Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Jeb Bush Sends Signals on 2016 Presidential Run

Republican strategists and fundraisers say Jeb Bush's closest advisers have been quietly spreading the word that they should avoid committing to other possible presidential candidates until he decides on his own course after the November election.
The message from Mr. Bush's inner circle during the past few months is in part an effort to bat down speculation that the former Florida governor has ruled out a 2016 run, say GOP donors and strategists who have spoken with the Bush camp. The message, as one put it, is: "Before you do anything, let us know."
Jim Nicholson, a Bush supporter who served in President George W. Bush's cabinet, said: "I think the chances are better than 50-50 that he runs, and that is based on some conversations I've had with members of the Bush family."
Mr. Bush's aides aren't actively making calls but responding to supporters who are fielding inquiries from other potential candidates, according to those involved in the conversations.
Mr. Bush is a top choice of the establishment wing of the Republican Party. His entry would help define the policy fights of the primary process, as his support for overhauling immigration law and for the Common Core national educational standards has drawn strong opposition from many conservatives.
Mr. Bush, who is 61 years old, has said the impact of a presidential run on his family would be a paramount concern. One of his three children, Jeb Bush Jr., said the matter hasn't come up in family gatherings, though the issue is "the 800-pound gorilla in the room.''
"A lot of people are waiting to see what Dad does,'' the junior Mr. Bush, who works at his father's Miami-area business consulting firm, said in an interview Thursday. "There's a lot of pressure to run."
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