Jeb Bush Announces Run, Careful With His Famous Last Name

jeb bush

For the third time in history, a member of the Bush family has announced a run for President of The United States – this time, it’s George W. Bush’s little brother, Jeb Bush.  The other son of former President George Bush made his announcement today in Miami.  One thing people noted, however, was the way he referred to his last name.

According to USA Today:

Jeb Bush made it official Monday, launching a 2016 presidential campaign that plays up his experience as Florida governor, plays down his family name, and casts himself as a fix-it leader of the future.

“We will take Washington — the static capital of this dynamic country — out of the business of causing problems,” Bush plans to say in his announcement speech at a Miami college, according to excerpts released by his campaign.

“We will get back on the side of free enterprise and free people,” the former Florida governor will say, according to the excerpts. “I know we can fix this. Because I’ve done it.”

Bush, who struggled at times during the run-up to Monday’s announcement, also figures to spend part of the campaign arguing that he is a different kind of leader than his presidential father or brother.

From his new campaign logo — “Jeb!” — to the issues he is stressing, Bush’s announcement is designed to stress that he is his own person, and answer attacks that have come from conservative Republicans as well as Democrats.

“I will campaign as I would serve,” Bush plans to say, “going everywhere, speaking to everyone, keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching, and staying true to what I believe.

“I will take nothing and no one for granted — I will run with heart — I will run to win.”

Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush are not expected to attend the campaign kick-off event, though Jeb Bush isn’t turning his back on his family. Former first lady Barbara Bush, the candidate’s mother, will be at the speech, the campaign announced, as will siblings Doro and Neil.

In his speech, Bush is likely to echo the themes of a pre-announcement video released by the campaign Sunday. It features four Florida residents discussing Bush state initiatives — school vouchers, small business assistance, aid to the disabled, and programs to battle domestic violence — that the candidate says reflect his approach to government.

“I said I was going to do these things and I did them, and the result was Florida is a lot better off,” said Bush, 62, who served as governor from 1999 to 2007.

Education also figures to be a theme for the newest Bush candidacy. He will make his announcement at the Kendall campus of Miami-Dade College, on a gymnasium stage festooned with American flags and “Jeb!” signs.

In case there was any doubt, the Bush team filed legal paperwork just hours before the candidate’s speech, setting up an official campaign account with the Federal Election Commission. The official name of the presidential campaign committee: Jeb 2016 Inc.

Jeb is more of a nickname, an acronym of his formal name: John Ellis Bush.

After the formal announcement in Miami, Bush spends the rest of the week touring the key early caucus and primary states of New Hampshire Iowa, and South Carolina,

While Bush is expected to have more money than his Republican opponents, a series of early polls show an unformed race with no clear front-runner.

The exploratory part of Bush’s campaign included a number of stumbles. His poll numbers dropped, he shook up his campaign staff, and he struggled to answer questions about the Iraq war launched by President George W. Bush.

Asked about the idea of being “another Bush,” the candidate told CNN in a recent interview: “Well, Jeb is different than George, and Jeb is who he is. My life story is different.”

The Republican field includes another Floridian and former Bush protege, Sen. Marco Rubio, who welcomed Bush to the race with a statement of friendship.

“When I call Jeb Bush my friend, I mean he is someone I like, care for and respect,” Rubio said. “He and I have worked closely together for many years, on issues big and small. He is a passionate advocate for what he believes.”

Other senators — Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — are also running.

Ex-governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Rick Perry of Texas and George Pataki of New York are already in as well. The race is expected to eventually include four other current governors: Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and John Kasich of Ohio.

Also seeking the Republican nomination: businesswoman Carly Fiorina and retired surgeon Ben Carson. Businessman Donald Trump is scheduled to announce Tuesday whether he will get in.

“Throughout his career, Jeb Bush has consistently put what is best for himself and those at the top above the priorities of working Americans,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chairwoman of the Democratic Party.

Jeb Bush, a Florida businessman before launching a losing a bid for governor in 1994, came back to win the office in 1998 and 2002.

More than a dozen years after his last political race, Bush faces questions from conservatives about his commitment to their cause. The list of complaints include his support for Common Core education standards and for new immigration rules.

Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary for President George W. Bush, said Jeb Bush enters the race in the “top tier” of Republican candidates and will likely stay there. Bush has some “vulnerabilities” with Republican grass roots, he said, but will have a chance to address those on the campaign trail.

The Bush family name is both an attribute and a liability for Jeb, Fleischer said, pointing out that George W. Bush remains popular with Republican primary voters.

“All candidates have to stand on their own two feet and prove their own worth,” Fleischer said. “Jeb has a chance to do that.”

In his campaign announcement, Bush plans to say he will run an “optimistic” campaign because “I am certain that we can make the decades just ahead in America the greatest time ever to be alive in this world.”

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