbara Bush made national headlines last year when she said on NBC that her son Jeb shouldn't run for president in 2016 because "there are a lot of great families. It's not just four families, or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified. We've had enough Bushes."

And in an interview earlier this year on C-SPAN, the former first lady added that "I think this is a great American country, and if we can't find more than two or three families to run for high office, that's silly."

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Photos: Political families

A new national poll indicates that most Americans agree with Bush, the wife of former President George H.W. Bush.

Sixty-nine percent of people questioned in a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday said they agree, with a quarter saying they don't agree with her statements.

With both former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seriously considering bids for the White House in 2016, the discussion of political dynasties is alive and well. If Bush ran and won in 2016, he would be the third Bush in the White House over the past three decades, following his father (1989-1993) and his brother George W. Bush (2001-2009).

If Clinton ran and won the next election, she would be the second President Clinton in the White House in the past two decades, following her husband Bill Clinton (1993-2001).

While Barbara Bush doesn't want Jeb to follow in her husband and son George's footsteps, it's not because she doesn't think he's up to the task.

"He's by far the best qualified man, but no, I really don't" want to see him run, she has said.

Jeb acknowledges dynasty issue

While Jeb Bush has joked about his mother's comments, he's also discussed how his family name may hurt him as much as help him if he decides to run for the White House in 2016.

Jeb Bush cheered on 2016

Speaking in February at the Long Island Association's biannual luncheon, a popular stop for former presidents and White House hopefuls, Bush was asked about his mother's remarks.

"It's an issue for sure," Bush admitted.

Bush told the story of sitting next to a man on a plane who talked about having a Bush and a Clinton and then a Bush in the White House, with the prospect of another Clinton and Bush to come.

Bush said "I get the point. It's something that, if I run, I would have to overcome that. And so will Hillary, by the way. Let's keep the same standards for everybody."

George doesn't see eye to eye with Barbara

Jeb Bush's father may not agree with his wife.

In an exclusive interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, Jeb's brother, Neil, made it clear that his dad - George H.W. Bush - wants his son to run, no matter what his wife says.

"If you asked Dad the same question 'Should Jeb run?' he'd say yes." Asked again whether Bush 41 would specifically be for it, Neil Bush replied, "Yeah, he would say yeah."

Has Neil asked his father himself? No. But he allowed, "I have heard him answer that question."

Hillary's numbers higher than Jeb's

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, like previous surveys, finds Clinton more popular with the public than Bush. Clinton has a 48%-32% favorable/unfavorable rating in the new poll, compared to 21%-32% for Bush.

Previous polling from other organizations also indicates Clinton leading Bush, as well as other potential Republican White House hopefuls, in hypothetical 2016 general election showdowns.

CNN special coverage of the 2014 midterm elections

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was conducted April 23-37, with 1,000 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


Filed under: 2016 • Barbara Bush • Hillary Clinton • Jeb Bush
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Yes, on Hillary16.
    PS: first woman president in American history.

    April 30, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "While Jeb Bush has joked about his mother's comments, he's also discussed how his family name may hurt him as much as help him if he decides to run for the White House in 2016."
    --------------------------------–
    Jeb Bush is going to have to answer for his role in the 2000 Florida general election vote recount. It was pretty obvious that he and his Secretary of State were not impartial in how the recount was conducted. People will remember that. Has anyone conducted a poll of Floridians pitting Jeb against Hillary in a 2016 race? My money would not be on Jeb.

    April 30, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. Texan Lady

    The problem isn't that we only have 2-3 families that want to run–it's that we have 2-3 families that CAN run. Only they can 1) afford the massive costs we have now for running for high office, 2) want to endure the mud slinging, drag-through-the-swamp campaigning we have now, and 3) maintain the massive number of connections/relationships that it now takes to run for high office. As in real life, it's about how much you make, what you can endure, and who you know.

    April 30, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Aww give ole Jeb, the dude that handed W the WH back in 2000, a break....😂 He wants to be like daddy and bro bro... 😭😭😭😭

    April 30, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. tv22

    Meanwhile, the Clinton family has no such concerns. It's all about them.

    April 30, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. Ace

    With a Bush, guaranteed war and recession.

    April 30, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. dotofoz

    Well, we don't need another Bush. We can't afford another war and another banking scandal. It seems to be a theme with this family.

    April 30, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. smith

    I think Barb Bush really just doesn`t want to see another family member slammed by the press everyday. Jeb and Rand Paul seem to be the frontrunners for the GOP and the Dems really are betting everything on H. Clinton.

    April 30, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. Mike

    Why should any "family" be rewarded with multiple high offices? The only reason this happens is because the fame and attention given one person, the one who earned the office by merit, sweeps in others who are close to him/her. I get that this is how mass psychology works, but we miss out on a lot of extremely capable people when we think that being next of kin is a valid qualification for office.

    April 30, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    There are other people out there that are very qualified. We've had enough Bushes."
    -------------------------------------------------
    You know Babs, as is the case with most all of the Bushes, is not know for her perspicuity, but she hit the nail flat into the wood with this one.

    April 30, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Tim

    Does Barbara realize that it actually takes "MONEY" to run for high office??? There are a plethora of good candidates who don't have enough money to even BEGIN to run for high office.

    April 30, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. sonny chapman

    Since Prescott Bush, have any of the Bush Boys ever had a REAL Job ?

    April 30, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  13. Winston Smith

    The lady is wise.

    April 30, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. dac

    Can we just agree that both Bush and Clinton suck and move on to other poor choices for American voters?

    April 30, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. corey

    Agreed Barbara Agreed!

    April 30, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. MacNCheese

    Truere words have NEVER been spoken!

    Thank you Barbara Bush!

    "there are a lot of great families. It's not just four families, or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified. We've had enough Bushes in the white house."

    100% FACT!

    April 30, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. hkdakota

    She is class all the way.

    April 30, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. Its a free country right?

    It goes beyond family dynasties. The USA has sold it's freedom to two political parties as well. The Political party is the very foundation of our Government's corruption. Are you prepared to stop voting for Party members this fall?

    April 30, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  19. I told you so

    That lady is smarter than all the men in her family.

    April 30, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. harrisonhits2

    Yes she's right, there are many incredibly corrupt families in the 1%, there are plenty of other corrupt people to help steal the wealth of the country.

    April 30, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. Jim Jimson

    W has ruined the Bush name for generations.

    We will be paying for his disastrous wars and his recession for generations.

    April 30, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. RandyB

    Barbara Bush should run. She's always been the Bush with the most common sense.

    April 30, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. Phil A Mignon

    Hello Sir,

    I would like to announce my candidacy.

    April 30, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. J Anthony

    What this indicates is that the U.S. is a modern-day aristocracy/plutocracy, and if you think this is a good thing then you're fooling yourself. History has shown us time and time again what government of,by,and for the rich leads to. The greed and power-lust of America's ruling class has already proven to be detrimental to the majoriity. Most of us recognize this.

    April 30, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. radar8

    If Hillary won, it wouldn't be a dynasty. The Bushes are all connected by blood. Hillary is a Clinton by marriage. She's a Rodham by blood.

    April 30, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
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