Jeb Bush 2016 Candidacy Could Be GOP Game-Changer

Image: Jeb Bush 2016 Candidacy Could Be GOP Game-Changer

Friday, 31 Jan 2014 10:41 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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If former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush decides to seek the presidency in 2016, he could be a spoiler or a savior for the Republican Party, according to The Washington Post's Sean Sullivan.

A popular governor who is also the son and brother of two presidents, Bush carries the respect and name recognition to bring in big donors, according to Sullivan, who notes that Bush holds the unique position of appealing to both the GOP establishment and the new wave of tea party conservatives.

"One of Bush's signature issues is education, a hot topic among movement conservatives," writes Sullivan.

Bush also has the ability to upset the apple carts of his GOP brethren whose names have been bandied about as potential candidates, according to the Post.

Among a wide-open field of likely GOP candidates, a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Bush trailing only Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012 and the current chairman of the House Budget Committee. And not by much. Ryan garners the support of 20 percent of Republicans, with Bush at 18 percent.

He and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would likely pursue the same donor base and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio might opt to stay on the sidelines should Bush, his mentor, announce a candidacy, Sullivan says.

Bush has thus far kept his intentions private, something he plans to do at least until later in the year, he told the local CBS affiliate in Miami earlier this week.

"I'm deferring the decision to the right time which is later this year and the decision will be based on, can I do it joyfully, because I think we need to have candidates lift our spirits," he said. "It's a pretty pessimistic country right now; and, is it right for my family? So I don't even want to think about that till it's the right time, and that's later on."

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