Jeb Bush To Enter Presidential Race June 15th

After months of "not running," Jeb Bush will formally enter the Presidential race on June 15th.

Bush Announcement

If you visit the website for what will eventually become Jeb Bush’s Presidential campaign, you’ll see the graphic above, because we learned today that the former Florida Governor will be entering the Presidential race on June 15th:

Jeb Bush will officially enter the presidential race on June 15 in Miami, nearly six months after announcing that he was “actively” exploring running for the Republican nomination.

In a tweet sent Thursday morning, Bush teases “Coming soon,” linking to jebannouncement.com, which features a 06.15.15 date and says it was paid for by “Jeb 2016, Inc.”

Bush’s announcement will come at a 3 p.m. event at Miami Dade College, one of the United States’ largest institutions of higher education, with an enrollment of 165,000 students. The speech will come at the institution’s Kendall campus, where then-President George W. Bush delivered a 2007 commencement address.

“Gov. Bush is thankful for the support and encouragement he has received from so many Americans during the last several months and looks forward to announcing his decision,” spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said in a statement sent to reporters.

The event will come after a trip to Europe, in which the Republican candidate-in-waiting will visit Germany, Poland and Estonia.

Bush has tested the legal definition of being a presidential candidate, jetting around the country raising millions of dollars without formally declaring his candidacy.

Former President George W. Bush has recently begun headlining events for his brother, including a May 13 reception in San Francisco, POLITICO first reported.

Jeb Bush’s dominance of the 2016 money race masks some early problems attracting the support of the Republican base, especially in Iowa, where he has consistently trailed potential rivals like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Bush has also had to contend with the rise of his former protege, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who made his own presidential announcement at Miami’s Freedom Tower in April. Bush came in second to Rubio in a CNN/ORC national poll earlier this week.

Following the news Thursday, Rubio told a New Hampshire radio station that the Republican field is going to be full of credible candidates and Bush is “one of them.”

Bush’s delayed announced has created some linguistic awkwardness in recent days. In an interview on Sunday, Bush told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he would “like to run” but had not yet made a decision.

“I hope, I hope I’m a candidate in the near future,” he said.

Bush’s announcement would end six months of his involvement with his well-funded Right to Rise PAC, which was on pace to rake in $100 million by the end of May, an unprecedented figure that is expected to dwarf his official campaign’s coffers.

Once he formally announces, however, he can no longer coordinate with the super PAC

Even leaving aside his family name and the access that gives him into the political system, Bush has many qualities that are arguably fairly admirable in a potential President. His tenure as Governor of Florida received generally positive reviews, for example, and he left office with fairly high approval numbers. He also quite obviously has a solid grasp of public policy issues of all varieties, such as immigration, health care, poverty programs, and tax policy, leading many pundits to observe that he’s probably one of the biggest policy wonks to ever run for the Republican nomination. Since he’s left office, he’s been at the forefront on issues such as education and immigration, and has sought to nudge his party on these issues. While he doesn’t seem to be as natural a campaigner as his brother was, the younger Bush also has a much better rapport with minority communities than pretty much anyone running for the Republican nomination this year. Because of all of this, and more, he’s been suggested as a potential Presidential candidate for the better part of a decade now, but he wisely chose not to attempt a race in 2008 given the state of his brother’s reputation at the time and he declined to run against President Obama in 2012, which was probably also a wise decision in retrospect. In almost every respect, he seems perfectly suited to run in 2016.

For all those positives, though, there is plenty about Bush that makes his candidacy far from the guarantee that many still seem to think it is. The perception among activist Republicans is that Bush is basically out of step with the base of the party on a whole host of issue. To a large degree, of course, this isn’t really true since most of what you hear from Bush on policy isn’t all that different from garden variety mainstream Republicans. That being said, though, Bush’s positions on issues like immigration and Common Core have made enemies for him in many Republican circles, and that is going to pose problems for him going forward. Additionally, the fact that he’s named Bush seems as though it’s as much of a disadvantage as an advantage. There’s definitely something of a “no more Bush’s” sentiment among some Republicans, and that is likely to be an issue going forward.

Despite all of that, though, Bush is in a fairly strong position as he prepares to enter the race. Nationally, he’s averaging 13% in the polls which puts him at the top of the field just barely ahead of Scott Walker and Marco Rubio. He fares somewhat worse in Iowa, where he’s averaging 9.2%, but that’s a state where he might not necessarily be expected to do well to begin with and one that he arguably ought to skip. He’s leading, however, in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida, although the most recent polling in those states is a month old at least so those numbers may not reflect the extent to which the race has changed as more and more people have entered the race and more voters start paying. Notwithstanding that caveat, though, Bush is still well positioned in the Republican field. That, combined with the money that he’s obviously going to have access to, means that it is far too early to write Jeb Bush off just yet.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    Bush’s delayed announced has created some linguistic awkwardness – POLITICO

    Um yeah. He’s clearly flouting campaign finance laws. I guess having to lie his way around that could be called “linguistic awkwardness”.

  2. Gustopher says:

    I’m sure the whole Terry Schiavo thing will be more appealing in the retelling than it was at the time, and it won’t simply reveal to voters how repugnant and horrible the Republican Party has become.

  3. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher: I’m sure the Terry Schiavo thing was more than six months ago so the box of rocks electorate has completely forgotten it. The latest approval rating for W. Bush, 52%, shows they’ve largely forgotten him. Jeb scares me. He can buy the nomination. And quite possibly the general election. Unless O can pump the economy June thru Sept of next year. Which I pray he can and will.

    Jeb may not be as lazy as his brother, but I’m not seeing any daylight between them on policy. Or advisers. Great cartoon a couple weeks ago. Forget where. Couple of figures on the roof of the giant Bushco World Headquarters building. “OK Jeb, tell them.” “I’m my own man.” He’d be as much of a bloody disaster as his brother, if not worse, ’cause he’d work at it harder.

  4. humanoid.panda says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’m sure the Terry Schiavo thing was more than six months ago so the box of rocks electorate has completely forgotten it. The latest approval rating for W. Bush, 52%, shows they’ve largely forgotten him. Jeb scares me. He can buy the nomination. And quite possibly the general election. Unless O can pump the economy June thru Sept of next year. Which I pray he can and will.

    Sorry, but this is liberal bedwetting of the worst sort.

    People don’t give W. 52% approval rating for his presidency, but for doing what”s disgraced former presidents do: shutting up, and not criticizing his succesor. [also, that poll was a serious outlier, in being the only one that give his majority favorability rating). Even with all that, 52% is hugely, ridicilously below where most ex-presidents are: Carter a subject of 3 decades long demonization campaign, is at 70% or so.

    Jeb scares no one, because besides fund-raising, he had shown no discernible skills. His only argument is electability, and all polls show him doing worse than any other candidate other than Ted Cruz.

    There is a chance he can buy the nomination, but only of the price of doing what Romney did: embracing disqualifying positions to the general, and runnning an ugly campaign that alienates swing voters.

    One cannot buy the general election ,because unlike the primary, the other side will be well, if not as well funded, and the amount of truly swing votes is miniscule.

    Obama has no capacity to jolt the economy- only Congress can do that. However, it seems that barring a debt ceiling crisis 3.0, or some external event, we are looking at 2-3 more years of “natural” expansion.

  5. humanoid.panda says:

    Sorry for being that harsh, but nothing irritates me more than the liberal inclination to think that we are doomed, and the enemy is basically Sauron, minus the ring weakness..

  6. DrDaveT says:

    @gVOR08:

    He’s clearly flouting campaign finance laws.

    Seriously. This kind of wink-nudge “I wasn’t calling it X so it wasn’t X for legal purposes” nonsense never flies in any other area of law — why would it work here? You’re never going to avoid penalties (and probably prosecution) by arguing that you weren’t really running a business yet (despite all those units you sold and the money you were paid for them) because you hadn’t yet officially incorporated…

  7. C. Clavin says:

    a solid grasp of public policy issues of all varieties, such as immigration, health care, poverty programs, and tax policy

    In the Republican party the first three don’t exist and the fourth consists of cuts for the wealthy.
    Some policy wonk.

  8. Lit3Bolt says:

    Here’s a good run-down on Jeb’s strategy.

    The thing is, I’m not sure it worked. The GOP nomination race is so muddled at this point that I think a lot of people are flailing about for solutions. A lot of donors are basically spray-painting money into the field.

    That will change once nominations are locked up. Then “independent” PACs can solicit donations for “general” candidates, and the real money will start flowing. At this point, Warm Body WithPulse (R) would get boatloads of money. Then, political consultants who are “fired” from the Republican campaign will just “happen” to be hired by the richest Republican SuperPACs. Nope, no information shared here! Whoops, we forgot to make him sign a NDA, Your Honor!

    They’ll cover their tracks, even if it’s (giggle) illegal.

  9. Tillman says:

    Well at least delaying to this point in order to legally coordinate with SuperPACs that might support him in primaries and the general election doesn’t come off as sleazy.

    Those Bushes, there’s nothing improper-seeming about their connections with the Sauds or business interests tied to their fortune. It’s just so frustrating that they’re so, so clean! Not so much as a smirch against their utterly pristine image.

  10. edmondo says:

    It’s really a shame that HW and Barbara didn’t have any smart children.

  11. stonetools says:

    @Tillman:

    Well at least delaying to this point in order to legally coordinate with SuperPACs that might support him in primaries and the general election doesn’t come off as sleazy.

    Yes, amazing isn’t it? Bush evades the campaign finance laws and meets in secret with anonymous billionaires to solicit money in return for promising God knows what-and Doug passes over all that in silence while discussing Bush’s “admirable qualities”.

    But Clinton speaker fees? Sleazy.
    Secrecy of course is the key. If Bush meets in secret with Adelson and promises to scuttle the agreement with Iran the moment he gets elected President and Adelson gives him $5M-that is is something that even Doug might object to,although he might stretch that to Adelson just exercising his “free speech rights.” But, unlike the Clinton Foundation records, we might never know of such a meeting.