Former U.S. President George W. Bush attends a game between the Southern Methodist Mustangs and the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium on Aug. 31, 2014 in Waco, Texas.
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George W. Bush: I’m ‘all in’ for Jeb


George W. Bush was president of the United States. He has a book out about his father, George H. W. Bush, who was also president of the United States. And in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS, Bush threw his support behind his brother Jeb for president of the United States. 

And yet, said George W. Bush in the interview with Bob Schieffer, “I think you have to earn your way into politics. I don’t think that anything’s ever given to you.”

Perhaps not, but a family dynasty doesn’t seem to hurt. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, George W.’s brother, is known to be toying with a race in 2016. The 43rd president did not do anything to put the rumors about Jeb to rest. 

“It’s a lot of speculation about him. I occasionally fuel the speculation by saying that I hope he runs,” Bush said. “I think it’s 50-50. He and I are very close. On the other hand, he’s not here knocking on my door, you know, agonizing about the decision. He knows exactly – you know, the ramifications on family, for example. He’s seen his dad and his brother go through the presidency.”

Related: Positioning for 2016 begins for GOP hopefuls 

Bush added, “I’ll do whatever he wants. I will be one of his strongest backers. If he wants me out there publicly, I’ll be out there publicly. If he wants me behind the scenes, I’ll be behind the scenes. You know, I’ll – I’m all in for him. He’d be a great president. And the country could use an optimistic view like his.” 

Two weeks ago, Jeb Bush’s son, George P. Bush – participant in the family business as the newly-elected Texas land commissioner – told ABC News his father is “more than likely” to mount a presidential bid in 2016. But in an interview with msnbc, Jeb Bush pushed back at that assertion. “He’s got an opinion, he didn’t talk to me … When you have kids you’ll probably have the same frustration, you love them to death and they have their own opinions – but I’ll make up my mind just as I’ve said at the end of the year. Same as I’ve always said, there’s nothing new here.”

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“41: A Portrait of my Father,” George W.’s book about George H. W., is out on Tuesday. In the interview, Schieffer and Bush discussed each of the Bushes’ relationships with Iraq, and George W. offered a slightly revised rationale for his own invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He denied he had gone into Iraq in 2003 to finish what his father did not. “I went in there as a result of a very changed environment because of September the 11th. And the danger we were concerned about was that the weapons…would be put into the hands of terrorist groups that would come and make the attacks of 9/11 pale in comparison.” 

At the time of the Iraq invasion, many Americans believed there was a link between 9/11 and Iraq, a belief the Bush administration encouraged. Then-vice-president Dick Cheney claimed in 2004 that Saddam Hussein had “long-established ties” with al-Qaeda. That same year, the 9/11 Commission found ”no credible evidence” of a link.  

Morning Joe , 10/30/14, 7:08 AM ET

Jeb Bush and his impact on the races

NBC News’ Chuck Todd and MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt join Morning Joe to discuss all the latest details in the midterms and on Chris Christie’s latest public episode.
NBC News’ Chuck Todd and MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt join Morning Joe to discuss all the latest details in the midterms and on Chris Christie’s latest public episode.