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Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 08/17/2011

Jeb Bush says 2012 GOP presidential field is largely set

ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 7: Former Florida governor Jeb Bush jokes while reading to kindergartners during a visit to Tangelo Park Elementary school in Orlando, Fla., , Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010. MANDATORY CREDIT: (Photo by Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) (Joe Burbank - ORLANDO SENTINEL)
With some establishment Republicans starting to fret over Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s chances in a general election and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s ability to win the GOP nomination to face President Obama, speculation continues to roil the party about a possible new entrant in the 2012 presidential contest.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie? House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan? Former Florida governor Jeb Bush? All have said they are not interested.

And now, in an interview this week, Bush predicted that the eventual Republican nominee is already in the mix.

“It’s jellin’,” said the former Florida governor. “The field is pretty well set.”

Bush has been described as the rare candidate with appeal that spans the party’s social and fiscal conservative bases. But these days he’s devoting his time to promoting education reforms and, as of Saturday, learning the art of grandparenting.

He declined to take the bait when asked to assess the current Republican contenders. “I love ‘em all,” he said. “The Republican nominee is going to be the next president.”

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