Washington: Florida's former Republican governor, Jeb Bush, on Monday formally announced his presidential candidacy and said that he is ready to lead the country.
In his announcement speech to about 3,000 supporters at Miami Dade College, Bush criticised the foreign policy of President Barack Obama toward Cuba, said that he will rebuild the US "alliance" with Israel and promised to restore confidence to the US armed forces. "Our country is on a very bad course.
And the question is: What are we going to do about it? The question for me is: What am I going to do about it? And I have decided - I am a candidate for president of the United States," Bush said. John Ellis Bush, known as "Jeb", did not fail to use the opportunity to present himself as the presidential candidate of US Hispanics, whom he addressed in Spanish midway through his speech, asking for their help and for them to work together with his non-Hispanic supporters for shared values and for a better future for them and their children.
Former Republican Governor of Florida Jeb Bush (C) celebrates after announcing his candidacy for the 2016 Presidential elections, at Miami Dade College on June 15, 2015, in Miami, Florida. Pic/AFP
"Join our cause of opportunity for all, the cause of all those who love freedom and the noble cause of the United States of America," he said in Spanish to shouts of "Jeb!" His Mexican-born wife Columba Garnica, his children and grandchildren, and his mother, Barbara Bush, accompanied him at the rally.
At the event, where he unveiled his campaign logo featuring just the words "Jeb 2016" rather than any mention of his surname, Bush also presented himself as the candidate most qualified to deal with the country's economic problems saying that he did it before as Florida's governor.
The 62-year-old Bush expressed confidence that, under his leadership, the country could achieve economic growth of 4 percent and create 19 million new jobs. He also warned that, if elected president, he will use his veto power to protect taxpayers from "unnecessary" expenditures.
Bush said that leaders must think about the big picture and that the tax code must be made simpler and cleansed of special interests. He also questioned what he called the White House's risk-averse foreign policy and said that Obama is leaving behind a legacy of uncontained crises, unopposed violence, nameless enemies and undefended friends.
In the coming days, Bush is scheduled to travel to the states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina. Voter surveys conducted by the country's main media outlets show that Bush is in a technical tie for the Republican nomination with Florida senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the latter of whom has not yet declared his presidential candidacy.