Presidential races

Jeb Bush: I’m not running in 2012

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tamped down speculation that he might be considering a 2012 White House bid Tuesday at an event in Louisville, Ky. 

As Jeb Bush has upped his presence on the midterm campaign trail, he has increasingly been mentioned as a potential 2012 candidate. On Monday night, Bush headlined a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul in Kentucky. 

But on Tuesday, he told a local news station that he is not running for president. 

Last week, the Atlantic’s Joshua Green asked whether it was really that far-fetched to have another Bush in the White House. He called Jeb Bush “the candidate hiding in plain sight,” and argued that even the most obvious drawback of a Jeb Bush candidacy–his last name–would be more easily overcome than observers think.

“It’s often asserted that Bush could never overcome the burden,” Green wrote. “But there’s clear evidence that voters distinguish between George W. Bush and his family members.”   

Southern Political Report’s Gary Reese wrote Monday that “measured by the standards of conservative bona fides, personality and administrative experience, the 57-year-old is arguably more qualified than any of the perceived early frontrunners for the GOP.”

He continued: “Bush is a working combination of traditional conservatism and new ideas. Exactly what the GOP needs.”

So far, there’s little evidence Bush is interested in following in the footsteps of his father and brother, both former presidents. Unlike a host of other potential GOP candidates, the former Florida governor is absent a leadership PAC and hasn’t doled out campaign cash to Republican candidates in 2010.   

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