Jeb Bush Asserts He Is Different From Brother George Bush: Vows To Reduce Opportunity Gap

By @diplomatist10 on
Former Florida Governor and probably 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush
Former Florida Governor and probably 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire April 17, 2015 Reuters/Brian Snyder

Jeb Bush formally announced his candidature for the U.S presidency on Monday with hopes for a nomination by  the Republican Party, ending all suspense that began in December 2014, when the former Florida governor signalled his serious intent to run for the nation’s highest office. After the 3-months of fundraising drive to collect $100 million, Jeb Bush has now made it official.

Throwing hints at his vision and approach, Bush in a freewheeling media interview on Friday said, “I had the opportunity to be governor of a state where a lot of things happened,” previewing his announcement speech. “Some people liked it, some people didn't, but the needles moved. There's no question if you ask friend and foe alike that Florida changed by my leadership. I think it changed for the better.”

Opportunity Gap

Bush, 62, has chosen the "opportunity gap" as the thrust areas of his campaign, saying his priorities include easing of immigration laws, loosening regulation, and simplifying tax code to double the nation’s economic growth to 4 percent per year without offering specifics how he plans to tackle the regulation and tax changes.

By announcing his plan to run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination from the Kendall campus of Miami Dade College, Bush is seeking to play out his obvious strengths. The foremost is the "Bush" surname, his own administrative calibre as two terms governor of Florida, and his ability to leverage the network to raise the most money than any other Republican candidate. In June, Bush hired Danny Diaz as campaign manager to pep up the campaign. In the interview Bush said he was looking forward to telling a life story that was “full of warts and full of successes,” and where he made “tough decisions."

Dad Is Great

Bush described his father and former President George Bush Senior as the “greatest man alive” and said the mere thought of his dad would make him cry. But he differentiated himself from his brother George Bush, who was president until 2007. “Jeb is different from George,” he said adding that “Jeb is who he is and his life story is different.”

In an obvious jab at President Barack Obama and his younger Republican rivals such as Marco Rubio, Bush wanted to project himself as different and more statesmanlike, by showcasing his “life experience” as a state governor and overseas businessman, reports The Telegraph.

“It’s something that’s been lacking in the presidency, to have someone who’s been tempered by life, and along the way I will get to share that,” said Bush, who is 18 years older than Rubio and 8 years older than Mr Obama. Opinion polls show that Bush along with Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin are the front-runners for the final nomination from the Grand Old Party.

(For feedback/comments, contact the writer at k.kumar@ibtimes.com.au)