Jeb Bush is putting to rest speculation that he may be chosen as the running mate of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. “I am not going to be the veep nominee,” Bush said in an e-mailed statement Friday. “Lay that to rest.”
The topic of the former Florida Governor Bush potentially becoming Vice-President arose during a Thursday interview with Newsmax. During the interview, Bush was questioned about his own chances for being asked by the former Massachusetts governor to be his running mate. “Well, I’d consider it,” Bush said, “but I doubt I’ll get a call, and I don’t know if it’s the right thing for me to do. I didn’t run for president for a similar kind of reason, so I’m all in to try to help him get elected.”
“He is not a candidate for VP,” Bush’s spokeswoman Jaryn Emhof told ABC News in an e mail, adding that the comments to Newsmax, where he said he would “consider it” if Romney called, were “taken out of context.” In an email to ABC News’ Miami affiliate WPLG’s Senior Political Reporter Michael Putney, Bush himself echoed the statement, saying, “I didn’t say it right and it was taken out of context. Nothing to talk about.”
Bush told Newsmax that Florida Senator Marco Rubio is “probably the best” candidate for the vice presidency under a Mitt Romney administration and he hopes Rubio would accept should Romney choose him. Rubio has stated repeatedly that he is not interested in leaving the U.S. Senate.
“Well, I can’t speak for Gov. Romney, and I can’t speak for Sen. Rubio, but if I was on both sides of that conversation I would ask — and I would hope that Marco would accept. There’s a lot of things in between that may not make that happen, but I am a great admirer of Mitt Romney’s and I’m a huge fan of Marco Rubio’s, and I think the combination would be extraordinary.” - Jeb Bush
Many high-ranking Republican lawmakers and party insiders feel Bush himself would have been an ideal presidential nominee that would appeal to middle class and Hispanic voters looking for an alternative to President Barack Obama. With a base not very excited about Mitt Romney, Bush could potentially prove valuable to Romney as the campaign leads up to Election Day.
Bush had refrained from endorsing any candidate for president before Florida’s Republican presidential primary on Jan. 31. Romney defeated the runner-up in that contest, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, by more than 14 percentage points. Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney received a less than enthusiastic endorsement from Mr. Bush last month, followed by a tepid endorsement from Bush Sr. Jeb Bush has repeatedly said he is ready to campaign for the party’s 2012 nominee.
"For the Republican Party, the stakes could not be greater," said Bush. "Just eight years after the party's successful effort to woo Hispanic voters in 2004, this community, he fastest-growing group in the United States, according to census data - has drifted away."