Jeb Bush Forming PAC to Explore Presidential Bid

Jeb Bush Forming PAC to Explore Presidential Bid

By Scott Conroy - December 16, 2014

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced on Tuesday that he will form a political action committee as a vessel to explore a 2016 White House run. 

The announcement, which came via a Facebook post, is the first significant step by a prospective top-tier candidate for the Republican nomination and will put pressure on other potential GOP contenders to follow suit, perhaps more quickly than they may have liked. 

Bush said that he decided to make the move after convening with his family over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

“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,” he wrote in the statement. 

The son of former President George H.W. Bush and younger brother of former President George W. Bush, Jeb Bush served two terms in Tallahassee between 1999 and 2007, during which he developed a deeply conservative record on a wide range of issues.  

He would enter the 2016 race as a top-tier GOP candidate with a perhaps unparalleled fundraising apparatus -- but also with views in support of comprehensive immigration reform and the Common Core educational standards that are deeply out of step with much of the party base.  

Instead of modifying his positions, however, Bush has indicated that he will work to persuade fellow Republicans to come around on these hot-button issues. 

Bush said that he will form the exploratory PAC in January. 

“The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans,” he wrote. “In the coming months, I hope to visit with many of you and have a conversation about restoring the promise of America.” 

Bush’s decision to move early on the presidential front revs up the pressure for fellow potential candidates such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to do the same. Bush and Christie hail from the establishment wing of the party, and share significant overlap among the big donors and seasoned campaign operatives who are equipped to propel their prospective campaigns.

Earlier this month, confidants to Bush began reaching out to prospective top strategists in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, where Bush, Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul appear to be particularly well-positioned. 

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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