WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former U.S. President George W. Bush believes the odds are even as to whether his brother, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, will decide to run for the White House in 2016, but said he would be "one of his strongest backers" if he does join the race.
"It's a lot of speculation about him. I occasionally fuel the speculation by saying that I hope he runs. I think he'd be a very good president," George W. Bush said during an interview with journalist Bob Schieffer for CBS' Face the Nation. "I understand the decision-making process pretty well. And I know that he's wrestling with the decision."
The former president said he would give it "a toss up" when asked to estimate the chances of his brother running for the White House in 2016. "I think it's 50-50. He and I are very close. On the other hand, he's not here knocking on my door, you know, agonizing about the decision," he explained. "He knows exactly – you know, the ramifications on family, for example."
Jeb Bush served as Governor of Florida between 1999 and 2007 and is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for the 2016 presidential election. A Gallup poll in July showed that about 31 percent of Americans view Jeb Bush favorably, but another 35 percent did not have an opinion about him yet.
George W. Bush, when asked whether he would campaign for his brother if he decides to run, said he would do whatever is asked of him. "I will be one of his strongest backers. If he wants me out there publicly, I'll be out there publicly. If he wants me behind the scenes, I'll be behind the scenes," he said. "I'm all in for him. He'd be a great president. And the country could use an optimistic view like his."
Former First Lady Laura Bush agreed. "If he wanted me to, I'd be happy to campaign for him," she said.
George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, was in office from January 2001 until January 2009, when incumbent President Barack Obama took over. Bush previously served as the Governor of Texas and he is also the son of former President H. W. Bush, who was in office from January 1989 until January 1993.