DALLAS — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush urged the nation to change its immigration and education systems to ensure a robust American economy in remarks Wednesday before the World Affairs Council in Dallas. A suburb away, former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered her first paid speech since leaving the helm of the State Department earlier this year.
The dueling appearances stoked speculation about each of their political futures. Both are considered strong White House contenders should each seek the presidency in 2016.
Asked whether he might run for president in 2016, Bush pointed to his son, George P. Bush, a candidate for statewide office in Texas. "To be honest, I'm focused on the land commissioner race in 2014," Bush said with a smile.
Bush lauded his brother's approach to life after the White House, saying he deserved credit for "not sitting on the sidelines and publicly carping and chirping and opining about his successor."
The feeling was mutual. Former President George W. Bush said in an interview with ABC News that Jeb Bush would be "a marvelous candidate if he chooses to do so. He doesn't need my counsel 'cause he knows what it is, which is 'run.' "
Meanwhile, Clinton spoke at a private event in Irving, Texas, to the National Multi-Housing Council's board of directors. Terms of Clinton's compensation for the question-and-answer session were not disclosed, but it was expected to net six-figures.
Tom Bozzuto, chairman and CEO of the Bozzuto Group, a real estate services organization based in Greenbelt, Md., conducted an interview of Clinton during the hourlong session.
When he asked about 2016, Bozzuto said Clinton told the audience that she was "too freshly released from her role as secretary of state to have time to even think about this." Bozzuto said Clinton was looking forward to having time to relax.