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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    The Bush political dynasty is over. Leave it at that.

    April 30, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Thinker

    Bill Clinton left us with a surplus, and bush left the country in tatters. Clinton 2016.

    April 30, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. ed dugan

    No Mrs. Bush, not enough Bushes but two Bushes too many. They brought the average IQ of our presidents down about 50 points at least.

    April 30, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. Beverly

    How about a Smith or a Jones? Maybe a Williams or a Murphy. Johnson or Jackson are good names also. Any name that is not Clinton or Bush and not related to either family would work for me.

    April 30, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. BBunsen

    Let's see . . . Bush 1, voted out after one term. Bush 2, got us into two disastrous and unpaid-for wars. And Bush 1 really thinks that Bush 3 would be a good idea?

    April 30, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Kevin

    Jeb might actually be a decent President, but his brother, who was truly an awful President, tainted the Bush name forever.

    April 30, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. citizenUSA

    OH! I thought the headline was "American's agree with Barbara's Bush. I was already in line.

    April 30, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. SkepticalOne

    Jeb lost any chance of gaining my support by his actions in the Terri Schiavo case.

    April 30, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. TxGran

    I'm for seeing how women will run the country......Hillary and Elizabeth Warren....my picks. After the Florida recount in 2000.....no to Jeb Bush.

    April 30, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Mabel Schwartz

    Let's cancel the 2016 election and just do without a president for four years.

    April 30, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. rla

    No Clintons either!! NO MORE FAMILIES

    April 30, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Vence

    I would take a Clinton over a Bush any day of the week!

    April 30, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. devil's advocate

    Jeb lost any real chance after helping his brother win (?) The white house, one poll said 85% of registered voters would never vote for another bush, he's irrelevant.

    April 30, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It really says something when his own mother is telling him in no uncertain terms to sit this one out, doesn't it?
    I wonder if her words are prompted by a mother's fear for his safety based on the undeniable fact that millions upon millions of people nationally and worldwide were, how can I put this, negatively impacted by the reign of terror that was the presidency of her previous son, the Crawford Village Idiot.

    April 30, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Except rla... We have only had one Clinton and she's a Clinton by marriage.

    April 30, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I neglected to add that I agree with Babs myself on this one.

    April 30, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. Army John

    Taking after his daddy and brother, how long will it be before he promises – "Read my lips, no new wars"

    April 30, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    And the Bush saga continues: Will He or Won't He. Chapter 4 (April 2014).

    @ 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."

    It's a bit selfish of the Bush's don't you think that having already had two US presidents related by blood, certain family members are now very insistent that these so called dynasties need to stop?

    April 30, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. noteasilyswayed

    It'll be a cold day in hell when I vote for another Bush..... in my opinion, "W" was the worst President we've ever had and because of his stupidity and his cronyism, we are still suffering from the financial crisis of 2007.

    April 30, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  20. Army John

    Next up is Jeb, then Chelsea, then George P, then Sox

    April 30, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  21. Professor Milburn Cleaver

    Unfortunately, Gov. Bush does not have a chance at the nomination. Given the chance, he could wipe the floor with Ms. Clinton or Mr. Biden, who will be wearing the banner of the unpopular Obama administration. Nevertheless, it is highly lkely that Gov. Walker will be the nominee and go on into the fall to defeat Clinton or Biden. This is pure common sense, as no unsuccessful administratration has maintained control of the White House successively.

    April 30, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Take Me To The River....

    At the end of the day politics is a tricky and dirty game.... it requires money, connnections, ruthless advisors, time to wander the country for 3 years, name recognition....not to mention ideas and the ability to articulate them...personally i hv no idea why anybody whould want to be President of this countrty– either side will condemn you for the slightest fault, noone works together, the world is falling apart ...all blame goes the chief executive... all THAT for a 10 million dollar book deal? Nah, i'd rather sit home and point fingers and complain like EVERYONE else...i'll admit it–i don't have the stomach, the guts, the brains or the balls to run for the highest office...in a serious way ( not rick perry style)....

    April 30, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. Peter Gerdeman

    For Jeb, dynasty is not as much an issue as: the propensity of Bushes to start wars based on misrepresentations; the Terri Schaivo case involving the Government interfering in a private family decisions; and finally, his role FL in Bush vs. Gore. Listen to your mom – America has had enough of Bushes.

    April 30, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. 1776usa2016

    The difference is that the economy was BOOMING under Clinton and we had budget surplus.

    While Bush and GOP policies drove the country into the ground and caused the GREAT RECESSION.


    April 30, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. ritmocojo

    The sun will have to rise from the west for me to ever vote for a Bush.

    April 30, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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