Jeb Bush says he’s ready for long fight

The Repub­li­can, who for months has been court­ing donors, will of­fi­cially join the race.

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - By Joseph Tan­fani joseph.tan­fani@la­times.com Twit­ter: @jtan­fani

WASH­ING­TON — On the eve of for­mally launch­ing his White House bid, Jeb Bush says he’s pre­pared for a long slog to break out of the crowded pack of Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates.

“It will take time. It al­ways does,” Bush told CNN in an in­ter­view tele­vised Sun­day.

Bush said he would fo­cus on his record as a two-term Florida gover­nor, where he be­came known as a cham­pion of tougher ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards, to de­fine him­self as some­thing other than the son of for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush and the brother of for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush.

“Well, Jeb is dif­fer­ent than Ge­orge. And Jeb is who he is,” Jeb Bush told CNN’s Dana Bash. “My life story’s dif­fer­ent.”

“I don’t have to dis­as­so­ci­ate my­self from my fam­ily. I love them,” he added. “But I know that I’m on — for me to be suc­cess­ful, I’m go­ing to have to show my heart and tell my story.”

Bush plans to for­mally join the race for the GOP nom­i­na­tion on Mon­day with a speech at Miami-Dade Col­lege.

As an unan­nounced can­di­date for the last six months, Bush has been able to fo­cus on court­ing fi­nan­cial donors for his “su­per PAC.” But in a race al­ready crowded with can­di­dates, he has strug­gled to open a lead in the polls.

In the in­ter­view, filmed in Es­to­nia be­fore he flew home Satur­day, Bush dis­missed re­ports that his cam­paign is not on track be­cause he al­ready has switched cam­paign man­agers. He said most vot­ers didn’t care.

“Peo­ple make up their mind in the last weeks of th­ese pri­maries. So my ex­pec­ta­tion is that we’ll have slow, steady progress,” he said. “That’s been the ex­pec- tation all along.”

Bush promised to of­fer pol­icy al­ter­na­tives as a can­di­date. But he also said he would talk about his ex­pe­ri­ence as a gover­nor and busi­ness­man in Florida.

“It’s some­thing that I think has been lack­ing in the pres­i­dency is to have some­one who has been tem­pered by life,” he said.

“It’s some­thing that took a lit­tle get­ting used to for me per­son­ally to be able to show my heart be­cause I’m kind of in­tro­verted, but it’s im­por­tant to do,” he added.

Bush’s cam­paign re­leased a video Sun­day that fea­tures Florid­i­ans prais­ing Bush’s record on do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, school vouch­ers and help­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

“All of th­ese things can be fixed, I am ab­so­lutely con­vinced of it,” Bush says in the video. The an­swer, he says, is “new lead­er­ship that takes con­ser­va­tive prin­ci­ples and ap­plies them.”

Ni­cholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

FOR­MER Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said, “To be suc­cess­ful, I’m go­ing to have to show my heart and tell my story.” He will en­ter the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign Mon­day.

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