Jeb Bush says son 'didn't talk to me.' Not running in 2016 after all?

On MSNBC Thursday, Bush dismissed son's statement that the former Florida governor would likely run for president. But we stand by our statement that George P. Bush's remarks are hardest bit of evidence so far that his dad will run.

LM Otero/AP/File
George P. Bush (r.) reacts as his dad, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), gives a fist pump during an interview in Abilene, Texas. The younger Bush said in an interview with ABC's 'This Week' Sunday that his dad is 'moving forward' on a potential 2016 White House run.

Jeb Bush swatted down his son in an interview that aired Thursday on MSNBC. The son in question, George P. Bush, said earlier in the week that it was more likely than not that his dad would run for president in 2016. But Jeb said George P. “didn’t talk to me” before he made that statement.

“When you have kids, you’ll probably have the same frustration. You love them to death and they have their own opinions,” he told MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt. “But I’ll make up my mind, just as I’ve said, at the end of the year.”

So ... does this mean the former Florida governor is not running, or is leaning against throwing his credentials in the ring for a shot at the White House?

We don’t think so. We’ll stand by our earlier statement that the George P. Bush statement is the hardest bit of evidence yet that Jeb will run.

It’s not definitive. It’s true Jeb hasn’t had a family council to announce his intentions (if he had, it would have leaked in a day). But the end of the year is approaching, and if Bush is not going to run, he needs to start calling off the many donors and potential supporters who are awaiting his word. They are reaching the point where they won’t be happy if he leaves them in the proverbial lurch.

Plus, on stage he sounds like a politician who’s seriously thinking about a national run. At campaign appearances for 2014 mid-term candidates, he’s been criticizing President Obama’s Ebola response, as well as you-know-who, that woman who’s the Democratic 2016 frontrunner.

In Colorado on Wednesday night at a rally for GOP mid-term candidates, Bush made a hard jab at Hillary Rodham Clinton, referencing her gaffetastic statement that businesses don’t create jobs.

(“Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” were Clinton’s exact words. She’s said that was a slip of the tongue, and she was talking about the effect, or lack thereof, of trickle-down tax cuts.)

Jeb actually didn’t mention Hillary’s name. He only called her “a former secretary of state who was campaigning in Massachusetts.”

But he said her jobs statement was “breathtaking.”

“The problem with America today is not enough jobs are being created, but they are created by businesses,” said Bush.

Bush might have been just trying to rile up the GOP crowd in advance of Tuesday’s vote. But it also sounds like somebody who might be trying out some 2016 attack lines.

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