Jeb Bush Acting Like a Candidate While He Ponders 2016 Run

Image: Jeb Bush Acting Like a Candidate While He Ponders 2016 Run

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 10:57 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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With a promise to announce a decision by year’s end about whether he will seek the presidency in 2016, Jeb Bush is headlining speeches and back in the spotlight, according to Politico.

Politico writer Maggie Haberman suggests that the opinions of Bush’s family — not political strategists and donors — are paramount to his decision. Jeb Bush is the younger brother of George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. president, and the son of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president.

"As one of Jeb Bush’s friends put it, he speaks with '2,000 people on a variety of subjects, but when it comes to key decisions' — like his political future — the voices that count are people named Bush," Haberman wrote.

Jeb Bush is acting very much like a candidate, crisscrossing the country, stumping his positions on a variety of subjects, including immigration, education, and taxation.

Bush got high praise for his remarks at a Monday dinner of the Manhattan Institute, a New York-based conservative think tank. It was attended by 750 people and raised $1.8 million from some of the wealthiest donors in the country, according to The Associated Press. GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin also spoke at the event.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani introduced Bush, noting that 61 percent of Hispanic voters cast their ballot for the former Florida governor, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

"It just could be that our party could win an emerging group and get a big vote and change the nature of politics," Giuliani said. "There's a lot of speculation that he may run for president. He's got a very, very high problem to overcome: He's got a record of success."

Despite recent criticism from other conservatives about his recent remark that illegal immigrants come to the United States as "an act of love," Bush didn’t shy away from the subject.

"For the life of me, I have a hard time understanding why people are fearful of our own heritage, our own history," Bush said, according to the Times. "The rules are you come to this country, you pursue your dreams, you create value for yourself and your families and others, and great things happens to you and to our country. Why would we ignore that at time when we need to restart and rejuvenate our economy? It makes no sense to me."

GOP donor Paul Singer also praised Bush's record, according to AP.

"Many of ... Gov. Bush's achievements should be replicated across the country," Singer told the crowd.

Bush family operatives and donors appear to be pressuring him to enter the presidential race, according to Politico, which cited "a loose alliance of donors from his father’s and brother’s presidential campaigns."

Two of those noted in the Politico piece were Mel Sembler and Al Hoffman, both of whom were donors of Bush 41 and who were also involved in Jeb Bush’s Florida campaigns.

"He and I are good friends, we have great respect and affection for each other, and he’s always been very solicitous of me over the years, and we’ve maintained a close friendship," Hoffman told Politico.

Even House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, has made his wishes known, AP reported.

"Jeb Bush is my friend. I think he'd make a great president. I've nudged him for some time," Boehner told the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, according to AP.

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