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Jeb Bush's Campaign Announcement Featured More Jeb, Less Bush

Bush's efforts to distance himself from his father and brother start with his official campaign logo, which simply reads "Jeb!"—with no mention of his dynastic surname.
Photo par Matthew Cavanaugh/EPA

Jeb Bush announced his run for the US presidency today and warned Washington DC he's coming to shake things up.

The two-term former Florida governor, younger brother of George W. Bush, and son of George H. W. Bush became the 11th person to throw a hat into the ring for the 2016 Republican nomination, delivering his campaign announcement speech at Miami-Dade College in front of a group of cheering students bearing "Jeb16!" clap sticks and balloons.

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"I'm a candidate for president of the United States of America," Bush said in front a backdrop of red white and blue, before promising to "take Washington — the static capital of this dynamic country — out of the business of causing problems."

The recurring themes of Bush's campaign videos and his speech highlighted his 8-year record as Florida governor, especially his position on issues like domestic violence, assisting people with disabilities, and education. But perhaps Bush's most passionate rhetoric came when he spoke about immigration reform, which he said he plans to solve "not by executive order." He then broke out into verses of Spanish, before returning to English to say: "In any language, my message will be an optimistic one."

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Bush also moved to set himself apart from other Republicans vying for the presidency, saying, "I was a reforming governor, not just another member of the club."

"There's no passing off responsibility when you're governor, no blending into the legislative crowd," he said.

The crowd he's referring to undoubtedly includes fellow 2016 presidential hopefuls and Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Bush's political protégé and fellow Floridian Marco Rubio, who all currently serve on Capitol Hill.

Presumptive Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who delivered her own campaign launch speech on New York City's Roosevelt Island over the weekend, also failed to escape Bush's jabs.

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"Secretary Clinton insists that when the progressive agenda encounters religious beliefs to the contrary, those beliefs have to be changed," said Bush. "That's what she said and I guess we should at least thank her for the warning."

At one point, Bush brought his mother, Barbara Bush onto the stage, which sent the crowds to their feet in raucous applause. His son and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush also made an appearance to talk up dad. But notably absent from the event were Bush's father and older brother, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, respectively, whose legacies the younger scion has sought to distance himself from early in the race. Jeb Bush's official campaign logo simply reads Jeb!, with no mention of his dynastic surname.

— Jeb Bush (@JebBush)June 14, 2015

"Jeb is different than George, and Jeb is who he is," Jeb Bush told CNN over the weekend. "My life story is different."

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