US & Canada

Jeb Bush 'scaling back business interests' for 2016

Jeb Bush Image copyright AP

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has reportedly scaled back his business commitments as he thinks seriously about a White House run.

One of the Republican's aides told the Washington Post he had ended his board memberships and resigned as a paid adviser to an education company.

Mr Bush, brother of former US President George W Bush, last month announced he was "exploring" running for president.

A 2016 bid could bring him up against the former first lady, Hillary Clinton.

Mr Bush's father, former President George HW Bush, was defeated by Mrs Clinton's husband, Bill Clinton, in the 1992 election.

A former US Secretary of State, Mrs Clinton is the Democratic frontrunner and widely expected to run, although she says she will make a decision in 2015.

Jeb Bush's spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told the Post his decision to shed a large number of his business commitments, effective from New Year's Day, meant he could focus on a "potential" run for president.

Bush the younger

  • moderate conservative, pro-immigration and education reform
  • has a Mexican-born wife, Columba, and three children
  • speaks excellent Spanish
  • spent eight years as Florida governor, until 2007
  • overhauled state's education system and pushed for big tax cuts

Profile: Jeb Bush

The Post reported that Mr Bush has even stepped down from the board of his education foundation.

He recently terminated a consulting deal with Barclays, the British investment bank, that reportedly paid him more than $1m a year.

When he announced he was thinking about a presidential run, he said he would set up a political action committee in January to gauge support among donors and supporters.

Although he became the immediate frontrunner among the Republican candidates, his pro-immigration views have enraged some conservatives in his party.

2016 runners and riders

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Clockwise from top left: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Warren, Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton

No-one has formally declared but these are some of the names to watch:

  • early Republican frontrunner is Jeb Bush
  • but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could battle Bush for the party's centre ground
  • darling of the Tea Party is Texas Senator Ted Cruz
  • firebrand liberal Elizabeth Warren is championed by many in the Democratic Party
  • libertarian Rand Paul has his supporters - and enemies - among Republicans
  • Hillary Clinton will have learnt much from her failed campaign of 2008

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