Speculation about former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) positioning himself for a presidential run in 2016 heated up on Tuesday, with the National Review reporting that the brother of former President George W. Bush was meeting with a cadre of former White House officials in Washington.
“I am here to catch up with folks and promote education reform,” Bush told the National Review when asked about his consultation with the group, which included a number of officials in his brother's White House, as well as Neil Newhouse, former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign pollster. Bush later maintained that the larger purpose of his trip to Washington was to focus on educational reform.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that Bush's efforts on education reform during his time as Florida governor have made him a top authority on the subject. Parts of his plan have been replicated by 36 states, according to Reuters.
While Bush has largely remained reserved about any possible presidential aspirations, The New York Times reported last week that Bush has an enthusiastic coalition of supporters who believe that he would be a strong candidate to patch the demographic deficiencies experienced by the GOP in the 2012 elections:
To his supporters, Mr. Bush is the man for the moment. His wife, Columba, was born and raised in Mexico. He speaks Spanish and favors overhauling the immigration system in a way that would provide a route to citizenship for people already in the country illegally but otherwise law-abiding.
His son, Jeb Bush, Jr., recently spoke on the issue of his father being cast into the 2016 discussion.
"I don't know. No comment," he told CNN when asked his father might run. "I certainly hope so."