Jeb Bush has launched his long-expected 2016 White House bid, telling supporters he is the candidate to steer America back from its “very bad course”. The 62-year-old former Florida governor kicked off his campaign for the US presidency during a rally at Miami-Dade College, in Florida. Mr Bush attempted to establish himself as the anti-Washington candidate, seeking to move out of the shadow of the White House legacies left by his father and brother.
He vowed to get the nation’s capital “out of the business of causing problems” and pointed to his record during two terms as Florida’s governor, saying: “I know we can fix this because I’ve done it.” Mr Bush criticised the Obama administration and Democrats, who he said are responsible for the “slowest economic recovery ever”.”You and I know that America deserves better. They’ve offered a progressive agenda that includes everything but progress,” he said.
“I for one am not eager to see what another four years would look like under that kind of leadership”. Mr Bush promised that if elected to the White House he would boost the economy to grow at a rate of 4% per year and create 19 million new jobs. Political pundits predict Mr Bush’s conservative credentials will be tested in the upcoming campaign, particularly on issues such as immigration.
The son of former President George HW Bush and brother of former President George W Bush promised on Monday to stay true to his beliefs. “I will campaign as I would serve, going everywhere, speaking to everyone, keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching,” he said. Mr Bush joins an already crowded Republican field. He is the 11th candidate to seek the Republican nomination, and more are expected to announce bids in the coming weeks and months.
All roads at this early stage appear to point to a general election showdown with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. Some conservatives, including Republican presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul, say the US is suffering from “Bush-Clinton fatigue”. Although Mr Bush has attempted to emerge from the shadows cast by his father and brother, he did not shy away on Monday from claiming that his family legacy was an asset.
“Take it from a guy who met his first President on the day he was born, and his second on the day he was brought home,” he said to laughter and applause from his supporters, Sky News reports.