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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb Bush leaves 'a little opening' for future presidential run



Jeb Bush was on CNN tonight and let's get this part over: Asked if he would run for president, he said he decided against it in 2012 not for political calculations but for personal reasons, by which he means family. But asked if he would run in 2016, should Barack Obama win, Florida's former governor would not rule it out, joking that his answer created "a little opening" that "all the bloggers" will pick up on.

In an hourlong interview, a confident and rested looking Bush addressed a host of issues. He spoke of Florida's importance, deeming it a purple, transitional and unique state that is a microcosm of the U.S. "You can't ignore it," he said. "We'll decide, probably, who the next president will be."

He discussed how exciting yet at times painful it was to watch his father and brother as president. He criticized W's administration for not giving a vigorous defense of the Iraq war amid growing public opposition. "My brother was taking a pounding ... and it wasn't justified," he said, referring to the troop surge that stabilized the situation.

Bush rebutted Republican criticism of Obama's education policies, though was careful to say education should be of "national purpose" but not a national program.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 11:19pm]


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