Jeb Bush: Scion of a political dynasty

  • Barbara Bush and George Bush pose with children Neil Bush, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush and Marvin Bush in 1956.
  • Former Vice President George Bush sits with his sons George W. and Jeb while holding a fish Aug. 1983 in Kennebunkport, Me.
  • Jeb Bush is interviewed at a Miami Radio Station, WIOD, in March, 1980. He went on to become governor of Florida in 1999. His father, George Bush was the president of the United States and his brother, George Jr., became governor of Texas before running in the 2000 presidential election.
  • George W. Bush, center, joins his mother, Barbara Bush, and brother, Jeb Bush, rear, in Houston as father George Bush acknowledges defeat in Texas’ 1970 U.S. Senate race on April 11, 1999. The younger Bush campaigned vigorously for his father in the race against Democrat Lloyd Bentsen Jr.
  • Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeb Bush speaks at the Republican Party of Florida’s annual meeting, Jan. 24, 1998, in Orlando, Fla. State GOP leaders announced an unprecedented policy initiative on behalf of all Florida Republicans.
  • Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, left, looks out the window of a helicopter as he tours the Florida Everglades from the air with Michael Collins, right, chairman of the governing board with the South Florida Water Management District, June 7, 1999. Bush took the tour after signing the Florida Forever Bill giving the go ahead to a $300 million a year land preservation program.
  • Gov. Jeb Bush, center, hands a pen used to sign a Gun Bill to Marion Hammer of the National Rifle Association as Rep. George Albright, R-Ocala, left, Rep. Jim Fuller, R-Jacksonville, third from left, Sen. Charlie Bronson, R-Harbour Beach, second from right, and Rep. George Crady, D-Yulee, right, look on April 20, 1999, in the Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Florida Governor Jeb Bush joins brother George W. Bush at a campaign fundraiser In Orlando, Fl., Nov. 8, 1999.
  • As both chambers passed a compromise budget and several of his initiatives, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush showed he was clearly in the driver’s seat for the 1999 Legislature both inside the Capitol and out as he twists into driver Eddie Cheever’s 1998 Indy 500 winning racer in the Capitol courtyard, April 27, 1999.
  • Maj. Gen. Douglas Burnett, from left, Brig. Gen. Jimmy Watson, Maj. Gen. Ronald O. Harrison and Gov. Jeb Bush prepare for an inspection of troops at the change of command ceremony for incoming Adjutant General of Florida Maj. Gen. Douglas Burnett on Nov. 3, 2001, Camp Blanding near Starke, Fla.
  • Former President George W. Bush, center, walks off the 18th hole with his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, right, and father, former President George Bush, left, at the Cape Arundel Golf Club in Kennebunkport, Maine, in this July 7, 2001, file picture. Could there be a third President Bush?
  • Florida Gov. Jeb Bush rides a Segway Human Transporter, commonly known as the IT, into the leadership forum where inventor Dean Kamen spoke of his invention, March 11, 2002, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. Kamen envisions the machine as an environmentally friendly way for people to move along short distances.
  • Republican Florida Gov. Jeb Bush celebrates with supporters during an election night party, Nov. 5, 2002, in Miami, Fla., after his opponent, Democrat Bill McBride, conceded the election. With the victory, Bush, the president’s brother, became the first Republican governor to be re-elected in state history. Behind Bush are (L to R) his sons Jebby and George P., his wife Columba, and mother Barbara Bush.
  • President George W. Bush, his brother Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and former election campaign rival Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) walk off the Bush-Cheney campaign bus Aug. 10, 2004 in Panama City, Fla., for a campaign rally before 22,000 supporters on the second day of a six-day campaign swing.
  • Florida Gov. Jeb Bush waits to walk across a street Feb. 23, 2004, after a meeting with President George W. Bush at the White House in Washington, D.C. The National Governors Association is holding its 2004 Winter Meeting in Washington.
  • President Bush and his brother Gov. Jeb Bush, left, talk with residents in downtown Punta Gorda, Fla., Aug. 15, 2004, after a hurricane wrecked the area. Bush visited the state to assess the damage two days after declaring Florida a major disaster area. Hurricane Charley killed at least 13 people and left thousands homeless.
  • First lLady Laura Bush, left, watches the launch of the STS-114, space shuttle Discovery as she sits with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., on July 26, 2005.
  • Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush hands out items for holiday food baskets to those in need outside the Little Havana offices of CAMACOL, the Latin American Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 17, 2014, in Miami, Fla. As he handed out food, Bush spoke to the media about the announcement that the United States and Cuba worked out a deal for the release of USAID subcontractor Alan Gross.
  • The jacket of a Jeb Bush supporter is seen draped over a chair at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., Feb. 27, 2015. A contingent of attendees walked out of Bush’s speech at CPAC, where his name was routinely booed by many in the crowd whenever it was mentioned.
  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush takes a selfie with a guest at a luncheon hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Feb. 18, 2015, in Chicago, Ill. Bush delivered his first major foreign policy speech at the event as he continues to test the waters for a potential run for president in 2016.
  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa.



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. 

RELATED: Oops: Jeb Bush accidentally says he’s ‘running for president’

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. 

Speak Out