Almost six months to the day after he announced he was “actively exploring” a presidential run, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) jumped into the presidential race today.
Bush announced his run in Miami, Florida, which is also the hometown of fellow presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio. The two are both from Florida and many analysts are looking to the Florida primary to see which candidate wins that primary. Governor Bush has also already secured the endorsements of the three Cuban-American Representatives. The Cuban-American community is a politically important one, especially for Republicans in Florida. Some have seen the endorsement of Bush as a harm to the Rubio campaign. Bush did bring up the Obama Administration’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, saying, “We need an American President to go to Havana in solidarity with a free Cuban people, and I am ready to be that President.”
Governor Bush announced his decision in his speech today by saying, “So, here’s what it comes down to. Our country is on a very bad course. 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.”
There was a subtle jab at Governor Bush’s Senator opponents in his speech when he said, “We are not going to clean up the mess in Washington by electing the people who either helped create it or have proven incapable of fixing it.” Based off his speech, Bush plans on running his campaign as a Washington outsider who got results as the chief executive of a state. Bush served as Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007.
In the polling, Bush has remained in the top-tier of Republican candidates. Many polls have had him in first place, but his margin is only a few percentage points. Despite his high name identity and status as the frontrunner, Bush has failed to break away from the pack so far. However, that could change as he travels the country as a candidate and ads start to run in his favor.