Jeb Bush, the former two-term governor of Florida, announced before a crowd of 3,000 supporters that he will run for president in 2016, the Miami Herald reported today. Speaking at Miami Dade College, Bush declared he will be running for president.
“Our county is on a very bad course,” Bush said. “And the question is: What are we going to do about it? The question for me is: What am I going to do about it? And I have decided, I am a candidate for president of the United States.”
Jeb Bush, whose full name is John Ellis Bush (Jeb is an abbreviation of his full name), is the brother of President George W. Bush, who was elected in 2000 and 2004, and is also the son of President George H.W. Bush, who was elected in 1988. Jeb was elected governor of Florida in 1998 and 2002, serving two full terms.
“We will take command of our future once again in this country,” Bush said. “We will lift our sights again, make opportunity common again, get events in the world moving our way again.”
As had been reported earlier this year, the Democratic Party response to Bush’s announcement came quickly. The leader of the Democratic National Committee rebutted Bush almost immediately.
“Jeb Bush only looks out for himself and people like him,” said Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “He never has and never will fight for middle class families. Maybe that’s why we used to call him King Jeb here in Florida.”
Jeb announced his candidates and said the presidency “shouldn’t be passed on from one liberal to the next,” a possible reference to Hillary Clinton seeking to replace President Barack Obama, NBC News reported about Bush’s announcement.
Bush was heckled at one point by protestors wearing shirts that was “legal status is not enough,” to which Bush appeared ready to answer.
He quickly responded, “The next president of the United States will pass meaningful immigration reform so that will be solved, not by executive order.”
The was the only comment Bush made about immigration policy, and it seemed to be one designed to make clear that he favors immigration reform while distancing himself from President Obama’s executive orders on immigration policy.
Bush also criticized Obama’s foreign policy, the Huffington Post reported, saying, “We don’t need a glorified tourist to go to Havana in support of a failed Cuba. We need an American president to go to Havana in solidarity with a free Cuban people, and I am ready to be that president.”
While Bush offered few specifics about what he will do if elected president, he said, “I will take nothing and no one granted. I will run with heart and I will run to win.”
Jeb Bush is seeking to define himself in the more “compassionate conservative” image that his brother ran under, and having raised millions of dollars before he officially declared his candidacy, he now joins the growing crowed of GOP candidates running for president in 2016.
[Photo of Jeb Bush by Larry Marano for Getty Images]