No George W. Bush 'Baggage' for 2016, Jeb Bush Says
If Jeb Bush decides to run for president in 2016, there would be no "Bush baggage" weighing him down, the former Florida governor said today.
Presented with poll numbers showing an overwhelming majority of Americans hold an unfavorable opinion of his brother, former President George W. Bush, the dynasty scion opined on "Fox News Sunday": "I don't think there's any Bush baggage at all."
"I love my brother - I'm proud of his accomplishments," Bush said. Asked about his father, former President George H.W. Bush, he continued, "I love my dad. I'm proud to be a Bush."
Jeb Bush, whose name has frequented 2016 short lists for years, on "Face the Nation" today knocked down the implication that his perceived shift to the right on immigration via his new book "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution" was politically motivated. But while he said it's too early to ignite speculation about an election nearly four years out, he wouldn't deny it's a consideration.
"If I run for president, it's not because of something in my DNA that compels me to do it," he said on Fox. "It would be that it's the right thing to do for my family, that the conditions are right, and that I have something to offer.
"If I don't run," Bush continued, "I have a blessed life."
Appearing on the same program, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. - another favorite for the 2016 GOP nomination - said his stint as Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate last year opened up a White House bid as a "more realistic" endeavor.
"I enjoyed the experience," Ryan said. "It made it more realistic in my mind. It's something that I much better understand."
Ryan said he won't commit to anything 2016-related until Congress has navigated its way through the sequester-stained deficit reduction talks. As House Budget chairman, he is slated to unveil his new budget plan Tuesday.
"I shouldn't be clouding my judgment today by thinking about some political thing four years from now," he said. "I should not be clouding my judgment by thinking, 'How does this position me to run for president?'"
One job he won't be seeking in the future: Speaker of the House.
"I have no plans to be in House elected leadership," Ryan said. "If I wanted to be in elected leadership like speaker, I would have run for these jobs years ago. I've always believed the better place for me is in policy leadership like being a chairman."