Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush sat down with CBS This Morning amid a storm of controversy over his flip-flop on immigration and rumors of his possible interest in running for the presidency in 2016.
“I’m not ruling it out,” Bush told CBS’ Norah O’Donnell. “That I guess is interesting. I don’t find it that interesting. You know, it’s just something that will have to happen later on, not now.”
Bush has been making the rounds of the media to promote his upcoming book which deals in part with immigration and other issues. Bush’s new book changed his previous position and said that he is ruling out a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
The 180-degree policy turn puts Jeb Bush to the right of Senator Marco Rubio and sets the stage for Bush to attack Rubio in a primary election as being too liberal on immigration reform.
It also provides further problems for the Republican Party that was hammered by Democrats among women and minority voters in 2012. The GOP has tried to start reaching out to both communities and distancing itself, to a degree, from the failed campaign of Mitt Romney.
“It was not an open message,” Bush said of Romney’s campaign. “It was one that, for a guy as good as he could have been as president, I think he got off in the primary got off to the wrong start and never really recovered. It’s a problem of our, of the conservative movement and of the Republican Party.”
Bush said that despite the problems facing Republicans on the national stage that they still have plenty of time and ideas to spark a comeback.
“I think this is solvable I don’t think it’s an impossible task it wasn’t not long ago people were writing off the Democratic Party now I think it’s a little too premature to write off the Republican Party,” Bush said.
Watching and listening closely to what his former boss is saying, is Justin Sayfie, A Ft. Lauderdale attorney and publisher of the Florida Political News website called SayfieReview.
“For the first time, I’m hearing Governor Bush saying that’s something he may decide to do,” said Sayfie.
Sayfie was a speech writer and later a Communications Director during Jeb Bush’s first term as Governor. He also speaks with Bush regularly.
“Governor Bush left office a very popular governor. He governed as a conservative and Florida is the biggest swing state in the country in terms of presidential politics. President Obama won Florida twice and former President George W. Bush won Florida twice.
Sayfie believes Bush has wide appeal as a presidential candidate because of his track record on education reform, the environment and improving the state’s economy.
“I think the Republican party could get behind Governor Bush. Hispanic voters, Latino voters are increasingly important constituents in presidential politics and Governor Bush is able to speak fluent Spanish,” said Sayfie. “You are never going to wonder where he stands on an issue. He believes what he believes in. He states it and he lets the political chips where they may.”
And that registers when you ask people what they would think of ’another’ President Bush.
“I like his politics, his brother’s politics, the family, I like the whole thing,” said Tom Hayes who is visiting Ft. Lauderdale.
“I think he’s conservative, and it’s what we need right now,” said Louis Basile.
But others aren’t as sure.
“I’m hoping the American people are intelligent,” said one woman who is visiting from Canada.
Justin Sayfie says he thinks Bush will make up his mind about running for president after the 2014 elections.
“When you run for president it’s a ten year commitment, two years running for the office, the first term and then the possibility of a second term.
“Personally i think it would be great! I think he’d be a great president and leader,” said Sayfie.