Former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush could be a "formidable candidate" for president in 2016 in a matchup against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Democratic strategist David Axelrod told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"If Jeb Bush can get through a Republican primary without trimming his sails on the issues ... he will be a very formidable general election candidate.
"The problem is, in order to get the nomination, [previous candidates] had to make Faustian bargains on issues that towed them to the right," Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, said Tuesday.
"If Jeb sticks to his guns on these issues, he's got tremendous appeal to the Hispanic community," he said.
Bush posted the latest indicator
that he is eyeing a run for the White House in 2016 on Facebook on Tuesday, stating that his family discussed the idea during the Thanksgiving holiday.
In addition to eating and watching football, Bush wrote, "we also talked about the future of our nation. As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States."
He also wrote that in January he would "establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation."
Should Bush decide to enter the race, Axelrod said, it wouldn't change the strategy for Clinton, but maintained that recent statements by Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren that were critical of Wall Street could make a difference.
He said that Warren was more likely trying to sway Clinton than indicate she was thinking about entering the presidential race herself.
"My suspicion is that what she's doing is trying to influence how Hillary frames her candidacy and the issues she focuses on," he said. "I think Elizabeth knows she's got maximum leverage by still being in the conversation.
"I'd be surprised if she runs."
Should Clinton decide to enter the race, Axelrod said she had to "define what it is that she's running for and running about, and what would the future look like under another President Clinton."
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