A quick look at 2016 presidential hopeful Jeb Bush

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
A quick look at 2016 presidential hopeful Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush is facing questions about his personal email use as governor of Florida after criticizing Hillary Clinton for doing the same.
FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2014 file photo, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in Washington. Bush speaks Monday at the winter commencement at the University of South Carolina _ just the sort of thing a potential presidential candidate might do. He's also still raising money for his private equity businesses _ just the sort of thing a potential presidential candidate would never do. Bush has promised to decide whether to run for president "in short order," and the reading of tea leaves is reaching a frantic pace as the holidays approach. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks to the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC's 11th Annual Luncheon in Coral Gables, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. The presidential contest that's starting to take shape is exposing divisions among likely Republican candidates on the nation's role in global affairs. Among those outlining foreign policy this week: Bush, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal, as well as the party's 2008 presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
WOODBURY, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a Long Island Association luncheon with LIA President and CEO Kevin S. Law at the Crest Hollow Country Club on February 24, 2014 in Woodbury, New York. Bush is widely seen as a possible presidential contender in 2016. (Photo by Andy Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Alexander Hamilton Award Dinner, Monday, May 12, 2014, in New York. Bush and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., courted some of Wall Street’s most powerful political donors Monday night, competing for attention from tuxedoed hedge fund executives gathered in midtown Manhattan as the early jockeying in the 2016 presidential contest quietly continues. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, left, gestures during at an education forum in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 with U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennr. Bush urged politicians to make the case to their constituents in favor of Common Core education standards. (AP Photos/Erik Schelzig)
FILE - This March 19, 2014 file photo shows former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaking at an education forum in Nashville, Tenn. Battling “the soft bigotry of low expectations” with national education goals was former Republican President George W. Bush’s campaign mantra. But many of his party’s would-be successors are calling for just the opposite of government-set rules, splitting the party over education policy as the GOP class of 2016 presidential hopefuls takes shape. Jeb Bush, who supports a national education policy, and Rand Paul, who abhors the idea, personify the divide. Forty-four states voluntarily participate in standards developed in part by GOP governors. (AP Photos/Erik Schelzig, File)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council's 40th annual meeting Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush prepares to board a carriage Wednesday, May 29, 2013, on Michigan’s Mackinac Island after delivering a speech to business and government leaders. (AP Photo/John Flesher)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks to supporters at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Coral Gables, Fla., Friday, April 19, 2013, an annual gathering of conservative Latino lawmakers. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

BY THOMAS BEAUMONT

A look at preparations by former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., for a potential 2016 presidential campaign:

Nondenial denial: "I can honestly tell you that I don't know what I'm going to do," is his standard disclaimer. Says he'll decide by end of year whether to run. One factor in decision: whether he can run an optimistic campaign and avoid "mud fight" of politics.

Book: Yes. Co-authored "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution," which he promoted on all five Sunday morning TV talk shows in March 2013.

Iowa visits: Hosted fundraiser in Florida for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad in May. Visited Iowa in 2012 for economic development meeting but has been holding off on splashy visits to early voting states.

New Hampshire: No record of recent visits.

South Carolina: Yes, in April 2012. Spoke to Empower S.C. Education Reform meeting.

Foreign travel: Yes, a few times a year. Several visits to Israel, as governor in 1999 and as private citizen in 2007. Also went there as Florida commerce secretary in 1980s.

Meet the money: Yes, addressed well-heeled crowd at Manhattan Institute, led by GOP benefactor Paul Singer, in May. Flew to Las Vegas in March to meet GOP super donor Sheldon Adelson and address senior members of Republican Jewish Coalition at Adelson's company airport hangar. In February, his short video for a GOP fundraiser at Donald Trump's Palm Beach, Florida, estate was a bigger hit than Sen. Ted Cruz's keynote speech. Party in summer of 2013 for his immigration book at home of Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets and a leading Republican bundler.

Networking: Doing more this year politically after a long period of "a little self-restraint." Already a party establishment favorite. Recent travels to Tennessee, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas. Endorsed GOP establishment picks in North Carolina Senate and California governor primaries. Skipped Conservative Political Action Conference in March, after giving keynote speech to the influential group a year earlier. 2013 Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting. Speeches and meetings on education policy.

Hog the TV: No. Blanketed the Sunday talk shows in March 2013 to plug his book on immigration, but not many appearances since.

Do something: Strong job approval ratings as governor of Florida, a swing state. Revamped state educational system, cut taxes, managed state through several hurricanes.

Take a stand: Unapologetic proponent of Common Core education standards, which he again promoted at a conference in Arizona in the spring, and immigration changes opposed by many in GOP.

Baggage: The Bush factor. Jeb is yet another Bush, which is a plus for many people but a negative for a big slice of the electorate that either didn't like Bush 41 and/or 43, or simply objects to the whole idea of a political dynasty. "It's an issue for sure," he acknowledges. Courting trouble with the right with positions on education and remarks in April that people who cross into the U.S. illegally are doing so as an "act of love" for their families.

Shadow campaign: He's a Bush - he's got tons of connections. Sally Bradshaw, his chief of staff when he was governor, is his go-to political person.

Social media: Tweets and posts many Wall Street Journal stories, education thoughts and some Bush family doings. Tweeted in November 2013: "Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare." Fact-checkers pointed out the U.S. Embassy in Rome was relocating, not closing.

Read Full Story

People are Reading

The Latest from our Partners
1 - 3 of 15