Former President George W. Bush: 'I Hope Jeb Runs'

Thursday, 01 May 2014 05:42 PM

By Todd Beamon

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If former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush decides on a White House run, his older brother advised him on Thursday to "give me a call."

"I hope Jeb runs," former President George W. Bush told CNN's "The Lead With Jake Tapper" in an interview. "He would be a great president.

"I have no clue of what's on his mind — and we'll talk when he's ready," Bush said.

Story continues below video.

Jeb Bush, 61, is considered a leading contender for the 2016 Republican presidential race. He has not decided on whether he would seek the White House. Bush served as Florida governor from 1999 to 2007.

George Bush, 67, served two terms as president, from 2001 to 2009. He also was Texas governor from 1995 to 2000.

In recent months, however, Jeb Bush has been actively traveling the country, making speeches and endorsing candidates in various state elections.

On Thursday, Bush endorsed North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis in the crowded GOP Senate primary — a day after announcing his support for California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, who served under the elder Bush in the Treasury Department.

And last month, Bush spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition's spring gathering in Las Vegas. The event was hosted by conservative casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who gave more than $100 million to Republican presidential candidates in 2012.

Adelson is hoping to back a 2016 Republican presidential candidate with broad electoral appeal.

Referencing his brother's activities, George Bush told Tapper, "I notice that he's moving around the country a bit."

When Tapper noted that Jeb Bush was "doing well in polls," the former president responded: "That's fine. They don't mean anything for him. I guarantee you, he's not looking at a poll to decide whether or not he wants to run.

"It's an internal thing," Bush continued. "He's checking his core. As he has said publicly, 'I'm thinking about my family.'

"He knows full well what a run for the presidency can do on family. He's seen his dad and his brother run for president."

George Bush said he has not discussed a White House run with his younger brother. "It's hard for people to believe.

"I hope he runs," the former president said. "So, hey, Jeb, if you need some advice, give me a call."

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