Obama: Jeb Bush Has 'Every Right' to Run for President in 2016

"Obviously I have a lot of disagreements with Jeb," the president added.

ByABC News
December 18, 2014, 1:13 PM

— -- President Obama says he “loves” the Bush family personally and that former Florida governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush has “every right” to run in 2016.

But he made sure to praise his former secretary of state as well, adding that Hillary Clinton would make an “excellent president.”

“The Bush family, I love personally,” Obama told ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir in an exclusive interview. “They are good people. Jeb's father, George H.W. has been here many times, in some cases with Jeb. And they are a great family, wonderful people. Obviously I have a lot of disagreements with Jeb and his brother on policy. But I think they have every right to do what they think is best.”

Obama said of Clinton that he “think(s) so highly of her and I’ve said before and will continue to say I think she'd be an excellent president.”

Obama added that the “great thing about democracy” is that “anybody can run, even the son of and brother of former presidents.”

Earlier this week, Bush announced he would "actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States."

He didn’t set up an exploratory committee, a traditional first step for presidential contenders, but said he would set up a political action committee next month that would help him “facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation.”

Bush’s likely entry could set up a dynastic face off with Clinton, if they both run. Clinton hasn’t said she will enter the race, but told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in June she will be “on the way to making a decision by the end of the year.” More recently she has slid that decision timetable to the beginning of next year saying she will decide after the first of the year.