A spokeswoman for Jeb Bush said Thursday that the former Florida governor’s investments would not be an obstacle as he continues to mull a presidential bid.
“There is nothing related to Governor Bush’s business interests that would in any way hinder a run for President should that be his decision,” Kristy Campbell told CNN on Thursday.
Her comments came in response to a new report by Bloomberg Businessweek that Bush took financial steps recently that private equity experts consider unusual for someone who’s considering a run for president.
Bush, who has signaled an interest in a presidential run, said last week he’ll make his 2016 decision in “short order.”
But the new Bloomberg Businessweek story indicates Bush could face an optics problem similar to that of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was attacked relentlessly by Democrats in 2012 because of his private equity background and offshore accounts.
The report says that Bush is listed as chairman and manager of a new offshore private equity fund that raised $61 million in September, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 27.
That kind of fund, according to finance lawyers in the story, can shield investors from having to pay U.S. taxes and regulations, much like the way tax havens operate.
“Governor Bush is not currently a candidate for office,” Campbell said. “If he becomes a candidate, he’ll review all of his business engagements and comply with all necessary financial disclosures. That is an approach consistent with what he did in all three of his campaigns for governor.”
His allies reject the contention that his accounts serve as tax havens, given that he started at least two other funds in the United States in the past two years.