Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican Party favorite, said Sunday that he recognized all along that 2012 was his best political opportunity to run for president but still ultimately decided against it.
“It would’ve been a good time for me to run … this would have been the time to do it. But it wasn’t the right time for me,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
A popular figure from one of the nation’s most successful — and controversial — political families, Mr. Bush said the 2012 scene would have played to his strengths, specifically the fact that he had just finished a successful run as governor of a crucial swing state. His gravitas on issues such as education and immigration also would have presented unique challenges to President Obama’s re-election effort.
In lieu of running for president, Mr. Bush has morphed into an almost elder statesman for the GOP, cautioning the party not to abandon moderate voters in favor of the hard-line approach favored by the tea party.
He also chastised Mr. Obama for continuing to blame the country’s economic troubles on Mr. Bush’s brother, former President George W. Bush.
“I think it’s time to move on,” Jeb Bush said. Mr. Obama “has had three years. His policies have failed. Rather than blame others … maybe offer some fresh new solutions to the problems we face.”