George P. Bush: I won't endorse in 2016

George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said he has no plans to endorse a candidate in the 2016 GOP presidential primary — even if his father throws his hat in the ring.

In 2012, the younger Bush endorsed Tea-Party favorite Ted Cruz in his successful Texas Senate primary against then-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the GOP establishment’s pick.

Cruz is now eyeing a presidential bid, along with outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry. And Jeb Bush, the son of President George H.W. Bush and brother of President George W. Bush, has been receiving encouragement from moderate Republicans to jump in the race as well.

George P. Bush on Friday night called Cruz “fearless” and a “force of nature,” adding that they text message each other from time to time. But asked whether he’d back Cruz for president, George P. Bush, the GOP nominee for Texas land commissioner, replied: “I’m staying out of that race.”

His remarks came during a lighthearted moment during an hourlong interview at the Texas Tribune Festival. When Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith followed up and asked if he wouldn’t even endorse his father, Jeb, the younger Bush replied: “I think folks know that I love him.”

“You know the headline tomorrow will be: George P. Bush: Too Busy to Endorse his Dad,” Smith joked.

“You caught me on that one,” said Bush, who is 38.

Pressed whether his famous uncle or grandfather could survive a GOP primary today given the rise of tea-party conservatives, Bush sidestepped the question.

“I’m a man of my own right. I’ve been running in my campaign, presenting my own ideas,” Bush said. “My campaign is about the future and not talking about the past. ... We’ll leave that to historians to assess as to what was conservative and what was not, and what is conservative enough now.”