Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush sat out of this year’s Republican race to recapture the White House.
Many analysts agree the country still has too much “Bush Fatigue,” now three years after President George W. Bush left office.
Still, the popular former Governor is still a Republican heavy-hitter.
When Mitt Romney lost the lead in the polls in Michigan, his home state, there was speculation that the Republican “establishment” would recruit Bush or another candidate to enter the race.
On Thursday, Mr. Bush was the featured speaker on education reform at a Dallas luncheon by the conservative think tank National Center for Policy Analysis.
Afterwards, Mr. Bush rejected the speculation and rumors by telling me, “Not going to happen. The party nominee will be amongst the candidates who are in the race now.”
Mr. Bush cautioned the Republican candidates against running too far to the political right.
He said, “I think it’s important for the candidates to recognize they have to appeal to primary voters, and not turn off independent voters that will be part of a winning coalition.”
Bush said he worries more about that than the negative attacks the candidates have unleashed on each other.
Bush said, “I think so far, the process has toughened up the eventual nominee. These candidates know once the process, our process is complete, they’re going up against a $700-$800 million negative attack machine, so they might as well get prepared for it by going through the process.”
That “negative attack machine” Bush refers to is President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
The President’s campaign spokespeople have already justified what’s to come by saying they’re expecting negative attacks from the eventual nominee.