Barbara Bush: I Hope Jeb Doesn't Run for White House

Thursday, 16 Jan 2014 06:38 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Former first lady Barbara Bush is still disenchanted with the idea that her son Jeb Bush might run for president in 2016, even though she thinks he's best qualified for the job — and has repeated a call for an end to family dynasties that have hogged the White House.

"I refuse to accept that this great country isn't raising other wonderful people," Bush said in an interview with C-SPAN widely aired Thursday.

"I think this is a … great country, and if we can't find more than two or three families to run for high office, that's silly, because there are great governors and great eligible people to run," she said. "And I think the Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes — there's just more families than that.

"And I'm not arrogant enough to think that we alone are raising" candidates, she said.

Story continues below video.

The frank-speaking former first lady was similarly opposed to a Jeb Bush candidacy and family dynasty last April.

"We've had enough Bushes," she said then. "He'll get all our enemies and half our friends."

In her C-SPAN interview, she proudly emphasized the Bush family's accomplishments "raising public servants," ticking off the public works of grandchildren Lauren and Pierce Bush, whose father is Neil Bush, and former President George W. Bush's daughter Barbara.

"Whether they're feeding the poor, like Lauren is, who's fed 68 million children around the world, or Barbara, who's bringing global health to the world, or Pierce is working for Big Brothers, Big Sisters," she said. "But there's a lot of ways to serve and being president is not the only one."

"I would hope someone else would run" besides her son, a former Florida governor, she added — "although there's no question in my mind that Jeb is the best qualified person to run for president."

"But I hope he won't," she added. "I think he'll get all my enemies, all his brother's [enemies], and there's other families. I refuse to accept that this great country isn't raising other wonderful people."

Barbara Bush, 88, who was recently discharged from a hospital after treatment for pneumonia just days before her 69th wedding anniversary to President George H.W. Bush, has been equally blunt on other matters of presidential politics.

In 2010 she told CNN's Larry King, when asked about Sarah Palin, "I sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful, and I think she's very happy in Alaska, and I hope she'll stay there."

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