Bush has been actively encouraged to run by several members of the GOP establishment and would enter the presidential contest as an early favorite. But he has publicly indicated that concerns over the toll of a presidential campaign on his family are weighing heavily on his decision to run. Columba Bush was previously reported to be reluctant to support a 2016 bid.
And she’s not the only one. Earlier this year, family matriarch Barbara Bush expressed a desire to see other political families enter presidential politics.
“If we can’t find more than two or three families to run for higher office, that’s silly," Barbara Bush said in an interview with C-SPAN in January. "[T]here’s no question in my mind that Jeb is the best-qualified person to run for president, but I hope he won’t."
Jeb Bush dismissed those concerns in Tuesday's interview with the AP, saying his mother had since come around to the idea of a presidential campaign.
"[M]y mom's been around the track…She just believes that it's something that she doesn't want my family to go through, although she's changed her mind on that,” he said. “I'm marking her down to 'neutral, trending in a different direction' than she was.”
The former Florida governor was in Texas Tuesday campaigning for his son, George P. Bush, who is running for Texas land commissioner. The younger Bush has declined to endorse his dad for president, but has said that he would support him at the ballot box.
“I would definitely vote for him, I think it’s safe to say, otherwise I may not be invited back home for Thanksgiving,” he said in September.