Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is basically running for president now, giving him instant frontrunner status and implicitly pressuring other Republicans to decide whether to run for the White House against him in 2016.
“I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States,” the Republican said on Facebook and Twitter Tuesday morning.
“In January, I also plan to establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation,” Bush wrote. “The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.”
Though the political action committee will help support others, its prime beneficiary is Bush and his presidential ambitions.
Bush didn’t explicitly say he’s definitely running, but the PAC is the clearest sign yet that an official announcement is likely a formality. The committee tells donors, activists and the general public that Bush is serious about a 2016 presidential bid.
“The big institutional donors of the Republican Party want to know where to put their money, and Jeb has now shown them where,” said Rick Willson, a Republican consultant from Tallahassee.