FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
March 18, 2014
Andy Jacobson/Getty Images

Jeb Bush, that is. There's long been speculation that Bush would follow in his father's and brother's footsteps and launch a presidential campaign, though the former Florida governor declined to do so in 2012 despite strong interest from establishment GOPers. Bush may not sit out the next contest though, as a few people close to him tell Reuters that "now more than ever, there are signs he might look past several potential hurdles... and seriously consider stepping into the fray." One strategist adds that Bush has been speaking with a small "inner circle" of late to debate the pros and cons of running for president.

That Bush would at least be considering a 2016 campaign is no surprise. As Damon Linker wrote last month in arguing that Bush already had the nomination sewn up, Bush would have all the money and connections necessary to be competitive, not to mention a prominent family name to back him up, too.

But here's the rub: The Bush name could be as much of a burden as a boon. A Washington Post/ABC News survey earlier this month found that almost half of all voters say they "definitely would not" vote for him. Jon Terbush

10:05 p.m. ET

And then there were two: On Tuesday night, after Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican presidential race, John Kasich told voters that "now more than ever, there are two paths."

Earlier in the day, after coming in last place in the Indiana Republican primary, the Kasich campaign announced that the Ohio governor was staying in the race unless one of the other candidates reached 1,237 bound delegates before the convention. Now that it's down to just Kasich and Donald Trump, Kasich is sharing on Twitter a video reminding people that he is a very different person from Trump.

Kasich also had kind words for Cruz, telling him he should be "proud of his strong and disciplined campaign" and saying "Texas is lucky to have you." Catherine Garcia

9:53 p.m. ET

"It's been some unbelievable day," Donald Trump said to supporters in New York after he won the Indiana Republican primary, forcing rival Ted Cruz out of the race. He thanked legendary Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight, professed his love for the Hoosier State ("I said, maybe I'll just never leave"), and criticized the onslaught of negative ads he saw while campaigning in Indiana. Most of the ads were directed at him, and "I said, how can anyone endure this?" Trump asked. "The people are so smart. They don't buy it. They get it."

Trump turned to the general election, criticizing Hillary Clinton on trade policy and for threatening to shut down coal mines, saying, "we're going to get those miners back to work." He also vowed to prevent U.S. companies from moving jobs overseas, saying, "we will not let them leave," and if they do, "there will be consequences, and there will be very, very serious consequences." Trump said America needs to rebuild its infrastructure and its military, calling the military buildup "the cheapest thing we can do," and said that under a Trump foreign policy, other countries are "going to end up liking us better than they do now."

Finally, Trump turned to Cruz, saying he's not sure if his erstwhile rival likes him, "but he is one hell of a competitor. He is a tough, smart guy. And he has got an amazing future." He wasn't so charitable to the last man standing in the race, John Kasich. Trump began by thanking RNC chairman Reince Preibus, saying it is hard to manage "17 egos," then added, "and now I guess he's down to one — I don't know, is there a second?" In case Kasich didn't get the hint, Trump said, "What Ted did is actually a very brave thing to do," paving the way for party unity. Peter Weber

9:17 p.m. ET

If you ever find yourself standing on a stage with Ted Cruz, run — don't walk — away as fast as you can for your own protection, lest you become the latest person to get hurt.

Over the weekend, Carly Fiorina ate it after introducing the one-time Republican presidential candidate, falling off the stage and disappearing into a sea of Cruz supporters. On Tuesday, after Cruz announced his decision to drop out of the race, he elbowed his wife Heidi not once, not twice, but three times in the head as he went to embrace his father. He then awkwardly pulled Heidi into their hug, and she buried her face into his arm, clearly in survival mode.

Now that Cruz is no longer running, the world is instantly a safer place for those who might have found themselves sharing a dais with him. Don't be surprised if Cruz, knowing of his curse, tries to make his way onstage with a certain former rival — Donald Trump, you've been warned. Catherine Garcia

9:15 p.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

With Ted Cruz's departure, the Republican presidential race has become a two-man contest, but Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus apparently doesn't think much of John Kasich's chances to overtake Donald Trump. After Trump's romp in Indiana, Priebus tweeted a sort of congratulations to Trump, and a plea for party unity.

Be careful, Priebus, #NeverTrump is watching. Peter Weber

8:55 p.m. ET

After losing the Indiana Republican presidential primary to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz suspended his campaign. Cruz had called Indiana his firewall, and said on Monday he would fight on as long as he had a viable path to the Republican nomination. "Tonight, I'm sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed," Cruz told a crowd in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. "Together, we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we had. But the voters chose another path." Cruz ended his speech promising to fight on. "We are suspending our campaign," he said, "But hear me now, I am not suspending our fight for liberty," the U.S. Constitution, and the "Judeo-Christian values that built America."

Carly Fiorina, who just last week joined Cruz's campaign as his running mate, introduced Cruz, saying she spoke for the whole Cruz team "when I tell you how many Hoosiers we have fallen in love with on this campaign." She thanked everyone in the room, and said "we came here as warriors, warriors in a cause." Fiorina called Cruz "one of the great citizens of this extraordinary nations." When he came on, Cruz began, "God bless the Hoosier State," talked about the last contested Republican convention, when Ronald Reagan lost to Gerald Ford in 1976, suggesting that he may be back again for the 2020 race. Peter Weber

8:26 p.m. ET
Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Imagesr

John Kasich came in a very distant third place in the Indiana Republican primary, but the Ohio governor says the results are "not going to alter" his campaign plans.

"Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention," the Kasich campaign wrote in a note on Facebook. Kasich will remain in the race unless a candidate reaches 1,237 bound delegates before the convention because he "remains the candidate best positioned to win a contested convention."

The campaign argues that a "plurality of Trump delegates will support him after the first ballot," and he can unite the Republican Party "better than anyone else. Trump's cynical sowing of division will render the GOP into angry, irrelevant status for decades." The campaign also called Trump out for "disrespectful ramblings" and said "Americans overwhelmingly want to vote for Governor Kasich in a general election." Catherine Garcia

8:12 p.m. ET

On Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) identified the Navy SEAL killed by Islamic State fire outside Mosul, Iraq, as Charlie Keating IV, a grandson of Charles H. Keating Jr., a financier at the center of the Savings and Loan crisis in the 1980s and early '90s. The elder Keating was chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which collapsed in 1989, leading to accusations that five senators had improperly intervened in a federal banking investigation on behalf of Keating.

Charlie Keating was the third U.S. serviceman killed in the battle against ISIS in Iraq, and White House press secretary Josh Earnest called his death a "vivid reminder" of the dangers U.S. service members face in Iraq and Syria. "They are taking grave risks to protect our country. We owe them a deep debt of gratitude," he said. According to Iraqi Kurds and U.S. defense officials, Keating was killed by small arms fire after ISIS fighters broke through the Kurdish Peshmerga frontline with armored Humvees and bulldozers. He was advising the Peshmerga forces as they battle ISIS just north of Mosul. You can watch Earnest describe the death, and the mission, below. Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads