In an interview with ABC News, aired Wednesday the 43 president of USA suggested that his brother would be, in his words, a “marvelous candidate.”
“He’d be a marvelous candidate if he chooses to do so. He doesn’t need my counsel ’cause he knows what it is, which is ‘run,’ ” the elder Bush brother said about Jeb’s possible candidacy, in an interview on “World News with Diane Sawyer.” “But whether he does or not, it’s a very personal decision.”
Bush went on, allowing himself to picture the potential 2016 matchup: Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Rodham Clinton. It would be a family rematch of the 1992 election, when George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton, reports ABC News.
“It’ll be a fantastic photo here. It would certainly eclipse the museum and the center,” Bush said on the eve of the formal opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University, just outside Dallas. “I’m interested in politics. I’m, you know, I’m fascinated by all the gossip and stuff that goes on. But the field won’t be become clear ’til after the midterms.”
When asked to give the Republican Party a piece of advice, the Obama’s predecessor struck an optimistic note amid rounds of GOP soul-searching: “You will exist in the future,” he said with a smile.
On several major issues, Bush made clear that now he prefers to stay away from day-to-day political battles.
With some Republicans calling for immigration reform to be slowed down in the wake the Boston Marahon bombings last week apparently carried out by two immigrants, Bush appeared still to be an advocate of comprehensive reform but said he wouldn’t be commenting on specific legislation.
“I’m a strong advocate in reforming a broken system,” Bush said. “It’s a difficult issue for members of Congress to deal with. And they’re just gonna have to figure out how best to deal with a very complex issue. And I don’t know all the particulars of the bill. I do know the system is not working.”
The former president also refused to comment on the issue of gun control and expanded background checks, which he voiced support for during his being as the president.
“There’s a lotta issues that people would like to get my opinion on, and I really decided to stay out of the public arena,” he explained.
He took a similar tack on gay marriage, which he has previously opposed — a position that puts him at odds with his former vice president, Dick Cheney; his 2004 campaign manager, Ken Mehlman; and his wife, Laura, and daughter Barbara.
“No, but thank you for trying,” Bush said when asked whether he’d like to explain his position in that fast-evolving debate. “I’m not weighing in on issues. … See, you’re either in or out.”