Monday, December 11, 2006

Jeb Bush Won't Rule Out Presidency

Now that the midterm elections are behind us, it seems every available politician is throwing his/her hat into the ring for 2008:


Jeb Bush Won't Rule Out Presidency

Ronald Kessler
Monday, Dec. 11, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he is "not ruling in or out" running for president or vice president in 2008.

"I don't know what the future holds for me," Bush told NewsMax as he leaves office this month after eight years as governor.

"To be honest with you, the only job in public life that I've been interested in over the last 15 years has been to be governor. It's been my dream come true. I guess it's hard for people to appreciate, but I've never viewed it as a stepping stone to anything else."

Bush said he would feel comfortable with Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, or John McCain as president.

"I like Romney, but I'd also be comforted at night knowing that Rudy Giuliani was leading our nation in a time of war, and John McCain — all three of them," Bush said.

"Being president, your ideology is important, but your character matters a lot, too.

"One of the descriptors of being president that I think is one of the most important, frankly, is, can a father tell a daughter or a son about the president, ‘If you work hard and you play by the rules and you strive for greatness, you can be just like him,' warts and all? Because we're all imperfect under God's watchful eye, and in politics the imperfections are what everybody focuses on. I think they're all three admirable men." ...

...Because of term limits, Bush could not run for governor again. He enjoys a 65 percent approval rating in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. ...

...Bush said one of his disappointments is the death of Terri Schiavo.

"Put aside the politics, which everybody has their own views of . . . the woman [who] was starved to death," Bush said. "That's not something I'm very comfortable with.

"We did our best, we did what we could within the law to save her life. But it was for naught in the end. And we never could change the law that allowed such an occurrence to take place. Seems to me that she should have had a living will, and if it's an oral understanding, that we should err on the side of life. And in our state, that's not the case by the statutes that we have, which is a disappointment."

For Bush, the Schiavo case raised issues about values. Bush sees the war on terror and restoring values as the country's greatest challenges.

"How do we sustain a long-term fight against the jihadists, especially in a free society that's used to immediate gratification?" he said.

"And how do we recognize the importance of wholesome family life, virtues that are timeless, that really have been the linchpin of our country?

"Our strength really hasn't resided in how great our government is, it's the ability to govern ourselves. In the last couple of generations, we have placed huge demands on government. We need to have a conversation about that."

In the meantime, "I don't know what's going to happen to me next," Bush said. "I wouldn't rule it [running for president] out or in. It's not even on my radar." Nor is running for vice president.

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