Jeb Bush, in apparent slip, says 'I'm running for president'

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Jeb Bush Might Have Announced His Candidacy For President

Republican Jeb Bush appears to have unintentionally announced his candidacy for president in 2016 in a conversation with reporters on Wednesday that was caught on video.

Speaking in Nevada, the former Florida governor seemed to acknowledge he was a candidate but right afterward indicated he had not made up his mind.

"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," Jeb Bush said in the video posted on the NBC News website.

Bush announced in December that he would "actively explore" a run for the White House, but he has yet to formally declare he is running.

The difference between considering a run and actually jumping into the race affects what he can and cannot do under the law with regard to fundraising. Once candidates formally enter the presidential race they face tighter restrictions on raising money.

Bush has appeared at fundraisers across the country for Right to Rise, a political action committee that was created by Bush's legal team. If he were to declare he is running, he could still appear at the group's functions but would be prohibited from coordinating with it over messaging.

Larry Noble, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, said his group has complained to federal election officials that Bush is running and should already be following rules for candidates' fundraising.

"He's going to say it was a slip of the tongue, but that's absolute nonsense at this point," Noble said.

Bush was responding on Wednesday to a question about what he would have done differently than his brother, former President George W. Bush. Jeb Bush has taken heat from Republicans this week over comments he made in a Fox News interview about his brother's decision to go to war in Iraq.

Bush said in the interview, which aired on Monday, that given the intelligence available at the time, he too would have authorized the invasion. On Tuesday, he said he misinterpreted the question and that the invasion was based on bad intelligence about weapons of mass destruction.

Other Republicans who are weighing presidential runs offered different takes.

Ohio Governor John Kasich told The Columbus Dispatch that, knowing the intelligence was wrong, he "wouldn't have seen it as vital to national interests" to launch the invasion.

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson and Emily Flitter; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

Potential Republican Presidential Candidates
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Jeb Bush, in apparent slip, says 'I'm running for president'

Rand Paul

Unfavorable Opinion: 15%

Familiarity: 64%

Favorable Opinion: 49%

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Marco Rubio

Unfavorable Opinion: 8%

Familiarity: 55%

Favorable Opinion: 47%

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Ted Cruz

Unfavorable Opinion: 13%

Familiarity: 57%

Favorable Opinion: 44%

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Chris Christie

Unfavorable Opinion: 31%

Familiarity: 71%

Favorable Opinion: 40%

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Rick Santorum

Unfavorable Opinion: 21%

Familiarity: 56%

Favorable Opinion: 35%

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Jeb Bush

Unfavorable Opinion: 20%

Familiarity: 76%

Favorable Opinion: 56%

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Rick Perry

Unfavorable Opinion: 18%

Familiarity: 66%

Favorable Opinion: 48%

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Mike Huckabee

Unfavorable Opinion: 16%

Familiarity: 72%

Favorable Opinion: 56%

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 29: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee waves while taking the stage during the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 29, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC, which is scheduled to conclude August 30. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Bobby Jindal

Unfavorable Opinion: 7%

Familiarity: 40%

Favorable Opinion: 33%

Photo Credit: Tom Williams/Getty Images

Scott Walker

Unfavorable Opinion: 5%

Familiarity: 46%

Favorable Opinion: 41%

Photo Credit: Bill Clark/Getty Images

Ben Carson

Unfavorable Opinion: 3%

Familiarity: 39%

Favorable Opinion: 36%

Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images


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