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. rs


    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.
    Your faux accent slipped there bud. I'll actually agree with you to a point. Christie is your old, corrupt machine politician- and that's probably why he can be effective. Most of the rest of the GOP doesn't have room-temperature IQ, so, yeah- he could be a frontrunner. The failure in your logic is that Mr. G.W. Bush was supposed to be our Texan tough guy. How'd that work out? Two wars we didn't need (one of which we can't even figure out why we had it), unpaid for Medicaid expansion, cut-taxes-and-spend Reagan Voodoo economics, a massive assault on privacy and due process, not to mention the biggest economic crash since 1929. Not much of a resume there, partner.

    I'll take skill, education and leadership. You can have the bully.

    April 30, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. rs

    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.”
    Go read the Constitution (if that isn't too hard), and pay attention to the qualifications for President. You'll see you are wrong. Meanwhile your FOX affiliation is showing- there is no "smoking gun" on Benghazi- at least not in the real world. Your side (despite your handle) so bungled the investigation, and corrupted it with lies, and selective editing, no one will ever believe what Mr. Issa finds, ever.

    April 30, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. jim

    the reason she does not want him to run is she knows he will fail. after baby bush destroyed the U.S economy never will another bush again darken the door way of the WH.

    April 30, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Mark Stabler

    I agree with Mrs. Bush completely. We don't need another Bush and we don't need another Clinton. It seems the government has become a royalty and the same old names keep getting elected. Of course we elected an outsider this time and he certainly doesn't do anything for my argument that we need new blood. We need a president with experience in not only government and politics, but in industry, business, commerce and putting America back to work. The government can not provide every thing to every body..although they are trying real hard and are as close to complete fisical collapse as you can get without falling off the cliff.

    April 30, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Vijay

    Barbara Bush is always correct. Great Lady.

    April 30, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    @ rla, show us one concrete accomplishment among the Republicans who want to run for the presidency. Just one that has any lasting positive impact. Can't name one , can you? No vision, no doctrine that defines them, just reflexive hatred.....kind of like yourself.

    April 30, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  7. DJones

    No more Bushes, and NO MORE CLINTONS.

    April 30, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    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.
    Allow me to point out the obvious to you. If the administration decided to be less than truthful publicly during the initial hours and days following the attack, THEN, that is their prerogative to do in the interests of national security. If they didn't want terrorists to know that we suspected that it was a terrorists attack, then they have the DUTY to not let the terrorists know just how much we know about them and their actions. If it means the public has to be misled for a period of time, then that cannot be helped.

    When are conservatives going to stop demanding that administration reveal the exact whereabouts and activities of all of the top administration officials on the anniversary of 9/11? Only the most stupid of the stupid don't realize that that information will NEVER be released publicly, and cannot ever be released publicly. But, it does make for great sound bites and false talking points, doesn't it?

    April 30, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. Joyce

    Hillary should take a clue from BB and just stay out of it.
    I am a woman..and I won't vote for Hillary just because of her sex.
    That woman has nothing to offer this country..sorry HRC
    but I refuse to vote for you ever.

    April 30, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    The sun will have to rise from the west for me to ever vote for a Bush.

    And witnessed.

    April 30, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Dems in PA

    devil's advocate – lmao.
    All you can do is LYAO; the truth about the people in my party (Dems) hurts, the facts always hurt.

    April 30, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. Bill from GA

    " Jeb shouldn't run for president in 2016 because "there are a lot of great families ""

    Yes, there are a lot of families in the USA whose son or daughter would make a good President. However, none are currently being considered.

    Jeb is far more reasonable than the other Repubs being talked about as a candidate, and for that reason would stand NO CHANCE of being the loonie party's choice.

    April 30, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. Adam

    Agreed. We need new leaders in the White House. The USA is not a monarchy.

    April 30, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Steve

    After what Dubya did to ruin the economy, I wouldn't vote for another Bush for any public office.

    April 30, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. kiwisepp

    yes, Babara, we had enough Bush, but I do not mind to have more Clinton.

    April 30, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Dean wrote:

    "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.
    Really? Democrats didn't take control of the Congress until Jan. 2007. Their first budget year didn't begin until Oct. 2007. The Great Recession officially began in December 2007 and officially ended June 2009. But, the signs of looming economic crisis had been known for years.

    Construction, which is good leading indicator of future economic activity, had ground to a near halt in the summer of 2006. In other words, investors had stopped investing. They had correctly sensed that an economic slowdown was over the horizon. What gave investors that sense of looming disaster anyway? Uh, the economic policies of the Bush administration and the Republican controlled Congress: spending money; slashing taxes; and ballooning the national debt. Investors had realized that the administrations predictions of debt reduction were not only wrong, but that the policies were actually the contributing factor to the rising deficits and debts.

    April 30, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Jeb Bush is not a true conservative. I doubt he could even win the primary. He is too MUCH of a Democrat.

    April 30, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    @ RudyNYC, its ironic that they scream for transparency in government, but demand the right to be a secret as possible when people demand public scrutiny of their political activities, isn't it?

    April 30, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    I see we have the conspiracy theory crowd out on this post. Blame Nader, he cost Gore the election back in 2000
    I thought you were referencing Dems in PA's post and the whole smoking document Benghazi, grrr, Benghazi blame the video not our policies thingy.
    My bad!

    April 30, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. gustifer53

    WE American's have seen enough Ignorant Bush's in political history, wish we could go back in time and keep a couple of the out of politics then today would could be a lot better off Country.

    April 30, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Lizzie

    Bill Clinton left us with a surplus, and bush left the country in tatters. Clinton 2016.
    -- a surplus LOL, he balanced the budget for ONE year and that only because he robbed every fund controlled by the government, from SS to government retirement.

    April 30, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Alex in NJ

    The fact that 2016 could be Bush vs Clinton is pathetic. Talk about a country out of ideas. Neither Bush, nor Hillary Clinton should run. Time to move on.

    April 30, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. SnakePlissken

    TRUE: "Construction, which is good leading indicator of future economic activity, had ground to a near halt in the summer of 2006"

    1) it was actually over-construction to begin with.
    2) what funded that? – the BS sub-prime mortgage idiocity, never seen before, and not sustainable.
    3) why did that come to be? – to substitute for lost manufacturing jobs, and 'fix' the economy broke in early 2000s.
    4) and when was the economy initially broke? – in the 1980s, when globalization started, with jobs leaving the USA.
    5) nothing but science and industry supports a wealthy nation.
    6) we got rid of the industry – now were are broke.
    7) this aint rocket science.

    April 30, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Lizzie

    Agreed. We need new leaders in the White House. The USA is not a monarchy.
    - why don't you read "President Obama our latest monarch" in USA today

    April 30, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. sly

    Both Bush's were War Criminals, responsible for the deaths of up to 500,000 civilians.

    And Bush Sr. was in bed with Noriega and the cocaine cartel for years – allowing it to be smuggled on CIA planes.

    The 2 worst Presidents of all time. Thank the Good Lord for President Obama.

    April 30, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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