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. Fiona

    I agree with BB in this aspect especially: we have had enough of the Clintons. Please make them go away, and get that fatuous daughter off of the front page. She has do e nothing in her life worth reporting on...and yet you report every time she hiccups.

    April 30, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Dems in PA

    George Bush was never legally president....cheating is the republican way.
    never legally president; now I’m LMAO; a 12 year old could have produced a better version of a birth certificate than the friends of Obama did.

    And this is what you get from people that are not qualified to be president; the US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies. The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872

    April 30, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. commentor

    I agree, no more presidents from dynasties, including Hillary. If it is Clinton vs Bush again I won't vote. Both those families are so divisive it's sickening. America needs a President that appeals to ALL Americans.

    April 30, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Big_D

    I think we need Elizabeth Warren. I don't think it is good to keep it in the family.

    April 30, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    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.

    so odd. Somehow, magically the Clinton years took us off of this course? What's so funny is the double speak. So Clinton created the surplus yet I keep being told time and again that it's congress who sets the budget. So which one is it? Clinton gets the credit for the surplus and Obama gets the credit for an historically slow recovery OR congress gets the credit for the surplus and they have ruined the economy under Obama. ... .... ...
    You just cannot help yourself, can you? You just have to get an Obama gut punch into every post, don't you?

    Presidents sign annual budgets. Clinton signed budgets that brought annual deficits to zero, and then a surplus. Bush signed budgets that saw the annual spending grow 7-9% every year that he was in office, which led to a final year, FY08-09, that had a $1.5 trillion deficit. Bush had a nearly two trillion dollar turn around. Obama has signed budgets that have seen that annual $1.5 trillion deficit cut in half over his first term.

    April 30, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Ccampa

    The GOP knows that anyone they put up agains Hilary will lose. They are desperate to try anything to prevent Hilary from running. They are all shaking in their boots and I love it. This is just another attempt.
    HILARY 2016!!!

    April 30, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. sly

    "@sly every US President for the past 50 years is a war criminal. So is Obama and so was Clinton"
    Actually, President Obama is the ONLY President in 50 years to NOT start any wars. This is why he is one of the best ever. Even Clinton invaded Yugoslavia. Obviously all Republicans have bombed at least 5 nations each during their terms.

    April 30, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. yeahright


    The only reason that I can see CNN posting something like this story is because Jeb Bush is a serious threat to Hillary Clinton's Presidency hopes!


    The only reason that I can see CNN posting something like this is because it is a provocative headline which generates web traffic and advertising dollars for them.

    April 30, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. cliffintex

    B. Bush said "no" to both Jeb & Hilary. We need new ideas – not old dynastic partisans.

    April 30, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Tom Bukowski

    This nation has its own "royalty".

    April 30, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. druffmaul

    "America needs a President that appeals to ALL Americans."

    Yeah, that will happen. Keep dreaming.

    April 30, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Jack33

    Want to know the truth? – Republicans are terrified to death of Hillary Clinton, because they know that virtually *every* poll out there has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that she will wipe the floor with every last one of their offerings in a hypothetical match-up. They don't stand a chance against her in the 2016 Presidential election.

    April 30, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC


    rs: I'll take skill education and leadership? Humm, that what we have now? At least that story but warts showing thru, big time. Pain say, show me one accomplishment of republicans who may be running? Now pain, how republicans top liberal democrats that give us 18 Trillion Dollar Federal debt last 100 years? Rudy has memory loss of who caused recent, and still in progress, recession/depression. Think Barney Frank and Chris Dodd who forced the rules to be relaxed so anyone could get mortgage with hot air. What Republican did that Rudy? In fact the Bush Administration tried to get it killed. Old Chinese Proverb: Those that don't learn from history bound to repeat it. Got it Rudy?
    Yup, blame it on the minorities, because that is always believable. It's more credible than all of the pictures and videos that we have seen of middle class white families losing their homes due to deceptive mortgages that they had signed.

    Frank and Dodd wanted Fannie and Freddie to meet conform to federal law, just like private and publicly owned banks. Pres. Bush and the Republican controlled Congress pushed the the ADDI of 2004. The "American Dream Downpayment Initiative" of 2004 was Bush's crowning achievement to make everyone a homeowner, and was aimed specifically at first time home buyers.

    The bill provided ten thousand dollar grants to people who met certain income requirements, and it also provided grants to any public sector employee, regardless of income level. However, the real damage that the bill caused was hidden inside of it. It contained language that allowed and encouraged lenders to write "simpler mortgages that do not require a legal adviser" as Bush had put in his announcement speech for the bill. Bush encouraged people to go out and sign mortgages without any legal advice, comparing the new mortgages to signing an auto load.

    April 30, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. IvoteDemocrat

    I don't care who runs. I am voting straight Democrat anyway.

    April 30, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. yippeeskip

    As I have said before, we need another Bush like we need another Clinton...WE DON'T!!!

    April 30, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Mopery

    Don't forget the past, when the oligarchy of any nation treats its citizenry with careless disrespect heads will roll. After the breaking point is reached there's no amount of money that will keep them safe.

    April 30, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Really

    I do not know if the old Hag is the Devil incarnate but I've always liked her. I think her sons need to listen to her. NO MORE BUSHES!

    April 30, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Dave

    So now that both her sons have spent sometime in politics we show now forget about any other family that wants to pursue higher office?

    Thanks Barbara.

    April 30, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. Jolat

    I think Mrs. Bush is too aware of the stress and pressure the office puts on an individual and their family. That being said, she is the REAL power in that family. Her husband and son both President, another son Governor, her grandson up and coming. She is a living legend.

    April 30, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. El Warbo Grande

    I agree. We need someone other than a Bush or a Clinton. There's more to this country.

    April 30, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. RES

    To Fiona: You may not like Chelsea, at least she did not steal $160M like Neal Bush did when his dad was prez.

    April 30, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. Paul

    Bill Clinton is loved by the public. He will be a big asset to Hilary as "first gentleman". No one can match the experience that the Democratic ticket will bring in 2016.

    April 30, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. Bastage

    Does he "I like to fish"

    April 30, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. Tired of idiots

    Mrs. Bush has been a wise first lady. She knows her sons. I think we should listen to her.

    April 30, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. glauber

    It's true. Political dynasties suck. Just try to find me a Kennedy or a Bush who's likely to do anything worthwhile in politics.

    April 30, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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