While being interviewed in College Station, Texas, George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R), said that it is “likely” that his father will run for president in 2016, according to ABC News on Sunday. This is in sharp contrast to responses given by the younger Bush back in October, when he refused to tell reporters whether or not he supported his father’s possible presidential run. Bush’s responses to inquiring reporters at that time was that he was directing his focus on his run for Texas Land Commissioner. George P. Bush now says that if his father runs for President in 2016, that he will support him “a hundred percent.”
According to a presidential poll conducted by The Washington Post in October of this year, Bush captures 15% of likely GOP voters, just ahead of Senator Rand Paul (R,Ky) who captures 12% of likely GOP voters. The poll did not factor in Mitt Romney, who is said to be at least 30 points ahead of other likely GOP contenders, including Bush. The poll was predicated with the question as to who GOP voters would support if Romney did not run for President in 2016.
Mitt Romney, who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent President Barack Obama in 2012, is seen as a moderate candidate. His areas of vulnerability among GOP voters are his “Obama like” healthcare plan that he set into place while Governor of Massachusetts, and his inability to convince more conservative GOP voters that he is one of them. He also is perceived as “waffling” on the issues and changing his views to fit the audience to whom he is speaking. Some of the issues on which Romney has vacillated in the past are: union rights, the minimum wage, gun control, healthcare, and immigration. Throughout his political career, there has been an element of distrust of Romney among conservative voters.
Jeb Bush, on the other hand, has his own areas of vulnerability too, especially pertaining to the issue of immigration. Bush has expressed views that are perceived to be soft towards illegal immigrants, stating that they only are coming here to feed their families. He also supports Common Core, which is very unpopular among the more conservative wing of the GOP.
It is unlikely that his son’s endorsement will assist Bush in the polls, but his statements do bring his father’s likely presidential run to the dinner table once again. And if you are thinking of running for president, the dinner table is exactly where you want to be as ordinary Americans weigh in on your views and electability. Your next move is to the living room in television ads, but that takes money. Bush will have to raise a lot of money between now and the 2016 primaries if he is to taken seriously as a candidate. Election year 2016 will not be boring by anyone’s standards.