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. devil's advocate

    I vote for sox

    April 30, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Dean


    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.


    You can thank the Democrat-controlled Congress and their liberal-minded policies for the financial crisis.

    April 30, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. James

    People tend to overlook the fact that Clinton happened to coincide the emergence of Internet and the massive economic growth that followed. Yes, he didn't derail that but he wasn't particularly instrumental in that growth.

    Bush on the other hand happened to coincide an attack on America. Took the opportunity to start two unnecessary wars and bankrupt America as a result.

    Obama on the other hand has the opportunity to save Internet by supporting 'net neutrality' but prefers to stay quiet in favor of big business.

    April 30, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. grunt653

    Hey Thinker
    That surplus Slick left us with was inherited from the previous administration and it came with a ticking economic time bomb that went off in 2008.

    April 30, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. PushingBack

    I agree! But since we've had two Bushes, it's only fair to have two Clintons and then we'll start with new people.

    April 30, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Dems in PA

    Barbara Bush makes sense; her son Jeb shouldn't run for president in 2016.

    There are people out there that are very qualified; this line of thinking should have applied to Obama who is not qualified in any way; shape or form to be president.

    April 30, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |

    Clinton Network News has already controlled public opinion too much for Hillary Clinton. She will be 71 years old grandma
    when she'll enter the White House in 2017.

    April 30, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. rs

    While it would take a lot to convince me Jeb Bush would be the best choice of a candidate to lead our nation, the fact remains that we are awash with fools and demons who think THEY are a better choice (and who clearly are not). That is why our parties use a primary system to find, refine and put forth their best so that by election time we have the best representatives of our (currently) two-party system facing off with each other for the Presidency.

    Mr. Bush deserves the same right to engage the members of the party he represents nationwide, and to put forth his ideas and plans just as everyone else from the GOP. The membership of the GOP have that right to determine their candidates. As Mr. Bush clearly represents a more moderate faction he may well not be their choice, but it is still his right to run.

    April 30, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    @, the GOP controlled the House and Senate for 12 years, so it was not a new Congress that triggered the financial crisis that you refer to. @grunt653, Clinton did not inherit a budget surplus, he created it. Check the data. The economic time bomb you refer to had its seeds in the Reagan administration, and it was accelerated under Bush 41 and 43. Once again, get your facts straight before you consider trying to rewrite history to make the GOP appear blameless.

    April 30, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. LR

    Barbara can't stand the thought of Hillary winning and Jeb being annihilated by her. Go Hillary!

    April 30, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Gunderson

    Well Actually,
    We need someone that is meaner than a Junkyard Dog. Now who fills that Bill? We had Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson both meaner than a Junkyard Dog but both dead. Harry wanted to stick us with Socalised Medicine and Lyndon got Medicare passed. Also a start to a 18 Trillion Dollar Federal debt. Both extermely expensive and on the path to ruin. So now we have Hillary with enough baggage to start her own train wreck and Governor Chris Christi who has a bridge he wants to sell you, at any price. Hillary is between a rock and a hard place because of the popularity of Obama Care and other associated liberal plans that are as dead as a door nail. She would be a "Token" President if she got elected. Chris Christi on the other hand has much less baggage to run with can go thru the liberals like crap thru a goose and start the long to recovery left to us by big liberal politics these last 100 years. Chris Christi is your best bet, like it or not.

    April 30, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. gsmith

    Any Republican is better then any Democrat. Vote 100% Republican in 2014 and 2016.

    April 30, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. rs


    Hey Thinker
    That surplus Slick left us with was inherited from the previous administration and it came with a ticking economic time bomb that went off in 2008.
    Check your facts. Mr. Reagan ran up the biggest deficit and debt in American History to that point. The so-called fiscal conservatives haven't had a balanced budget since 1959, and lost that ability once they began cutting taxes on the rich.

    April 30, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. GlenR

    I'd love to hear Jeb try to explain away his involvement with sneaking wanted terrorist Orlando Bosch into the US as a favor to the right wing Miami Cubans who supported him when he ran for Florida's Governor.

    April 30, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. likeAplan

    As a card carrying registered democrat, I can not support Clinton for President. I will not support Bush because he is a Republican.

    April 30, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Dems in PA

    And this applies to Hillary Clinton; she shouldn't run for president in 2016; she is not qualified in any way; shape or form to be president. It most likely won’t happen anyway now that there is the “smoking document” that proves the Obama administration took part in a cover up in the aftermath of the deadly Benghazi terrorist attacks.

    “We now have the smoking document, which is the White House saying: ‘We’re pushing the video because we don’t want to blame it on the failure of our policies,’” he added. “This undermines the whole narrative, therefore they have to invent the video. So I think this is extremely important.”

    April 30, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. muhfreedoms1911

    If America believes that there have been enough Bush's in office, I hope they see the hypocrisy in supporting Hillary Clinton.

    April 30, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Thomas

    A Bush won't be in the white house for another eight years , he's on the way .

    He will run against Chelsea in 10 years .

    There people are the new American Aristocracy .

    April 30, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. Bluestate

    I would have to leave the country.

    April 30, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

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

    April 30, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. smith

    I see we have the conspiracy theory crowd out on this post. Blame Nader, he cost Gore the election back in 2000.

    April 30, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. rla

    No Clintons and NO bushes!! The Clintons are a slippery bunch and have ridden on the backs of the blacks and progressive failed policies.. Hillary really showed her true character by saying "What does it matter" Besides please anyone show me one concrete accomplishment except being a lemming for Obama the destroyer

    April 30, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. devil's advocate

    Dems pa, I'm lmao, you gotta stop, your killing me.benghazi, really. Why doesn't the 50 who died under bush have any value to you,, because your a partisan hack, at best. Delusional to the core, bush had nothing yo do with our recession, talk about clueless, my Gawd!

    April 30, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Another Voice

    Jeb Bush is not his brother and has long been considered the brighter of the two, but unfortunately for him, he would have his work cut out for him proving that he is not his brother.

    I agree with a previous poster - if any Bush runs, it should be Barbara. She always seemed more sensible - and certainly a lot classier - than any of the men in the family.

    April 30, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Gurgyl

    All say, yes, on Hillary16, first woman president.

    April 30, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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