Tags: Jeb Bush | JebBush | 2016 | decide | run

Jeb Bush: I'll Make Presidential Bid Decision This Year

Sunday, 06 Apr 2014 07:08 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Jeb Bush says all the speculation about whether he'll run for president in 2016 is getting him more attention than if he had already entered the race.

The Republican former governor of Florida said that's not by design, and that he'll make his decision before year's end.

He told Fox News Channel host Shannon Bream in an interview aired Sunday that the state of politics is "crazy right now."

"It turns out that not running has generated more interest than if I said I was running," he said.

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

Story continues below video.

Bush, 61, says one factor in his decision will be whether he can deliver an optimistic, hopeful message without getting drawn into a political "mud fight." He says the other main factor in his decision will be whether it's OK with his family if he ran.

Bush has antagonized many Republicans by supporting an immigration overhaul and educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade known as Common Core.

On immigration, he offered comments at odds with the views of many in his party.

"The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn't come legally ... and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work, to be able to provide for their family, yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony.

"It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family," Bush said. "I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime. There should be a price paid, but it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families."

"I think we need to kind of get beyond the harsh political rhetoric to a better place," he said.

A comprehensive immigration reform bill passed the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate in June 2013 but has stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Republican lawmakers have cited deep divisions in the party over the issue, including granting legal status to 11 million undocumented immigrants.

A Republican Party review after the last presidential election had urged the party to embrace immigration reform to attract more Hispanic support. Democratic President Barack Obama, who was re-elected in 2012, won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote to Republican challenger Mitt Romney's 27 percent.

Recent polls have suggested that if he were to run, Bush would have to deal with Americans' lingering attitudes toward his brother, George W. Bush, who left office in January 2009 as one of the least popular presidents in U.S. history.

In a Washington Post/ABC News poll last month, nearly half the voters surveyed said they "definitely would not" vote for Jeb Bush in 2016 .

The interview with Bush occurred at his father's presidential library during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of George. H. W. Bush's presidency.

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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