While former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is heading to early primary state South Carolina next month for a major GOP fundraiser, there has been no contact from the Bush camp with Bush loyalists in New Hampshire regarding a possible presidential run – at least not yet.
Bush has not ruled out running for President, and reports (click here and here) that he is preparing for a 2016 run and visiting the state with the first primary in the South raised speculation in New Hampshire that he may be reestablishing ties here forged by his father and brother.
But, according to a long-time Bush family supporter, attorney and former Republican National Committeeman Tom Rath, that has not happened.
“I can sincerely say that I’m not aware of anyone in New Hampshire having received a call from the Bush people,” Rath said. “People here that I talk to are of a pretty broad range” of Republicans, “and no one has heard anything.”
Other Republicans who asked not to be named echoed Rath’s comments.
Even with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie likely to run for President, Rath said there remains room in the GOP field for a traditional, moderately conservative Republican, someone who would appeal to the same constituencies as Bush’s father and brother did, as well as Mitt Romney.
George H.W. Bush won state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary in 1988 and again, as President in 1992. George W. Bush lost the 2000 primary to John McCain but won without serious competition in 2004. And Romney, after losing the primary to McCain in 2008, won handily in 2012.
According to a report in CNBC.com today, “People close to the (Bush) family say Jeb Bush does not want to see New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dominate the moderate lane in 2016. Bush also does not believe Mitt Romney will mount another campaign and believes the nomination of someone like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., would produce an electoral disaster for Republicans akin to the 1964 wipeout of GOP nominee Barry Goldwater.”
Meanwhile, as the New Hampshire Journal reported today, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be in the state on Oct. 6 and 7. And as the Journal reported last weekend Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will return to New Hampshire on Friday.
Both will campaign with GOP candidate for governor Walt Havenstein and possibly other Republican candidates.