Jan 29, 2015

Jeb Bush is Al Simpson's choice for president in 2016

Former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson of Cody supports former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for president.

“He is an executive,” Simpson said. “He administered a state. He has a remarkably facile mind and
would outclass them all in a debate. Some are just lightweights, anyway.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Photo by Gage Skidmore under CC BY-SA 3.0
Several Republicans have announced or are leaning toward running for the White House. Bush, 61, has said he is considering a run.

Simpson said he isn’t bothered by the presumption that the Bush and Clinton families are dominating presidential politics.

“This is different than names,” he said. “This is a guy who has all the qualifications for president.”

Simpson said Bush, the son of former president George H.W. Bush and the younger brother of former President George W. Bush, “has a handle” on health care costs, the so-called “doc fixes” that ensure payments for health care providers, the solvency of Social Security and the “bloated defense budget.”

The former Wyoming senator also is a fan of Hillary Clinton but said she is not guaranteed the Democratic presidential nomination. The wife of former President Bill Clinton, herself a former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state, is seen as the Democratic frontrunner.

“I know her. She’s very able, very sharp,” Simpson said. “I think it will be a rough haul for her. I think she’s got a real primary on her hands with Elizabeth Warren.”

Warren, the liberal senator from Massachusetts, is being pushed to run by some of her supporters. She has yet to indicate if she will seek the White House and has said she hopes Clinton will run.

Simpson said he never wanted to be president, in large part because of the ceremonial aspect of the job as well as the pestering press.

“I could always handle the big stuff,” he said. “I couldn’t handle the crap ... because I’ve seen it.”

Simpson said he met the last 11 presidents, from Eisenhower to Obama, and knew several of them well, especially Presidents Ronald Reagan and “George the First,” as he called the senior Bush.

“Every one of them were remarkable people,” he said.

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