I'm running for President of the United States. I will run with heart. I will run to win. http://t.co/Z3wh8ECPUl— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) June 15, 2015
The former Florida governor and brother of former President George W. Bush enters a crowded Republican field with less momentum and a shakier frontrunner status than many of his supporters expected. And in a sign of just how uncomfortable Bush is with his controversial surname, the candidate dropped it from his official campaign logo altogether.
Bush, who supports immigration reform and the Common Core educational standards, plans to run on these relatively moderate positions in an attempt to stand out from his fiercely conservative rivals. But he will also try to position himself as a pragmatic conservative, touting what he views as a successful tenure in the Florida governor’s mansion.
On the increasingly important issue of immigration, Bush risks being caught between the far-right activists who oppose any reforms and the liberals and moderates who support comprehensive changes that include the legalization of undocumented immigrants. In a sign of those tensions, a group of protesters interrupted Bush’s announcement speech, forcing him to wait until they were escorted out.
Jeb staring at protestors. Waiting for crowd to die down. pic.twitter.com/zvo3B8AimO— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) June 15, 2015
Bush will make the case that his experience as the chief executive of one of America’s largest and most diverse states prepared him to take on the myriad tasks awaiting the next commander-in-chief at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Monday’s announcement makes official what the entire political world has expected for months. Bush spent half a year “exploring” a run for president while raising tens of millions of dollars (with a goal of $100 million) for the super PACs that will support his campaign.
Although many of Bush’s rivals are long-shot candidates, others, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), are performing surprisingly well in the early months of the campaign.
Rubio welcomed Bush to the race, calling him a friend, and Bush responded in kind. Time will tell for how long the discourse stays civil.
In politics, people throw around the word ‘friend’ so much it often has little real meaning. When I call @JebBush my friend, I mean it.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 15, 2015
.@marcorubio thanks Marco. Glad I can do it in our hometown. See you out there!— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) June 15, 2015
Screengrab via Jeb Bush/YouTube