Jeb Aims To Break Away From Republican Field With Official Launch

Jeb 2016Jeb Bush will formally launch his 2016 White House bid on Monday searching for momentum to break out of a crowded field for the Republican presidential nomination, but expecting a long battle ahead.

The 62-year-old former Florida governor will make his announcement in a 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) speech at Miami-Dade College, a school whose multicultural student population was chosen to emphasis Bush’s commitment to trying to expand the appeal of the white-dominated Republican Party.

In his speech and in subsequent campaign stops in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina this week, Bush will say he would make it a top priority to generate higher growth in the U.S. economy and create as many as 19 million jobs, according to a memo prepared by the Bush team for his supporters to use as talking points.

He will also stress the need for “a stronger American place in the world,” according to the campaign memo.

“Our enemies no longer fear us, and our friends no longer trust us. It’s time we re-engage and stand with our allies,” the memo said.

The Bush camp has also put together a video ahead of the 2016 campaign announcement, previewing a platform that focuses on the “most vulnerable in our society.”

“The barriers right now on people rising up is the great challenge of our time,” Bush said in the video. “So many people could do so much better if we fixed a few things. My core beliefs start with the premise that the most vulnerable in our society should be in the front of the line, not the back. And as governor, I had a chance to act on that core belief.”

The video, titled “Making a Difference” and scheduled to run ahead of Monday’s announcement, features several Floridians testifying to how Bush’s policies in Florida had helped them overcome various hardships: disability, domestic violence, an education gap.

“You can improve the life of people, whether it’s in the programs for the developmentally disabled, or changing our economy, or fixing our higher education system,” the former Florida governor added. “All of these things can be fixed. I am absolutely convinced of it. What we need is new leadership that takes conservative principles and applies them so that people can rise up.”

Bush’s path to the nomination will be difficult. He is joining a Republican field where there are already 10 candidates who have declared their intention to run, and faces some solid competitors in Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and others.

He held an early lead in polls of Republican voters when he first began talking about a White House run six months ago, but that has now dissipated. He is essentially tied for the lead with a host of challengers. Not helping was a fumbled response to a question about the Iraq war last month.

Bush advisers say he is prepared for a long, contentious battle for the nomination. A Bush victory is by no means certain in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, the first three states to stage party nominating contests on the road to the November 2016 election.

He will need to win over those Republicans who have doubts about electing a third president named Bush after his father, George H.W. Bush, and older brother, George W. Bush.

Already he is working on differentiating himself. His political team released a new logo for his campaign, “Jeb!” and a video that stresses his record in Florida.

“Jeb is different than George,” Bush said on CNN’s “State of the Union” show on Sunday. “I don’t have to disassociate myself from my family, I love them, but I know that for me to be successful I’m going to have to show my heart and tell my story.”

The two previous Bush presidents will not be at the Monday event.

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