As Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney consider seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, the former governors have a long history of ambition and "competitiveness and snippiness" that could easily play out during any campaign, The Washington Post
"We’re seeing the first shots of the war between clan Romney and clan Bush," Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist who has worked for both men, told The Post. "Both bring to the battle incredibly powerful fan clubs as well as wounds they have to heal.
"How ugly could it get?" he asked. "You’re only competing to lead the free world."
Bush, 61, the former Florida governor, said last month that he would "actively explore" a White House run — and has since been courting establishment donors
, leaders and operatives, the Post reports.
"The Bush connection is a centrifugal force, and it’s drawing back a whole generation of public servants and politicos," former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, one of Romney’s 2012 opponents, told the newspaper.
But Romney, 67, who governed Massachusetts for four years, may well have put the brakes on that activity with his announcement on Friday
to 30 large GOP donors that "I want to be president."
He told the group that his wife, Ann, backed another run. Romney, who lost the 2012 election to President Barack Obama, had spent months insisting that his political career was over.
While neither has officially announced their entry into the race, the possibility of two "center-right heavyweights" could send donors scrambling to adjust their thinking — and checkbooks, the Post reports.
A bevy of Republicans are weighing White House runs. These include Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Marco Rubio of Florida; Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin; former New York Gov. George Pataki, and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
"The abundance of great candidates developing on the Republican side is making life very tough for me because I’m going to have to choose amongst friends,” former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu told the Post.
He served both as White House chief of staff under Bush’s father and as a top campaign adviser for Romney.
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