Jeb Bush Says No to 2012 Run


jeb-bushMany Republicans are still searching for that ideal 2012 presidential candidate – someone who can fire up both the fiscal and social conservative wings of the GOP while luring swing voters. And, in recent months, the chatter has often turned to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bush apparently sought to quiet the murmurs yesterday, telling a Kentucky TV reporter that he isn’t running.

Bush has said that since leaving office in January 2007 that he would focus on making money and advocating for education reforms, which were a centerpiece of his tenure as governor. Even as polls show that he remains popular in Florida, the country’s biggest swing state, many close to him and party strategists have assumed that the Bush family name was a non-starter so soon after the presidency of his unpopular older brother, George W. Bush. Jeb Bush waved off efforts by state Republicans to coax him into the U.S. Senate race.

But the 2010 midterms have served as a bit of a political re-coming out for Jeb Bush, who has traveled the country raising money for Republican candidates. Just this week, he headlined a fund-raiser Monday night in Louisville for GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul. He has also spoken out on a range of political issues, from economic policy to immigration.

Bush said today that his denial was hardly news. Asked why there has been so much speculation, Bush told Washington Wire via email: “I haven’t a clue. I have not been running for a while and answer the question the same way every time.”

But given the glaring demographic challenges facing Republicans, who tend to appeal mostly to white voters as the country grows more black and brown, Bush remains a tempting option. He speaks fluent Spanish, is married to a Mexican-American, and Latinos in his hometown of Miami consider him an honorary Cuban-American – giving him a foothold in Florida and the Mountain West, Latino-heavy areas that helped put Barack Obama in the White House.

One likely 2012 GOP contender, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, told reporters Monday that he believed former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had some built-in advantages given her popularity among party activists – giving her the leeway to delay any sort of official campaign announcement.

Bush’s advantages are even more pronounced. Some strategists view him as a possible fallback nominee if nobody else captures the party’s imagination next year. The theory goes that Jeb Bush could step in at the last minute as a unifying figure and instantly amass the fund-raising and political support needed to mount a national campaign. But it’s just a theory.

{Wall Street Journal/ Newscenter}


  1. The country is finished with the Clintons, Kennedys & the Bushes. They will never get elected for President again! We are sick of all of them!


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