Jeb Bush tells Charlie Rose for the umpteenth time about VP job: "It's not going to happen."
Sometimes, it seems, political journalists think if they ask the same question often enough, they will get a different answer.
And no one knows that better that ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has been telling journalists for years that he would not run for president in 2012, and now must tell them for months that he does not want to be vice president, either.
It is in an interesting Kabuki dance; given the ambivalence GOP voters once had for Mitt Romney, it might have made sense for Bush to jump in the presidential race months ago. Now that Romney is the nominee, Bush reversing years of denials for a VP slot seems even less likely.
There's lots of rumors for why he might not be interested: He wants a clear shot at the presidency in 2016 if Romney loses; he likes making money in the private sector; his wife and close family hates the public exposure which comes from national politics; his family remains sensitive to accusations of dynastic behavior and the Bush name is a still toxic in a White House context.
But that didn't stop CBS anchor Charlie Rose from pressing Bush on the topic during an interview set to air Thursday on CBS This Morning.
Here's an excerpt, courtesy of CBS:
ROSE: You are basically saying what about this conversation about running as the running mate of Mitt Romney?
BUSH: I'm not going to do it and I'm not going to be asked and it's not going happen. That doesn't mean I don't have a voice. Doesn't mean I don't want to enthusiastically support Mitt Romney. I intend to do that. I'm doing it. But I'm not going to be a candidate with him.
ROSE: Under no circumstances?
BUSH: Under no circumstances.
ROSE: So if he comes and asks, you say, "Sorry, go somewhere else?”
# # #
ROSE: Have you made the decision that you do not want to be President?
BUSH: I've not made that decision. Although I think there's a window of opportunity in life that for all sorts of reasons, and this was probably my time. Although I don't know, given kind of what I believe and how I believe it, I'm not sure I would have been successful as a candidate, either. These are different times than just six years ago when I last ran, or even longer than that.
ROSE: You know that a lot of people in the party wanted you to run. They thought this was the time for you to run and that you had the right experience and had the right style to make it successful.
BUSH: You know, you never know. That's pure speculation. And one thing I know for sure is you don't worry about “could have,” “would have.” You focus on the things that you can control, and that's what I'm doing.