As a politician, name recognition means everything. For Jeb Bush, his name could be more of a hindrance than a help.
Jeb Bush officially announced Monday his campaign for the 2016 presidential election, though it’s obvious that Bush has been campaigning for months. Despite the fact that Jeb Bush continues to claim that he’s his own politician with his own ideas, he keeps having to answer questions about his brother, former President George W. Bush.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has maintained that he’s learned from his brother’s mistakes, yet Jeb still isn’t ready to commit to campaigning with George W. Bush, he said. Since he jumped into the 2016 GOP race, Jeb Bush has been walking a fine line between distancing himself from his family and using them to his advantage.
For example, when taping an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Jeb Bush fumbled a bit when asked about George W. Bush’s involvement in his campaign.
“He’s helped in gatherings where it wasn’t inconvenient for him. And I — sure I’d love to have his help. But, by the way, the last time I saw my brother’s approval rating, or favorability rating, it’s higher than that of President Obama’s. He’s had a pretty good post-presidency.”
In an effort to get more information, ABC News anchor David Muir pushed Jeb Bush a bit harder on the question, to which Bush attempted to distance himself and his ideas from George W. Bush.
“I don’t know, we just started. But I’m — you know, I’m George’s brother, I love him. There’s a real fascination about where I’m different, where I’m the same. It’s the human interest side of this, and I respect that. I know for me to be successful, this has to be about my ideas and about my life experience and about the future.”
But, of course, Jeb doesn’t want to put too much distance there, because later in the interview he went on to say:
“When you love someone as your brother or your dad, it’s not easy for me to say, just kinda throw them under the bus to make myself look better. I just can’t do it.”
The issue of whether Jeb is too much like his father and his brother has plagued him in his entire lead up to the 2016 campaign announcement. At one point, even Jeb’s mother said there had been enough Bush’s in The White House — a statement which she later retracted.
What do you think? Would it be helpful for Jeb Bush to have his brother on the campaign trail?
[Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images]