Jeb Bush: Scion of a political dynasty
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced his official campaign for president on Monday. The scion of a political dynasty spent months gearing up for the chance to put a third Bush in the Oval Office. Even before making his bid official, Bush had been under harsh scrutiny.
Bush traveled through Germany, Poland and Estonia, returning to Florida just two days before his big launch. During his time abroad, he worked hard to strike a balance between being associated with the positive reputation his father crafted abroad and the negative opinions left in the wake of his brother’s term in office.
Even before his European trip, Bush had faced questions about whether he would have engaged in the Iraq war, as his brother George W. Bush did. The younger Bush initially said he would have thrown the country into that widely unpopular war, before spending the better part of a week backtracking those comments.
In mid-May, he also slipped up and accidentally said he was running for president, just before catching himself and softening his language.
While the 2016 GOP field got more crowded by the week — the list also officially includes Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, as well as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson — Bush held off on his announcement for a very practical reason: money. Now that he has officially declared his candidacy, campaign finance caps and rules will slam into place. In his previously state of undeclared limbo, Bush could still drum up major money through his super PAC, Right to Rise.
While he has a formidable fundraising capabilities, Bush has struggled in appealing to the GOP’s hard-line conservatives. His relatively moderate stance on immigration — Bush has spoken in favor of a path to legalized status for undocumented immigrants and expanding legal immigration — has, in part, alienated him from the GOP’s far-right base, a group crucial to securing the Republican nomination.