Former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, announced her choice in the 2016 presidential election Wednesday-and it’s not either of the two Texans who are either in or about to be in the race.
In a television appearance from Dallas, Hutchison endorsed Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H.W. Bush. George W. Bush, a former Texas governor, is making his presence felt in the GOP presidential sweepstakes by attending a fundraiser for his brother Wednesday night in Dallas. Hutchison was invited but was not sure she was attending the event.
Asked on MSNBC Wednesday if she was endorsing Bush, she said, “Yes, I am. I have met with him and I think he is exactly what we need right now that will take us in the right direction. I think that he will have a vision and he will implement the vision.”
Hutchison has famously been at odds for years with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry who beat her in a gubernatorial primary in 2010. Perry is exploring a presidential run and has said he will decide later this spring if he will take the plunge. The former Texas governor ran a gaffe-ridden, late-starting presidential campaign in 2012.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was elected to Hutchison’s seat when she retired in 2012, announced Monday at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. that he was running for president.
But Hutchison is all in for Jeb Bush.
“He’s been a governor. He’s run things. He knows business and I think he will help our economy,” she said on MSNBC.
As for distinguishing him from the other Bushes, she said, “I think he is his own person. He is not a Texan. He is a Floridian. He has a great record as governor in his own right in Florida.”
Jeb Bush actually is a native Texan, born in Midland, but his political career has been Florida-based.
Hutchison described Jeb Bush as “humble”
“He has a way about him that’s going to give people confidence and I think people are going to trust him,” she said.
“He’s not a braggadocio guy. He’s not a guy that does sweeping gestures. He is kind of the trusted father type that you want to run our country.”