Jeb Bush: Brother George has 'moved on with his life'


But Bush said his brother never feels slighted when politicians on either side of the aisle suggest he was responsible for the country's problems.

"He has moved on with his life," Bush said. "I send him emails once every two weeks to say, ‘all I meet are people that love you,’ which is true. I am not making that up. In this hall people were saying, ‘I worked for your brother, history will prove him right on a lot of things.’ There’s a lot of goodwill for George W. Bush, but he also knows that he needs to stay out of the way. Back to this idea that you blame W. for everything: the common cold, breakout bacne, rain; so I think he smartly has taken a step back and let the Romney-Ryan ticket take the attention that they deserve.”

Bush was also asked whether he was upset that presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney had selected Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate. Bush had been a vocal cheerleader for Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow Floridian.

“No, not at all. Marco is a special elected official. He has a bright future ahead of him," Bush said. "I actually think Paul Ryan was an inspired choice because it changes the conversation to big things. Marco would have provided a lot of energy as you’ll see Thursday night, he’s really gifted. But Paul Ryan is the one guy in Washington that I think has a command of the issues, the big challenges our country faces and has had the courage to outline specific proposals."

He also downplayed concerns that bypassing Rubio would hurt Republicans with the fast-growing Hispanic population or play to notions the party is not inclusive.

“You look at the rising stars in the Republican Party and they happen to be disproportionately Hispanic," Bush said. "[New Mexico Gov.] Susana Martinez, maybe the most popular governor in the country, [Nevada Gov.] Brian Sandoval who has an approval rating of over 60 percent, Marco, Ted Cruz is going to be, God willing, the next senator from Texas. We have great new faces that will allow us over time to regain our footing with Latino voters for sure."

Bush also swiped at his successor, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. Crist, a former Republican who ran as an independent against Rubio in 2010, has endorsed President Obama for reelection and will speak at the 2012 Democratic convention.

“You can’t make up Charlie Crist. He is unique," Bush said. "He organized his life around his personal ambition and ran in a primary where he was the odds-on favorite, didn’t offer a compelling reason to be elected to the Senate. Marco Rubio cleaned his clock and beat him in the general, and now he’s trying to find a way to get back into the political game. It has nothing to do with principles or ideas, it has to do with his ambition.”