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Jeb Bush in Louisville: 'I am not running for President'

by Joe Arnold


Posted on July 27, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 27 at 9:07 PM

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) in Louisville to speak at the National Conference of State Legislatures, tells WHAS11 News he "is not running for President."

The Republican's name has been widely circulated in recent weeks as a potential contender in the 2012 race, which would perpetuate the Bush political dynasty.

His Louisville stop included some politics.  Bush hosted a $100,000 fundraiser Monday afternoon for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul.

"He's a good man," Bush said, "He's going to be elected to the Senate and hopefully, God willing, be part of the Republican majority in the Senate to stop this incredible expansion of government in our lives."

When asked about his own plans to run for President, Bush dismissed such talk.

"My plans are to give as best a speech, muddle through my speech here about education reform and then go back to work.  I'm not running for President."

Instead, Bush is focusing on his non-profit Foundation for Excellence in Education, hoping to build upon Florida's education advances, especially among minority students.

With his chosen Senate candidate Rand Paul a critic of an overreaching federal role in local schools, Bush was asked about the federal role in the education reform of individual states.

"The reforms have to be done state by state.  You can't impose the kind of reforms we've had in Florida at the federal level, but you can have federal partners," Bush explained.

The Republican then reached out to the Democratic administration.

"This is one place where I think President Obama deserves some credit," Bush continued, "He's challenging the states to be open minded about teacher effectiveness, about accountability, about really focusing on kids that have been lagging behind.  And I give him credit for that."

Bush is credited with reversing a generation of decline in Florida schools.

"If kids aren't learning, the fault is with the adults not the students," Bush told the conference.

Watch as WHAS11's Joe Arnold interviews Jeb Bush by clicking play on the video player below.