MIAMI, United States, Jun 16 – Jeb Bush jumped headlong into the presidential race Monday, insisting “America deserves better” after eight years of Barack Obama, as the Republican seeks to win over voters sceptical of his political pedigree.
Following a six-month pre-candidacy exploration, Bush made his formal announcement at Miami Dade College, a diverse university chosen to signal that he aims to run an inclusive 2016 campaign.
“I have decided. I am a candidate for president of the United States,” he said.
While he is the son and brother of two former presidents, Bush highlighted his own political vision and his two terms as governor of Florida.
“We made Florida number one in job creation and number one in small business creation,” Bush said, boasting that he slashed taxes by $19 billion.
“I know we can fix this. Because I’ve done it.”
Bush also stressed he would campaign everywhere and face the issues, rather than rely on his record from a decade ago and his family name as he seeks the nomination now sought by 11 Republicans.
“It’s nobody’s turn. It’s everybody’s test – and it’s wide open,” he said. READ: Jeb Bush ‘sheds business ties ahead of possible White House run’.
“I will take nothing and no one for granted. I will run with heart. I will run to win.”
He also stressed that as president he would take Washington “out of the business of causing problems.”
The phrasing marked a jab at the four US senators in the race – Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham and fellow Florida conservative Marco Rubio – and suggested Americans should seek an outsider with executive experience.
Bush, 62, has been running a de facto campaign for months, raising millions of dollars and boosting his international profile with a trip last week to Europe.
Following his speech in Miami, he will set about trying to prove that, although he comes from a political dynasty, he is his own man.
While he highlighted his own record, he knocked the Obama administration for what he called the “phone-it-in foreign policy, the Obama-Clinton-Kerry team (that) is leaving a legacy of crises uncontained, violence unopposed, enemies unnamed, friends undefended, and alliances unravelling.”
“You and I know that America deserves better,” he said.