Jeb Bush is preparing for a run for president, and he would like you to know that he is not his brother.
"I love my brother. I think he’s been a great president," Bush said Wednesday at the Detroit Economic Club. But, he added, “I know I’m going to have to do it on my own."
The Bush family name remains a political liability years after America's costly involvements in the Middle East and the Great Recession, raising the question of how the former governor of Florida plans to differentiate himself from his brother. He offered a hint by recalling his 1994 and 1998 gubernatorial campaigns, when he ran as a conservative reformer on issues such as welfare and education.
“People knew I wasn’t just the brother of George … I was my own person,” Bush said. “I earned it by working hard to connect with people on a level that truly mattered. That experience on a national scale has to be part of the strategy.”
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) gave a preview of her party's coming attacks on Bush by calling him the "same guy who supports massive tax breaks benefitting the wealthiest Americans."
Bush heaped even more praise on his father, however.
“My dad is the greatest man alive. If anyone disagrees, we’ll go outside,” he said in Detroit. “Unless you’re 6’5″ and 250 pounds and much younger than me and then we’ll negotiate. [But] I’m still not going to change my mind. I’m still going to love my dad.”