Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Thursday reflected on his failed campaign for the White House, saying that he knows he made mistakes and “people were interested in other things” in the 2016 election.
“I’ve learned to never say never. But this was my chance. This was the chance and I ran into a storm,” Bush told CNN in an interview. “It just didn’t resonate—people were interested in other things this election.”
Bush dropped out of the race for the presidency in February after a poor showing in several early states’ primaries. He endorsed former opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in March, saying in a statement that Cruz was a “principled conservative.”
Bush told CNN that Cruz naming former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate was a “smart choice.” But he wouldn’t say whether he would vote for Donald Trump if he were the GOP nominee, adding that he didn’t think the businessman was a “serious person.”
Trump spent much of his time at the beginning of the campaign season bashing and berating Bush, calling the former governor “low energy” among other names. Outside of a few tense moments at the Republican debates, Bush typically avoiding hitting back.
“I’ve concluded that whatever mistakes I made—and I certainly made them—probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome. Because I’m not going to change who I am,” he said to CNN. “It gives me some comfort.”
Bush has said that he won’t attend the GOP convention in Cleveland this July, but he told CNN that he could see Trump not winning on the first ballot, triggering a contested convention.
“There’s a possibility that he won’t get 50% on the first ballot,” Bush said. “And if he doesn’t do that, there are a whole lot of people who don’t believe he’s the proper guy.”
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