You would think that with 14 days left before the Iowa caucus, it’s too late to start thinking about potential “other” candidates.
You would be wrong.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has printed an op-ed piece that has many Republicans feverishly speculating that it might be a sign that he is considering stepping into the presidential race. Published in the Wall Street Journal, Bush talks up “economic freedom” and touts his own record in Florida as support.
“Increasingly, we have let our elected officials abridge our own economic freedoms through the annual passage of thousands of laws and their associated regulations,” Bush writes. “We see human tragedy and we demand a regulation to prevent it. We see a criminal fraud and we demand more laws. We see an industry dying and we demand it be saved. Each time, we demand ‘Do something . . . anything.’ As Florida’s governor for eight years, I was asked to ‘do something’ almost every day. Many times I resisted through vetoes but many times I succumbed. And I wasn’t alone. Mayors, county chairs, governors and presidents never think their laws will harm the free market. But cumulatively, they do, and we have now imperiled the right to rise.”
The Hill calls the piece a channeling of “campaign-style rhetoric, leading some conservative commentators to question whether he might launch a late-inning jump into a chaotic GOP field.”
The Washington Examiner is more direct. “Perhaps Bush just wanted to say something. Or perhaps he wanted to join the presidential conversation, either as an influential voice or a possible candidate. If his motivation is the latter, it would be a change from months — years — of denying that he would run for president in 2012. Both Bush and members of his family have said repeatedly that he will not run, that after spending his peak earning years as governor of Florida, he needed to make money for his family. Were he to decide to take run, Bush would have to reconcile his action with his many, many denials.”
But former President George W. Bush aid Karl Rove says a run is simply not going to happen. “I’ve spoken to Gov. Bush, who says he’s not push-polling, doesn’t know anyone who is push-polling and is not running for president.”
It’s true that with family and party money and connections, Jeb could have a campaign running within a matter of hours, and probably leap right to the forefront as the newest “anti-Romney,” even if it meant running via write in for states who’s registration deadlines have already passed.
But could he win a general election, even if he swept the primary? That’s a lot less likely, especially for country still, despite everything, likes President Barack Obama better than his predecessor.
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