Sarasota Herald Tribune – Panetta hopes for Hillary vs. Jeb in 2016

You would expect Leon Panetta to play up Hillary Clinton’s credentials for the White House in 2016 as he did on Thursday during a stop in Sarasota.

After all, Panetta was chief of staff for Bill Clinton and served in the Obama Administration as CIA director while Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State.

“Ultimately I believe she will come to that decision and run,” Panetta said.

But what was maybe unexpected was his cheerleading for Jeb Bush to be her Republican opponent.

Panetta told a sold out audience at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall that Republicans really need to find a former governor and who knows how to lead a government. He said Jeb Bush fits that description.

“That would be a competitive race,” Panetta said. “I think it would be good for the country.”

Panetta said he knows some will cringe at another Bush and another Clinton battling for the White House, but he thinks both understand what it takes to govern and improve the lives of people.

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