Jeb prepares for 2016 Bush versus Clinton battle for the White House

SHAFAQNA – Jeb Bush today took a significant step towards a run for the White House in 2016 when he told the world he was ready to “actively explore” a campaign and start raising money. The 61-year-old younger brother of George W used a Christmas message on his Facebook page to reveal that conversations with his family had led him to take a serious look at following in the footsteps of his father and brother.

He told how the step forward came after he and his wife Columba spent time with their three children and three grandchildren over Thanksgiving.

“We shared good food and watched a lot of football. We also talked about the future of our nation.

“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.

He disclosed that he would set up a leadership political action committee in January – a fundraising group that would pay for him to travel across America “to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation”.

Signing off with “I’ll be in touch soon”, he said that in the coming months he would aim to visit potential supporters and start a conversation “about restoring the promise of America”.

The move sets up the prospect of a Bush versus Clinton battle of the political dynasties and could pave the way for a third President Bush, after his father’s single term and his brother’s eight years in the Oval Office.

However, the former Florida governor has a battle on his hands convincing millions of grassroots conservatives in the Republican party to support his liberal stance on immigration and education reform.

He has been out of politics for eight years and has admitted that he would only want to run if he could mount an uplifting, positive campaign without violating his principles.

He would seem certain to lose the first big test of the long primary campaign in conservative Iowa and would hope to start building momentum by targeting South Carolina, where the Bushes have done well in the past.

With less than two years to go to election day, Hillary Clinton dominates the Democratic conversation, but there are at least 13 Republicans making moves.

Mitt Romney, who has said he will not run, has nevertheless led recent polls of Republican supporters, with Mr Bush consistently lying second at the head of a crowded field including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

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