Washington: Florida former governor Jeb Bush inadvertently announced his presidential candidacy in a conversation with reporters, although he quickly corrected himself.
While speaking with reporters on Wednesday in Reno, Nevada, the brother and son, respectively, of presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush said that he is going to run for president in 2016, but immediately thereafter changed that remark to "if" he runs.
"I'm running for president in 2016, and the focus is going to be about how we, if I run, how do you create high sustained economic growth," Bush said.
Upon being asked about the apparent verbal slip immediately by the reporters, Bush said that he is not an "official" candidate for the Republican nomination but has been travelling around the country for the past three months to see if he has the support necessary to join the race.
If he formally announces his candidacy, Bush would be the seventh Republican to enter the race, after Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Arkansas former governor Mike Huckabee, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
There is a significant difference in terms of what one can legally do regarding raising money between considering a political run and actually declaring one's candidacy. Once candidates announce they are entering the race they face tighter campaign fundraising restrictions.
In recent weeks, Bush has increased the number of his public appearances in the media and at assorted political, academic and religious events.
The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey gives Bush 23 percent support among voters who characterize themselves as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents.
At the event on Wednesday, Bush also had to face accusations publicly levelled at him by a woman concerning his brother, whom she accused of having "created" the Islamic State as a consequence of going to war in Iraq, to which the politically conservative former Florida governor responded that he did not agree with that assessment.