Conservatives tittered like giddy Limbaughs last week when Jeb Bush cracked open the door toward being a vice presidential candidate by telling Newsmax that he'd "consider" Romney's overtures if they came. Rubio may be the rising star, but some in the GOP still dream lustily about a return to the Bush legacy via the smarter H.W. son.
Well, this morning Jeb Bush is trying to crush those dreams deader than Rick Scott's drug testing plans. Numerous Bush confidants tell Politico that "he doesn't want the job," while Bush himself tells a Bloomberg reporter flat-out: "I am not going to be the veep nominee. Lay that to rest."
If Politico is to be believed, this isn't just the usual hand-wringing dithering over whether to jump into a heated presidential race. The site talked to "about a dozen Bush associates" who all said the ex-Florida governor just doesn't want to be vice president.
"I told him that he absolutely has to be among the top three for whoever the Republican nominee is," George P. Bush, his oldest son, tells Politico. "He said, 'That may or may not be the case but I'm not interested.' Right now, in his heart of hearts, he thinks there are other ways he can serve."
Miami Republican Ana Navarro was a bit more blunt (and pop culture-y!): ""I truly believe Jeb wants to be VP as much as anybody wants to be chosen to compete in 'The Hunger Games,'" she tells the site.
Romney clearly would take a serious look at Jeb. Despite all the brouhaha over Rubio, polls have consistently shown that he wouldn't help Romney much as a VP candidate in Florida -- a state many believe the GOP must swipe from Obama to compete in November.
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Jeb, by contrast, consistently ranks well in his home state. (Possibly because every day of life under Rick Scott only makes the Bush years seem rosier.)
So if Mitt calls Bush tomorrow begging him to be on the ticket, will he really turn him down? We'll see -- if he doesn't, we promise to rub today's quote in his face.