Jeb Bush makes big move toward 2016 presidential run

Former Florida governor moves closer to White House bid

Published December 16, 2014 3:21PM (EST)

Jeb Bush                                        (AP/Matt Rourke)
Jeb Bush (AP/Matt Rourke)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced on Tuesday that he has "decided to actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States" and plans to form a political action committee geared toward conducting "conversations with citizens across America" and supporting like-minded candidates.

In a Facebook post this morning, Bush wrote that he discussed his political future with his family over the Thanksgiving holiday.

"We shared good food and watched a whole lot of football," the post read. "We also talked about the future of our nation. As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States."

"In January, I also plan to establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens acrossA merica to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation," Bush added. The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans."

Bush, the son and brother of two former presidents, passed on White House bids in 2008 and 2012. This time, however, Bush has made serious moves to lay the groundwork for a 2016 campaign, making contacts in early-voting states and asking GOP donors to hold off backing other potential candidates.

Though Bush is thoroughly conservative on topics like abortion, LGBT rights, and taxes, he has parted ways with his party's right-wing base on immigration reform and the Common Core education standards, which may pose serious complications for his presidential bid. But Bush is beloved by the party's managerial class; a recent poll of CEOs at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council found that 73 percent hope he is the GOP nominee in 2016.

Bush, who left the Florida governorship after two terms in 2007, ran his last political campaign in 2002. Since leaving office, Bush has dabbled in a variety of business activities, including private equity, which led Bloomberg Businessweek's Joshua Green to argue last week that Bush would likely face a "Mitt Romney problem" if he sought the Oval Office.

By Luke Brinker

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2016 Elections Common Core Gop 2016 Immigration Reform Jeb Bush Republicans