MIAMI — Jeb Bush launched a Republican presidential bid months in the making Monday with a vow to get Washington “out of the business of causing problems” and to stay true to his beliefs — easier said than done in a bristling primary contest where his conservative credentials will be sharply challenged.
“I will campaign as I would serve, going everywhere, speaking to everyone, keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching,” Bush said, opening his campaign at a rally near his south Florida home at Miami Dade College, where the institution’s large and diverse student body symbolizes the nation he seeks to lead.
The former Florida governor, whose wife is Mexican-born, addressed the packed college arena in English and Spanish, an unusual twist for a political speech aimed at a national audience.
“In any language,” Bush said, “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.”
Bush enters a 2016 Republican contest that will test both his vision of conservatism and his ability to distance himself from family.
Neither his father, former President George H.W. Bush, nor his brother, former President George W. Bush, attended Monday’s announcement. The family was represented instead by Jeb Bush’s mother and former first lady, Barbara Bush, who once said that the country didn’t need yet another Bush as president, and by his son George P. Bush, recently elected Texas land commissioner.
Article continues belowBefore the event, the Bush campaign came out with a new logo — Jeb! — that conspicuously leaves out the Bush surname.
And in his speech, he took on critics in both parties, particularly Hillary Rodham Clinton, the overwhelming favorite in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“The party now in the White House is planning a no-suspense primary, for a no-change election,” Bush said. “The presidency should not be passed on from one liberal to the next.”