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