Potential White House rivals Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are set to meet in Utah this week, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
Bush proposed the meeting before Romney said earlier this month that he may jump into the 2016 race, according to the report. The meeting raises “the possibility that the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns that would split the Republican establishment next year,” the Times reported, citing “two prominent party members.”
“Governor Bush is looking forward to catching up with Governor Romney today,” said Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell, according to the Times on Thursday.
Bush and Romney spokespeople did not immediately return e-mails from Bloomberg Politics seeking comment.
Bush, the former leader of Florida, was in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday speaking to lobbyists and potential donors. Attendees portrayed him as poised for a challenging intra-party contest. Romney, the party's 2012 nominee and former Massachusetts governor, appeared in public on Wednesday to speak to attendees at a Utah investment management conference. He said Washington lacked leadership on issues such as climate change, poverty, and education, according to the Associated Press.
Romney will have the home-court advantage at his meeting with Bush: As he noted to conference attendees, he is now a registered Utah voter with a house in the state.
Lisa Lerer contributed to this report.