US election 2012: Jeb Bush says 2012 was ‘probably my time’

US election 2012: Jeb Bush says 2012 was ‘probably my time’

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By Peter Foster

Many senior republicans had expressed hopes that Mr Bush, 59, would run for office, but the former governor of the vital swing state of Florida, demurred.

“I think there’s a window of opportunity in life for all sorts of reasons, and this was probably my time,” he said on CBS’s Good Morning.

Mr Bush refused to rule out standing in 2016, but said he had no interest in becoming the vice presidential running mate of Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate who Mr Bush only endorsed long after the nomination race had ceased to be competitive.

Many Republicans had hoped that Mr Bush would enter the race in 2012 to bolster a weak field that appeared increasingly in the grip of the more extreme elements of the Republican party.

Mr Bush, who openly questioned the Republican candidates’ anti-immigration rhetoric during the recent primary season as “troubling”, hinted that he might not have been socially conservative enough to win the nomination.
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“I don’t know, given what I believe and how I believe it, I’m not sure I would have been successful as a candidate,” he added “These are different times … than when I last ran [for office].”

While promising to support the Republican nominee, Mr Bush, who last held office in 2007, also questioned the Republican party’s refusal to countenance any tax rises.

Although he understood the political caution on the issue, Mr Bush said he hoped that Mr Romney would accept raising $1 of revenue for every $10 (£6.60) of spending cuts, warning that there would have to be a ‘grand bargain’ on America’s spiraling deficit.

And in a further sign of his determination to occupy the middle ground, Mr Bush also praised the Obama administration efforts on education, saying he “doesn’t have to play the game where I’m 100,000 percent against President Obama.”

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