Washington, June 16 (IANS) Jeb Bush, a son and brother of former presidents, joined a crowded field of Republican contenders setting the stage for a possible dynastic clash with a former first lady, Hillary Clinton in 2016 White House race.
Watched by his 90-year-old mother, Barbara Bush, wife of George H W Bush, who lost the 1992 presidential race to Bill Clinton, Bush made the announcement Monday in his adopted hometown of Miami, Florida, a state he governed for eight years.
Formally throwing his hat into the ring after a six month exploratory run, Bush saying that “America deserves better,” declared: “We will take Washington – the static capital of this dynamic country – out of the business of causing problems.”
“The question for me is what am I going to do about it,” said Bush who has cultivated the image of a sober conservative. “And I’ve decided: I’m a candidate for president of the United States of America.”
At one point, he was interrupted by protestors wearing yellow shirts with letters that read, “Legal Status Is Not Enough,” calling for immigration reform.
Departing from his prepared remarks, Bush took a dig at President Barack Obama saying as president, he would pass “meaningful immigration reform” rather than solving the problem via an executive order.
He tried to distinguish himself from other Republican candidates as an executive animated by big ideas and uniquely capable of carrying them out and hit out at Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Mocking her “no-suspense primary” he warned that “the presidency should not be passed on from one liberal to the next.”
The 11th Republican contender to jump in the race, John Ellis Bush, 62, the second son of 41st president George H.W. Bush and younger brother of 43rd George W. Bush, who succeeded Bill Clinton in 2001, is banking on more than his family name.
“It’s nobody’s turn. It’s everybody’s test. And it’s wide open, exactly how a contest for president should be,” Bush said hinting he knew he would need more than his lineage to win the Republican nomination,
As a CNN/ORC Poll released earlier this month showed Bush isn’t entering the race as a clear front-runner. It found him virtually tied at the top of the field with Senator Marco Rubio, a fellow Floridian.
Behind them, 10 percent of those polled said they planned to support Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
When matched against Hillary Clinton, Bush trails 51 percent to 43 percent.
Bush knows that his family name can be both a blessing and a curse in his White House run.
As the New York Times pointed out “in his speech, he both embraced elements of his heritage and tried to transcend them.”
“That Mr. Bush wanted to keep the focus on his own life, not on his famous family, was reinforced with his spare logo, first used in his failed 1994 race for governor. It reads simply ‘Jeb!'” it noted.
The Washington Post also suggested that Jeb Bush was “running away from his family” name noting his brother and his father were not in attendance for his presidential announcement. “He didn’t even mention them until nearly the end.”