Jeb to ‘actively explore’ presidential bid


After weeks of increasing speculation about his plans, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday he will “actively explore” a possible bid for president in 2016.

Bush made the announcement on Twitter and Facebook. He wrote on Facebook about spending time with his wife, Columba, children and grandchildren at Thanksgiving.

“We also talked about the future of our nation,” Bush wrote. “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.”

Bush, who was elected governor in 1998 and served two terms, also wrote that he will establish what is known as a “Leadership PAC” in January “that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation. The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.”

Bush, 61, made the announcement a day after giving a commencement address at the University of South Carolina — a state that plays a major role in Republican primaries. If he ultimately decides to run, Bush would seek to follow his father and brother into the White House.

But Bush also would face fierce opposition from Democrats and likely from some Republicans who disagree with him on issues such as immigration reform and education policy. The Florida Democratic Party website Tuesday, for example, featured a prominent picture of Bush and touted what it said was his “awful week” that included “damning articles” in national media outlets.

Bush’s Facebook post did not say when he will make a final decision about entering the race.

“In the coming months, I hope to visit with many of you and have a conversation about restoring the promise of America,” he wrote.