Jeb Bush vows to fix Washington as he starts White House run
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush began his U.S. presidential bid on Monday with a vow to fix a dysfunctional Washington and "get events in the world moving our way again."
In excerpts from a speech he will deliver in Miami to announce his candidacy, Republican Bush said, "I will take nothing and no one for granted. I will run with heart. I will run to win."
Son of one president and brother of another, Bush is searching for momentum to break out of a crowded field for the Republican presidential nomination to run in the November 2016 election.
Bush, 62, presented himself as an anti-Washington figure with a can-do spirit, ready to apply conservative principles that he says he used in Florida. Bush is only the latest candidate to paint himself as a Washington outsider and blame government for America's problems.
"We will take Washington - the static capital of this dynamic country - out of the business of causing problems," according to one excerpt of his speech. "We will get back on the side of free enterprise and free people. "I know we can fix this. Because I've done it."
Bush will make his announcement at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) at Miami-Dade College, a school whose multicultural student population was chosen to emphasize Bush's commitment to trying to expand the appeal of the white-dominated Republican Party.
He will be joined by his 90-year-old mother Barbara Bush at the event. Former presidents George H.W. Bush, his father, and George W. Bush, his brother, will not attend.
In his Miami speech and in subsequent campaign stops in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina this week, Bush will say he would make it a top priority to generate higher growth in the economy and create as many as 19 million jobs, according to a memo seen by Reuters that was prepared by the Bush team for his supporters to use as talking points.
Bush, who is fluent in Spanish, is attempting to attract more Hispanics which experts say is key to a Republican winning the White House.
"I will campaign as I would serve, going everywhere, speaking to everyone, keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching, and staying true to what I believe," he will say in his speech in Miami.
Bush filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Bush's path to the Republican nomination will be difficult. He is joining a field where there are already 10 candidates who have declared their intention to run, and faces some solid competitors in Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and others.
Bush held an early lead in polls of Republican voters when he first began talking about a White House run six months ago, but that has now dissipated. He is essentially tied for the lead with a host of challengers. Not helping was a fumbled response to a question about the Iraq war last month.
Bush advisers say he is prepared for a long, contentious battle for the nomination. A Bush victory is by no means certain in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, the first three states to stage party nominating contests.
He will need to win over those Republicans who have doubts about electing a third president named Bush. His father and brother both left office with low approval ratings.