Jeb Bush on 2016 speculation: ‘Man, you guys are crack addicts’

Dylan Stableford
The Ticket

Capping what felt like an endless week of book promotion and positioning for 2016, Jeb Bush appeared on all five major morning talk shows on Sunday, saying he supports a conditional path to citizenship—a point he seemed to stumble on earlier in the week—and claiming he hasn't talked about a potential White House run with his father or brother.

"I don't want to begin the process until it's the proper time to do so," Bush—the younger brother of George W. Bush and second son of George H.W. Bush—said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

The former Republican Florida governor's media blitz behind "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution" has led many political observers to speculate he has an eye on continuing the family's presidential legacy.

"I'm not viewing this as a political reentry either," he said on "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" on ABC. "I just don't view it that way."

"Man, you guys are crack addicts," Bush told David Gregory of the speculation. "You're really obsessed with all this politics."

But while he may be publicly avoiding talk about 2016, Bush had plenty to say about 2012.

President Barack Obama, he said, won the election over Mitt Romney by "dividing the country."

“I think the basic part of his campaign was that those that were successful weren’t paying their fair share, even though we have incredibly high taxes for high income Americans,” Bush said on CBS’ “Face The Nation.” “I think he ran a campaign of them and us. And it was quite effective, that somehow the Republicans don’t care about the large number of people.”

On "This Week," he criticized Obama's lack of seriousness on to reach a deal with Republicans to reduce the national debt. "I haven't seen the seriousness of the president's efforts," he said. "I'd love to see a specific plan that really did reform the cost curve for Medicare and the entitlement system."

Meanwhile on "Meet The Press," Bush praised President George W. Bush's legacy. "In his four years as president a lot of amazing accomplishments took place," he said. "So my guess is that history will be kind to my brother, the further out you get from this and the more people compare his tenure to what's going on now."

Jeb Bush, a 60-year-old Texas native and resident of Coral Gables, served two terms as governor of Florida, from 1999 to 2007.

[Related: Jeb Bush's book promotion hits a few snags]

On Monday, Bush surprised some with his Monday comments on NBC's "Today" show when he said that most undocumented immigrants should have a chance to legalize but not to gain citizenship—unless they return to their home countries and apply from there. On Tuesday, he appeared to walk back those comments, saying he's open to an immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship.

On Sunday's “Face The Nation,” Bush continued the walk-back.

“I support a path to legalization or citizenship," he said, "so long as the path for people that have been waiting patiently is easier and costs less—the legal entrance to our country—than illegal entrance."