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After months of running a nascent campaign, former Gov. John Ellis “Jeb” Bush of Florida officially threw his hat into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 15, 2015
Bush, who served as governor of Florida between 1999 and 2007, made the announcement from Miami-Dade College. He spoke before a diverse crowd, with a blue shirt and no tie or coat, in English and Spanish.
“The stakes for America’s future are about as great as they come,” Bush said. “Our prosperity and our security are in the balance. So is opportunity, in this nation where every life matters and everyone has the right to rise.”
The son and brother of former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, respectively, painted a very positive picture for America’s future, specifically in the areas of the economy, education, and national security. “In any language, my message will be an optimistic one because I am certain that we can make the decades just ahead in America the greatest time ever to be alive in this world,” he said.
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Bush set a goal of getting the now stagnant economy to grow at a rate at four percent per year, pointing to his accomplishments as governor.
We made Florida number one in job creation and number one in small business creation. 1.3 million new jobs, 4.4 percent growth, higher family income, eight balanced budgets, and tax cuts eight years in a row that saved our people and businesses 19 billion dollars.
“All this plus a bond upgrade to Triple-A compared to the sorry downgrade of America’s credit in these years. That was the commitment, and that is the record that turned this state around,” added Bush.
The newly announced candidate shied away from mentioning the term “Common Core” specifically, but gave a rough outline of an education agenda. “When a school is just another dead end, every parent should have the right to send their child to a better school – public, private, or charter,” Bush said.
Nationwide, if I am president, we will take the power of choice away from the unions and bureaucrats and give it back to parents.
We made sure of something else in Florida – that children with developmental challenges got schooling and caring attention, just like every other girl and boy. We didn’t leave them last in line. We put them first in line because they are not a problem. They are a priority.
Bush, like many of the other Republican presidential contenders, took a shot at former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who had her first public rally Saturday. The former governor pointed to a case involving the Little Sisters of the Poor, who have raised conscience-related objections to Obamacare. “Secretary Clinton insists that when the progressive agenda encounters religious beliefs to the contrary those beliefs, quote, ‘have to be changed.’ That’s what she said, and I guess we should at least thank her for the warning.”
It comes down to a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother, and I’m going with the Sisters.
Bush also slammed the administration for instituting for what he described as a “phone-it-in” foreign policy. “The Obama-Clinton-Kerry team is leaving a legacy of crises uncontained, violence unopposed, enemies unnamed, friends undefended, and alliances unraveling,” Bush said.
This supposedly risk-averse administration is also running us straight in the direction of the greatest risk of all – military inferiority. It will go on automatically until a president steps in to rebuild our armed forces and take care of our troops and our veterans. They have my word – I will do it.
He also assured voters that he will strengthen America’s relationship with Israel. And instead of going to Cuba as Obama has suggested, “We need an American president to go to Havana in solidarity with a free Cuban people, and I am ready to be that president.”
While many of Bush’s family members were there, including his wife, his mother, and former first lady Barbara Bush, neither of the former presidents were on hand.
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Would you vote for Jeb Bush if it came down to it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.