Former Rhode Island Republican governor Lincoln Almond has agreed to support former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. Almond says he believes that Bush is the best choice among the large field of Republican presidential aspirants.
``I’m very friendly with the Bush family and have been for many years,’’ Almond said in an interview. Almond cited Bush’s tenure as Florida governor and his leading role in education policy.
``He did an excellent job as Florida governor and I think he would make a fine president,’’ said Almond, who said he has spoken twice via telephone with Bush in recent days.
Almond said he ``admires’’ Bush and that he isn’t ``very enthusiastic’’ about the rest of the Republican field, with the exception of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. ``I think a dream ticket would be Jeb and Kasich as vice president. I think that ticket would do very well.’’
Almond said he did not want to say anything negative about other Republican White House hopefuls, but did praise Kasich for his role in welfare reform in the 1990s when he was chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee. ``I worked with him on welfare reform when I was governor and I was very impressed with him. He has great experience in both Washington and as governor of Ohio.’’
Almond, a Republican moderate, served two largely successful terms as R.I. governor between 1995 and 2003. Before that he was Rhode Island's U.S. Attorney.
John Holmes Jr., who served as Republican state chairman and was a confidante of Almond, also said today he is supporting Jeb Bush and plans on running as a delegate pledged to Bush.
Holmes also cited his longtime affiliation with the Bush family and particularly praised the presidency of George H.W. Bush, who was supportive of the Rhode Island GOP. ``I think the whole family is filled wonderful people and I’m proud to support Jeb.’’
Holmes also said he doesn’t think either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz would make effective presidents. He sees both as too bellicose and said that Cruz is a ``very offensive human being.’’
``Call me old fashioned, but Cruz really lost me when he went on the Senate floor and called the majority leader (Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky) a liar. As a senator you have many ways to articulate your positions and you can do it without taking to the floor of the Senate and calling your majority leader a liar.’’