George W. Bush Says Jeb's 2016 Campaign Has One Problem
Jeb Bush hasn't officially announced that he's running for president, but he is "actively exploring" a run in 2016. The Bush family is churning out presidential candidates, but is three presidents from the same immediate family too many? The Bushes may be asking themselves the same question. While speaking to an audience of 7,000 health IT experts in Chicago on Wednesday, George W. Bush said Jeb has a problem: "Me."
According to Politico, George W. said:
That’s why you won’t see me out there, and he doesn’t need to defend me, and he’s totally different from me. The role of family is not to be a political adviser or a policy adviser — there are plenty of those around — the role is to say, ‘Hey man, I love you.’
It's inevitable that voters will compare Jeb to his older brother, whose approval rating dropped as low as 19 percent, but George W. has publicly announced that he wants Jeb to run, even going so far as to predict that Jeb would beat Hillary. The former president acknowledged that three Bushes in the White House may be too many and mentioned that his mother, Barbara Bush, wasn't initially keen on having another son in office. “It’s an easy line to say, ‘Haven’t we had enough Bushes?’ After all, even my mother said, ‘Yes,’” George W. said Wednesday.
In 2013, CNN asked Barbara if she wanted Jeb to run for president and she said: "He's by far the best qualified man, but no. I really don't." Whether she wanted to give another family a shot in the spotlight or was just tired of all the attention, she wanted a break from Bushes in the White House. She told CNN:
I think it's a great country. There are a lot of great families, and it's not just four families or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough Bushes.
Despite these original reservations, the Bush matriarch has changed her mind and fully supports her youngest son's bid for the presidency now. She sent an e-mail to Jeb supporters in March asking for donations to the Run Jeb Run Fund, according to MSNBC. She wrote:
When the idea of Jeb running for President first came up, I was hesitant. You may have heard about that. When you see the pounding candidates, their spouses, and even their children take, what mother wouldn’t be? But our problems are so profound that America needs a leader who can renew the promise of this great nation.
The Bushes are fully behind Jeb's presidential run now, so there may be an announcement in the near future. George W. seems less sure that Jeb can beat Hillary than he was in December though. He said on Wednesday: "So I said to Jeb, ‘Hang in there; you can do the job. Will you win? I hope so but I don’t know.' But if he does he’d be a damn good president I’ll tell you that."
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