Barbara Bush Cuts Ad for Jeb

3 minute read

Barbara Bush, matriarch of the family that gave the U.S. two Presidents and one more hopeful, is stepping up her efforts on behalf of her son Jeb.

In a newly released web video, the deeply popular Bush testifies to her second son’s professional and personal qualifications.

“When push comes to shove, people are going to realize Jeb has real solutions. Rather than talking about how popular they are, how great they are, he’s doing it because he sees a huge need and it’s not being filled by anybody,” she says. “Of all the people running, he seems to be the one who can solve the problems. I think he’ll be a great President.”

The video is currently only online, but Bush hinted at a campaign stop that it would soon appear on the airwaves.

CNN first obtained the ad, as well as news that Barbara Bush is authoring a letter to voters explaining her initial reticence for another Bush candidacy and why she turned around on the subject.

In 2013, the wife and mother of Presidents declared “we’ve had enough Bushes” in the White House, before backtracking as Jeb Bush’s ambition grew. The campaign hopes her direct appeal will mitigate the uncertainty about more Bushes in the White House, as well as soften the image of the wonky candidate.

Read More: 10 Questions With Barbara Bush

At the town hall in Hampton, N.H., Jeb Bush faced a question from a voter who wondered why he wasn’t using his family more on the campaign trail. The younger Bush explained that he felt the need to prove he was able to win the nomination without the help of his famous family, adding that he was looking to “balance” their assistance with the need to go his own way.

“I’m a 62-year-old man that has a life experience,” he said. “People are going to vote for me.”

Bush insisted that it was “nonsense” to suggest he was running away from either his father or his brother’s records. “I’m going to have to win this because I’m running for president and people have to have confidence that I have the skills to lead,” Bush continued in one of his characteristic self-reflective moments.

“You can’t ignore them because that’s weird, that’s kind of a strange thing, but you can’t over-rely on them either,” he added. “There’s a balance.”

Bush said that in addition to his mother’s campaign ad, “I’m sure my brother will be campaigning for me by my side,” but later told reporters the precise timing was up in the air. Many Republican operatives expect the 43rd President to make an appearance on behalf of his brother in South Carolina, where his popularity has barely waned.

“There are people who think it’s a little odd for a third Bush to be President of the United States,” Bush said. “The expectations on me are higher because of that. Fine, you know who has higher expectations than conventional wisdom? Me. I have higher expectations of myself, because I have some experience in knowing this is a really important job and if you can’t get through the primary the right way, then how are you going to be dealing with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, how do you deal with [Chinese President] Xi.”

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at