Jeb Bush Goes on Tour; Ryan's New Budget Forgets Obamacare

Jeb Bush shoots down 2016 questions from all six major Sunday talk shows, while also discussing his ever-evolving stance on immigration reform along the way. (Also: crack addicts.) And Paul Ryan discloses his new budget operates under the assumption Obamacare will be repealed. 

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Speaking of potential 2016 Republican candidates, Jeb Bush refused to tell CNN's State of the Union host Candy Crowley whether or not he would run in the next Presidential election. But he also appeared on all five of the Sunday shows, so you be the judge. "Now I've decided to defer any consideration of it until the proper time to make those kind of considerations, which is out more than a year from now, for sure," the former Florida governor said. "And when I go through that process, I'll let you know. I don't know why there has to be a lot of mystery about this." Bush is also promoting a new book about one of the most polarizing issues of our time, immigration. (Nope, no 2016 bid looming here.) They also discussed Bush's apparent flip flop on whether the U.S. should have a "path to citizenship," option in immigration reform. "The right to rise ought to be the key of what we're proposing," Bush told Crowley. "It would resonate amongst all immigrant communities." The issue isn't whether the new system should have a path to citizenship -- it's how flawed the current system is, and finding a way to replace it. "The incentives that exist today are for people to come illegally because there's no path to come legally," Bush said. "We don't have a guest worker program. We have lines that are so long, in fact there are no lines. We have a lottery system where people actually put their names in. That's the reaction to our immigration system being so clogged up."

On Fox News Sunday, Bush said he didn't feel there was any "Bush baggage" holding him back from a potential run for high office. "I don't think there's any Bush baggage at all," Bush told Chris Wallace. Wallace had shown him a poll that concluded most Americans have an unfavorable opinion of his brother, former President George W. Bush, or his father, former President George W. Bush. "I love my brother, I'm proud of his accomplishments. I love my dad. I am proud to be a Bush," Bush said. The former Florida governor sounded pretty at peace with the idea of not running to lead the country. On the other hand, he sounded prepared to declare on the spot. "If I run for president, it's not because of something in my DNA that compels me to do it. It would be that it's the right thing to do for my family, that the conditions are right, and that I have something to offer," Bush said. "If I don't run, I have a blessed life."

On ABC's This Week, Bush disagreed that his reintroduction to the political conversation this week has been "rocky." "I haven't found it to be rocky, but I'm not viewing this as a political reentry either. I just don't view it that way," Bush said. Like we explained above, Bush has come under fire for backing away from a path to citizenship as part of immigration reform in his new book despite the bipartisan effort in the Senate to come up with legislation centering around that option for undocumented workers. "The basic premise needs to be that coming to the country legally should be easier with less cost than coming to the country illegally. And if you can create a system like that as is being discussed in the Senate and in the House-- through a path to citizenship, that's fine," Bush said.

On CBS's Face the Nation, Bush defended his book from accusations it's an early form of campaigning because he started to write it last year. "Yeah, see that’s the Washington world, the world of everything has to have a personal political ambition, motive," Bush said. "This book was written last year at a time when the tenor of the debate on immigration was dramatically different than it is today," he said. "And there were a lot of people that may have believed in comprehensive reform but hadn't been supportive of it. And I'm encouraged to see that that's not the case now, that people are moving in the direction of comprehensive reform."

On NBC's Meet the Press, he said all of the things listed above while accusing host David Gregory of being a crack addict. Gregory asked who the "hottest" Florida politician is: Bush, or his much younger former protegee Marco Rubio. He also asked who had a better chance of becoming the 2016 nominee. "You guys are crack addicts," Bush said. "You really are obsessed with all this politics." Gregory laughed and took in stride. "I've been called a lot of things…" he said. "Okay, a herion addict," Bush said.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace some curious details about his upcoming budget proposal. Mainly, that he assumes Obamacare will be repealed. "Are you saying, as part of your budget you assume the repeal of ObamaCare?,"  "Fox News Sunday" Wallace asked Ryan on Sunday morning. "Yes," Ryan replied. "Well, that's not going to happen," Wallace concluded. With a second term and a Senate in Democratic control, a repeal of Obamacare is virtually impossible. But there are still a few Republicans who believe it could happen, and apparently Ryan counts himself among their ranks. "We believe Obamacare is a program that will not work," Ryan said. "We believe Obamacare will actually lead to hospitals and doctors and health care providers turning people away." Ryan went on to offer some details about the budget item he believes could and should replace the President's health care plan. "It's not a voucher — it's premium support, those are very different," the Wisconsin Republican promised. "A voucher is you go to your mailbox, you get a check and you go buy something. That's not what we're saying." Ryan wants Medicare converted into a system that works "like the one I have," as a sitting congressman. "Medicare subsidizes your plan based on who you are. Total subsidy for the poor and the sick. Less of a subsidy for wealthy seniors," he said. According to Ryan, his plan will prevent Medicare from going broke. "The problem is Medicare is going broke," Ryan said. "Doing it this way -- harnessing the power of choice and competition -- where the senior gets to choose her benefit that's comprehensive is the best way to save Medicare for future generations." He also refused to confirm or deny whether he would run for President in 2016.

We're two weeks from the need for a spending bill to be passed or the government shuts down, but count house minority leader Nancy Pelosi among those promising a government shut down is off the table. "We certainly are not going to have the government shut down," the former speaker said on State of the Union. "When we weigh the equities of the value of the bill the Senate has, it's almost impossible for it not to be a better bill than what is written by the House Republicans. But they will have to send a bipartisan bill in order to get the 60 votes. And I'm sure it will be stronger." It all depends on the details, though. Pelosi promises the shut down won't happen so long as, you know, everyone is reasonable. "Again, depending on what it is, and how many Republican votes it has, I've said very clearly: the Democrats will not allow government to shut down," Pelosi said.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused Republicans of rooting for the economy to do poorly for their own political gain on ABC's This Week. She was sitting on a panel with Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. "Our friends on the other side of the aisle, unfortunately — like the senator — continue to root for our economy to not be doing as well," Wasserman Schultz said. "We've had 37 straight months of job growth in the private sector. Four of the last five months have been 200,000 plus jobs a month," she said. "Absolutely not. That is false," Johnson shot back. Wasserman Schultz said, surprisingly, the issues between the two parties stem from a lack of communication. (Not name calling or accusing? Hm.) "There is a trust deficit between the two sides," she said. "The way that you close that trust gap is that you sit down and continue to talk."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sees himself as the counterweight to the National Rifle Association in the fight for gun rights reform in Washington. "Because up until now it has only been the NRA that has been talking about guns to the public, and to Congress," Bloomberg said on Face the Nation. "And I'm trying to level the playing field and bring out the facts." Bloomberg sees himself as the only person putting up a fight against their lobbying powers on the Hill. "And up until now it's only been the NRA -- they've had the field to themselves. And what I'm trying to do is to explain to the public what the issues are and then let the public decide. And there are a lot of other people that want to join in this fight and give an alternative to the NRA," Bloomberg said. And the Mayor seems to think that reform efforts in Washington aren't totally dead in the water. "Well I really think that things in Washington are going better than anybody... understands," Bloomberg said. "The Judiciary Committee just took up gun legislation the other day. It starts the process. Federal government doesn't overnight do things, and probably shouldn't write laws that quickly." He's not letting the background checks discussion that died in the Senate last week get him down. "The president and vice president are committed here," he said. "There's an awful lot of momentum among both Republican and Democratic, rural and urban and suburban congressmen and senators, and red states and blue states to do something that will protect the public."

Oklahoma's Sen. Tom Coburn told Meet the Press host David Gregory the dinner he had with the President this week was a good first step to healing their relationship. "I think he gets it," Coburn said. "I think he's genuinely reaching out." Obama dined with a group of Republican senators last week in an effort to get everyone to come together a little bit. With a little food, a little wine, and some good conversation... who knows what could happen? Things are on the right track, Coburn says, but they aren't totally infatuated with the President just yet.  "But you've got a lot scabs and sores on people that's going to take a while for that to heal," Coburn told host David Gregory. Coburn pointed to the heads of both parties as the reason the Senate's portrayed as dysfunctional. "The Senate's not nearly as dysfunctional as it's made out to be," Coburn said. "Our problem in the Senate is the leadership in the Senate, not the members in the Senate." That's pointed directly at you, Mr. Harry Reid and Mr. Mitch McConnell.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.