Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney to meet today in Utah

Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney (Charles Dharapak, AP)

Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney (Charles Dharapak, AP)

This post was updated: 

Oh, to be a fly on the wall when Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney sit down face-to-face.

The former Florida governor and the 2012 GOP presidential nominee will sit down privately in Utah, according to a New York Times. Thursday’s meeting comes as Bush and Romney, both considering presidential campaigns next year, are contacting major donors to line up support.

“This meeting has long been planned. Governor Bush looks forward to visiting with Governor Romney,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told USA TODAY.

The prospect of both Bush and Romney facing off in a Republican primary is a tantalizing one, since they each appeal to the GOP establishment eager to take back the White House.

The New York Times

Bush and Romney, who now makes his home in Utah, are said to have a respectful relationship. But there have been tensions.

The Washington Post on their mutual history and included this passage about Romney:

Romney has said little publicly about Bush, but in exchanges with intimates, he has focused on Bush’s past advisory work for Lehman Brothers and Barclays, two major financial institutions. He argued that it makes Bush vulnerable to the same kind of Democratic attacks that he faced in 2012 over his career as Bain Capital co-founder and chief executive. He also has voiced doubts about Bush’s political skills and ability to beat likely Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In the 2012 campaign, Bush did not back Romney in the Florida primary and only endorsed

More recently, Bush criticized Romney for failing to defend his private equity work at Bain Capital. “I think Mitt probably didn’t defend an incredible success story, but that’s totally his deal and that business,” Bush told a Miami TV station

Bush was seeking to make a distinction with his own private equity dealings, saying that “it’s like comparing an apple to a peanut.”

The former Florida governor was spotted by CBS News boarding a plane from Washington to Salt Lake City on Thursday morning. Bush had no comment when asked about the meeting, but said: “I like to ski.”

He tweeted his thanks to Delta Air Lines and apologized for the reporters who were trailing him.

Thank you to the @Deltapic.twitter.com/w1EMHhQG9Z

— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) January 22, 2015

 

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