Jeb Bush announces bid for 2016 presidential run

Jeb Bush announces 2016 presidential run
Jeb Bush announces 2016 presidential run

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush officially kicked off his presidential campaign Monday afternoon.

Bush, 62, the son and brother of former U.S. presidents, joins 10 other Republicans who have announced their intention to run. "I'm ready to lead," Bush said in a video at the Miami event.

"We will take command of our future once again in this country," Bush said, later adding, he "will take nothing and no one for granted. I will run with heart."

Republican U.S. presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Miami, June 15, 2015.
Joe Skipper | Reuters

Bush took a shot at Democrats in his speech, charging that party with planning "a no-suspense primary, for a no-change election."

"They have offered a progressive agenda that includes everything but progress," he said. "They are responsible for the slowest economic recovery ever, the biggest debt increases ever, a massive tax increase on the middle class, the relentless buildup of the regulatory state, and the swift, mindless drawdown of a military that was generations in the making."

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Bush said he was prepared to "fix" America, touting his work as Florida's governor, and saying he'll "show Congress" how he's prepared to use a veto against "needless" spending.

He pledged to change the "self-serving attitude" in Washington, saying he served as a "reforming governor."

"I was a governor who refused to accept that as the normal or right way of conducting the people's business," he said. "I will not accept it as the standard in Washington."

Jeb Bush preps candidacy: What you need to know
Jeb Bush preps candidacy: What you need to know

As president, Bush said, he would set a goal of 4 percent economic growth and 19 million new jobs.

Bush's speech also addressed what he called a "phone-it-in foreign policy" from President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In addition to the administration's treatment of the military, Bush called out its attempts at normalizing relations with Cuba.

"We don't need a glorified tourist to go to Havana in support of a failed Cuba. We need an American president to go to Havana in solidarity with a free Cuban people, and I am ready to be that president," he said.

Iraq will be one of the issues Jeb looks to distance himself from, as he has before stressed that he is different from his older brother, George W. Bush. But winning the nomination will mean winning over Republican voters who might have preconceived notions stemming from his brother's or George H.W. Bush's prior presidencies.

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The Republican hopeful addressed the issue of his last name during his Monday speech.

"I know that there are good people running for president. Quite a few, in fact. And not a one of us deserves the job by right of resume, party, seniority, family, or family narrative," he said. "It's nobody's turn. It's everybody's test, and it's wide open—exactly as a contest for president should be."

One competitor, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, was among the first to extend a welcome to Bush ahead of his official entrance into the Republican field.

"In politics, people throw around the word 'friend' so much it often has little real meaning. This is not one of those times. When I call Jeb Bush my friend, I mean he is someone I like, care for and respect," Rubio said in a statement. "He is a passionate advocate for what he believes, and I welcome him to the race."

Bush had been the front runner for Republican voters when he floated the idea of a presidential bid, but as others have announced their own candidacy Bush's advantage in the polls has slowly dwindled. His muddled response to a question about the Iraq war didn't help things either, as Jeb now finds himself tied with a handful of other candidates.

—Reuters and CNBC's Zack Guzman contributed to this report.