Jeb Bush says Ron DeSantis would be a 'formidable candidate' if the Florida governor ran in 2024
Jeb Bush offered effusive praise for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Bush, a former governor, said DeSantis would also be a "formidable" 2024 candidate.
Bush also appeared dumbfounded by Trump's latest attack on his father George H.W. Bush.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush praised the current governor on Thursday, calling Ron DeSantis a "formidable candidate" should his fellow Republican decide to run for president in 2024.
"He'll be a formidable candidate, if he runs, for lots of reasons," Bush told Fox News.
Bush gushed that DeSantis, who is running for reelection this November, has been "a really good governor."
"The reason why I'm a Ron DeSantis fan is that he has governed effectively in the state that I love," Bush said. "He's been a really good governor."
Regarding another potential Republican 2024 candidate, Bush had a mixture of contempt and mockery for Florida's most famous resident.
"Bless his heart," Bush repeatedly said when asked to weigh in on Donald Trump's bizarre false assertions about former President George H.W. Bush's handling of his White House papers. Trump, who's been accused of taking government documents, including classified records, back to Mar-a-Lago, has tried to argue that past presidents acted similarly.
There's no evidence to back Trump's assertions that the senior Bush kept his White House papers at a bowling alley and a former Chinese restaurant.
"I think what he wants to say is that everybody does it, basically," Bush said of Trump's latest attack. "Everybody takes documents and stores them at their hotel or in a bowling alley, so he didn't do anything wrong. Whether he did or did not do anything wrong, I don't know. But the simple fact is that equating the National Archives employees doing their duty in the proper way is a far cry from keeping national security papers at Mar-a-Lago."
The National Archives chose to store Bush's papers in a retrofitted bowling alley, USA Today reported. News accounts at the time said some records were also stored in what used to be a former Chinese restaurant kitchen. The Archives previously said that recent presidents complied with federal law in handling their records. While the agency was forced to ask Trump to turn over public documents that he took to Mar-a-Lago.
Bush and Trump famously clashed on the 2016 campaign trail before the then-former reality TV show host offered an unceremonious end to the latest attempt at resurrecting the Bush political dynasty.
Trump has all but announced a comeback campaign to retake the White House. It remains to be seen if DeSantis or other Republicans would challenge him if such a situation were to occur.
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