US elections: Jeb Bush to announce White House run later tonight

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Jun 15, 2015 23:29 IST

Two-term Florida governor Jeb Bush will announce his candidacy for the White House on Monday, singalling the end of a shadow campaign run from behind an exploratory committee.

The 62-year-old former Florida governor will be following in the footsteps of his father George H Bush and brother George W Bush.

He is expected to make job growth a top priority for his campaign, according to a memo of talking points his campaign has put together for his supporters.

The memo, as reported by Reuters, says he will promise to create 19 million jobs, and stress a “stronger American place in the world … it’s time we re-engage and stand with our allies”.

“I am ready to lead,” Bush said in a video released by his campaign on Sunday, that predicates his claim to the White House on his achievements as governor of Florida.

The campaign also unveiled a new logo that simply said “Jeb!”, which he had used once before when he was running for governor. No prizes for noting the missing surname.

That famous last name both gives him instant name recall, a boon in a crowded field, but also burdens him with a baggage of troubles, specially from his brother Dubya's term in the White House.

Many in the Republican party wonder why another Bush? And that’s something the Bush matriarch, Barbara Bush, herself pointed out many months ago, but has since withdrawn.

Recent stumbles by him have also not helped him reassure skeptics. Bush bungled his answer to a question about going into the Iraq War in 2002, a legacy inherited from his older brother.

“How could he not have a prepared an answer for it,” asked a conservative commentator who wished to remain unidentified, “that was one question he should have anticipated.”

The party is also irritated by his views on school education that are considered to be closer to that held by the Democrats. For example, he supports a major Obama administration initiative, in principle.

Bush has also had problems meeting fund-raising targets.

White House 2016: The race so far

Democrats: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee

Republicans: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Macro Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, and, now, Jeb Bush.

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