- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush extended somewhat of an olive branch on Tuesday to the 2016 GOP field, saying any of the Republicans running for president would be better than former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or President Obama, while also predicting there will be some “elbows and knees under the boards” in the intra-party nominating contest to come.

“Let me be clear — if I run, if I’m a candidate, and that decision’s going to be forthcoming real soon — my intention is to run on my record and my ideas and run to try to win the presidency,” Mr. Bush said at an economic forum in Orlando in response to a question about how candidates will differentiate themselves without tearing each other apart. “Not to make a point. Not to have my voice heard … there are motivations for every candidate — mine would be to win.”

He said that to get to 50 percent in a two-person race, “you can’t tear down the 40 percent or the 35 percent — it’s just that simple.”

“Every one of the candidates running is far more qualified and would have been a better president than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton,” he said at Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s Economic Growth Forum.

“Look, it’s a rambunctious deal — we got 75 people running, I think, last time I checked?” he said. “It’s a big field; it’ll be competitive. There’s going to be some elbows and knees under the board here, under the boards. This isn’t tiddlywinks we’re playing, but at the same time I think there’s going to be an awareness that we have to win. If we’re going to fix these things, we have to win and hopefully that motivation will override everything else.”

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