Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush picked up a highly-touted endorsement Wednesday from former U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, who announced his support of the former Florida governor as he struggles in the polls.
Announced on Veterans Day, Dole will also serve as national veterans chairman for the Bush campaign.“I have determined that Jeb Bush is the most qualified. Jeb has the proven leadership skills and executive experience needed to fix the problems facing our country – from the anemic economy to America’s weakened standing among world leaders,” Dole said in a statement released by the Bush campaign.
Dole has a storied relationship with the Bush family.
He ran against Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, not once but twice, seeking the Republican nomination in 1980 and 1988. In 1996, when he finally won the nod, he ran against Bill Clinton – the husband of likely 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The 41st president, in a diary entry published in a new biography by Jon Meacham, once called Dole “a son of a bitch.” Relations between the two men improved during the elder Bush’s presidency.
The former WWII veteran was President George W. Bush’s co-chair of the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors.
The endorsement of Dole, who has long been a fixture in Republican politics, stands in stark contrast to the younger generation of Republicans who have backed Sen. Marco Rubio, a candidate who has focused his entire campaign around representing the next generation of Republican politics.