Jeb Bush has always been supportive of Mitt Romney, but comments Bush makes in a CBS This Morning interview airing Thursday morning leave us questioning how he really feels about Mitt Romney.
The first alarm for us went off when Charlie Rose asked asked Bush if there's a chance he could be the Vice President. The short answer? No. The long answer:
"I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to be asked. And it’s not going to happen. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a voice. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to enthusiastically support Mitt Romney. I intend to do that, I’m doing it,” Bush said. “He’s got a great list of candidates that I’m sure he’s thinking about."
In the past, Bush has offered up his protégé Marco Rubio as an ideal running mate for the Romney campaign, which was considerate of him. Except, Rubio has deflected any talk of the idea when asked. But then, Rose asked him whether or not he's put the dream of being President behind him, and Bush tells him, "I have not made that decision." He doesn't know yet, so maybe? Let's not rule anything out.
The second alarm was raised when Bush says he thinks he could have been the Republican presidential nominee. Right after saying he doesn't know about the future, Bush laments that 2012, "was probably my time," to mount a presidential run. But, "There’s a window of opportunity, in life, and for all sorts of reasons," he says. He coulda' been a contender. He coulda' been somebody.
Bush endorsed Romney in March, but his comment to CBS could be loosely translated to, "You won because I didn't enter the race," if one isn't careful. Bush does his best to make sure it doesn't come off like that. "Although I don’t know, given what I believe and how I believe it, I’m not sure I would have been successful as a candidate, either," he says. "These are different times than just six years ago, when I last ran, or even longer than that."
Here's what we can gather from the interview: Bush thinks 2012 could have been his year to make a serious run for the White House, but instead its Mitt's, and he might still make a run for the White House, but it won't be playing second fiddle on Mitt's ticket. Maybe it's just us, but it sounds like Jeb is publicly supporting the prom king while secretly hating his guts behind closed doors.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.