Barbara Bush Says No to Jeb Bush 2016 Run

Former first lady says other candidates need to step up to the plate.

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Former first lady Barbara Bush has some advice for her son Jeb about running for president: Don't.

Mrs. Bush told C-SPAN that the country should look to other families beyond "Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes" to take charge of the White House.

"If we can't find more than two or three families to run for higher office, that's silly," she said, "because there are great governors and great eligible people to run." She added: "There are a lot of ways to serve, and being president is not the only one, and I would hope that someone else would run."

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The former first lady, 88, said, "There's no question in my mind that Jeb is the best-qualified person to run for president, but I hope he won't. ... There are other families. I refuse to accept that this great country isn't raising other wonderful people."

She said if Jeb Bush ran he would "get all my enemies, all his brother's." Bush, the former governor of Florida, is considered a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016. His father, George H.W. Bush, and his brother, George W. Bush, have both served as president. Both the father and the brother have urged Jeb to run, friends say.

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This isn't the first time Mrs. Bush has expressed the hope that her son won't run for president. Last April, she told NBC, "There are other people out there that are very well qualified, and we've had enough Bushes."

Her C-SPAN interview is to air Monday as part of the cable channel's series on first ladies.


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  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at and on Facebook and Twitter.