Jeb Bush vows to fix Washington as he starts White House run

Jeb Bush Enters Crowded, Leaderless GOP Presidential Race

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush vowed to fix a dysfunctional Washington as he began his U.S. presidential bid on Monday with an attempt to move out of the shadow of his father and brother and their White House legacies.

Bush is seeking to be seen as his own man and break out of a crowded field for the Republican presidential nomination to run in the November 2016 election.

In a speech in Miami to announce his candidacy, Bush, 62, presented himself as an anti-Washington figure with a can-do spirit.

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Jeb and George Bush through the years
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Jeb Bush vows to fix Washington as he starts White House run
President George Bush chats with brother Gov. Jeb Bush as they acknowledge cheering supporters at a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Florida at the Contemporary Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Friday, February 17, 2006. (Photo by Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, UNITED STATES: US President George W. Bush (R) reaches out to shake hands with his brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush (L) shortly after Air Force One arrived at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, 09 May 2006. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington, UNITED STATES: US President George W. Bush (L) looks on as his brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaks 19 April, 2006. Governor Bush was among several governors who met with the president after an Easter trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
President George Bush (left) and brother Gov. Jeb Bush acknowledge cheering supporters at a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Florida at the Contemporary Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Friday, February 17, 2006. (Photo by Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 19: U.S. President George W. Bush (L) and his brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) smile while greeting supporters during a campaign rally at Progress Energy Park October 19, 2004 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Recent polls indicate Bush is maintaining a slight lead over his Democratic challenger U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Jeb Bush is seen at Salt Lake City Airport on January 22, 2015 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by JOCE/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
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"We will take Washington – the static capital of this dynamic country – out of the business of causing problems," he said. "I know we can fix this. Because I've done it."

Bush made his announcement at Miami-Dade College, a school whose multicultural student population was chosen to emphasize Bush's commitment to trying to expand the appeal of the white-dominated Republican Party.

"We don't need another president who merely holds the top spot among the pampered elites of Washington. We need a president willing to challenge and disrupt the whole culture in our nation's capital, he said.

He was joined by his mother Barbara Bush, 90, at the event. Former presidents George H.W. Bush, his father, and George W. Bush, his brother, did not attend.

Both men left office with low approval ratings. The legacy of Jeb's brother is particularly difficult given his 2003 invasion of Iraq and the financial crisis that erupted toward the end of his time in office.

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All officially announced 2016 Presidential candidates
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Jeb Bush vows to fix Washington as he starts White House run

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (D)

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of New York (D)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R)

(Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Former CEO, Businesswoman Carly Fiorina of California (R)

(Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)

Former New York Governor George Pataki (R)

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (R)

(Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R)

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore (R)

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Distancing himself from the pair, without being disloyal to his family, will be tricky for the younger Bush. His campaign logo "Jeb!" avoids using the family surname.

"I think the biggest hurdle is he is going to have to sell himself as his own person, not his brother and not his father,"

said Fran Hancock, 64, from Palm Beach, a supporter at the event on Monday.

Bush held an early lead in opinion polls of Republican voters when he first began talking about a White House run six months ago, but that has now dissipated. He is essentially tied for the lead with a host of challengers.

Failure to deal with the Bush family legacy has already caused problems for Jeb, who fumbled a response last month to a question about whether he would have invaded Iraq.

On Monday, Bush criticized former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

"With their phone-it-in foreign policy, the Obama-Clinton-Kerry team is leaving a legacy of crises uncontained, violence unopposed, enemies unnamed, friends undefended, and alliances unraveling," he said.

Bush vowed to "rebuild our armed forces" and renew close ties to Israel and other traditional allies.

(Additional reporting by Alistair Bell; Editing by Grant McCool)

Presidential Candidates | InsideGov

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