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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Jeb Bush Running for President. Aired 4-4:32p ET

Aired June 15, 2015 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[16:00:09]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

The politics lead: months of rehearsing and dieting and, above all, raising millions of dollars, leading to this moment, former Florida Governor John Ellis Bush, also know as Jeb, taking his campaign out of the shadows. He's about to make it official in just seconds.

Jeb will rally a packed house at Miami-Dade College. He will announce his bid for the presidency, his quest to form something of a holy political trinity of presidents with the same last name. Never been done before, not by the Adams guys, not the Harrisons, nor the Roosevelts.

Let's get right to CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash. She is in Miami at Miami-Dade College.

Dana, we are hearing some red meat from the man about to introduce Governor Bush. And there was actually a very pointed statement. "The presidency of the United States does not come with training wheels." It was specifically targeted at Barack Obama.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right.

TAPPER: But it could apply to some other Republican candidates.

BASH: Yes, it could, even one Republican who has been Jeb Bush's protege, Marco Rubio, who is doing very well at this point, doing well very well among the very big pack.

It is very noteworthy and I think telling that this is the man that they chose to introduce Jeb Bush, because he really has been -- it's a state senator here in Florida, really has been trying to rile up the crowd, throwing red meat out there.

And the reason that I say that it's telling is because that has been the biggest concern both inside and outside Jeb-world, that he hasn't been able to break free for many reasons. But one of them is that he just hasn't come across as somebody who really wants it.

Well, when you have a crowd around you, and you feel the love in a very big place like this, it's going to be hard to not look like you want it if you really do. So, that's I think a very intent reason on them doing this, Jake. TAPPER: Dana, we have heard from a lot of different potential

presidential candidates, from presidential candidates, from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio.

How is Governor Bush going to pitch himself? What's the frame for his candidacy?

BASH: In short, the adult in the room, as the one who has been there, who has done that, who has worked in a very big state of Florida, and changed things, and done things that have made people mad.

And you know what? Here comes Jeb Bush. So, I'm going to toss it back to you.

TAPPER: All right, let's listen to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, as he takes the stage and prepares to announce he is running for president of the United States. Let's listen.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you all. Thank you all.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you so much. Thank you.

Mom, can you ask them to sit down, please. Thank you all very much. You know, I always feel welcome at Miami-Dade College.

(APPLAUSE)

This is a place that welcomes everyone with their hearts set on the future, a place where hope leads to achievement and striving leads to success.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: For all of us, it is just the place to be in the campaign that begins today.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: We're 17 months from the time for choosing. The stakes for America's future are as about as great as they come. Our prosperity and our security are in the balance.

So is opportunity in this nation where every life matters and everyone has the right to rise. (APPLAUSE)

Already, the choice is taking shape. The party now in the White House is planning a no-suspense primary for a no-change election to hold onto power, to slog on with the same agenda under another name. That's our opponents' call to action this time around. That's all they've got left.

(APPLAUSE)

And you and know that America deserves better.

(APPLAUSE)

They've offered a progressive agenda that includes everything but progress. They're responsible for the slowest economic recovery ever, the biggest debt increases ever, a massive tax increase on the middle class, the relentless buildup of the regulatory state and the swift, mindless drawdown of a military that was generations in the making.

(APPLAUSE)

I, for one, am not eager to see what another four years would look like under that kind of leadership.

(APPLAUSE)

The presidency should not be passed on from one liberal to the next.

(APPLAUSE)

So here's what it comes down to. Our country's on a very bad course, and the question is, what are we going to do about it?

The question for me...

(APPLAUSE)

The question for me is what am I going to do about it? And I've decided I'm a candidate for president of the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

We will take command of our future once again in this country. We will lift our sights again, make opportunity common again, get events in the world moving our way again. We will take Washington, the static capital of this dynamic country then turn it out of the business of causing problems, and we'll get it back on the -- on the right side of free enterprise and freedom for all Americans.

(APPLAUSE)

I know we can fix this, because I've done it.

(APPLAUSE) Here in this great and diverse state that looks so much like America, so many challenges could be overcome if we could just get this economy growing at full strength.

There's not a reason in the world why we cannot grow at a rate of 4 percent a year, and that will be my goal as president.

(APPLAUSE)

4-percent growth and the 19 million new jobs that comes with it.

(APPLAUSE)

Economic growth that makes a difference for hardworking men and women who don't need a reminding that the economy's more than the stock market, growth that lifts up the middle class, all the families who haven't had a raise in 15 years, growth that makes a difference for everyone. It's possible.

BUSH: It can be done.

(APPLAUSE)

We made Florida number one in job creation and number one in small business creation. 1.3 million new jobs, 4.4-percent growth, higher family income, eight balanced budgets and tax cuts eight years in a row that saved our people and businesses $19 billion.

BUSH: All this, plus a bond upgrade to AAA, compared to the sorry downgrade of America's credit in these years. That was the commitment and that was the record that turned this state around.

I also used my veto power to protect our taxpayers from needless spending. And if I'm elected president, I'll show Congress how that's done...

(APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: Let's go, Jeb. Let's go, Jeb. Let's go, Jeb. Let's go, Jeb. Let's go, Jeb. Let's go, Jeb. Let's go, Jeb. Let's go, Jeb.

BUSH: Thank you. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Leaders have to think big, and we've got a tax code filled with small- time thinking and self-interested politics. What swarms of lobbyists have done, we can undo with a vastly simpler system, clearing out special favors for the few, reducing rates for the all.

(APPLAUSE)

What the IRS, EPA and the entire bureaucracy have done with overregulation, we can undo by act of Congress and order of the president.

(APPLAUSE)

Federal regulation has gone far past the consent of the governed. It is time to start making rules for the rule-makers.

(APPLAUSE)

When we get serious about limited government, we can pursue the great and worthy goals that America has gone too long without. We can build our future on solvency instead of borrowed money. We can honor our commitments on the strength of fiscal integrity. With North American resources and American ingenuity we can finally achieve energy security for this nation. And with presidential leadership, we can make it happen within five years.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERING)

BUSH: If we do all of this, if we do it relentlessly and if we do it right, we will make the United States of America an economic superpower like no other.

(APPLAUSE)

We will also challenge the culture that has made lobbying the premier growth industry in our nation's capital. Look, the rest of the country struggles under big government, while comfortable, complacent interest groups in Washington have been thriving on it.

A self-serving attitude can take hold in any capital, just as it once did in Tallahassee. I was the governor who refused to accept that as the normal or right way of conducting the people's business. I will not accept it as the standard in Washington either.

(APPLAUSE)

We don't need another president who merely holds the top spot among the pampered elites of Washington.

BUSH: We need someone to challenge and disrupt the whole culture in our nation's capital, and I will be that president.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERING)

BUSH: Because I was a reforming governor, not just another member of the club. There's no passing off responsibility when you're a governor. No blending into the legislative crowd or filing an amendment and calling that success.

As our whole nation has learned since 2008, executive experience is another term for preparation and there is no substitute for that.

(APPLAUSE) BUSH: We're not going to clean up the mess in Washington by electing the people who either helped create it or have proven incapable of fixing it.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: In government, if we get a few big things right, we can make life better for millions of people, especially for kids in public schools.

Think of what we all watched not long ago in Baltimore, where so many young adults are walking around with no vision of a life beyond the life of the life they know. It's a tragedy played out over and over and over again.

After we reformed education in Florida, low-income student achievement improved here more than any other state.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: We stopped processing kids along as if we didn't care, because we do care. And you don't show that by counting out anyone's child. You give them all a chance.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Here's what I believe: when a school is just another dead end, every parent should have the right to send their child to a better school, public, private or charter.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Every school should have high standards and the federal government should have nothing to do with setting them.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Nationwide, if I'm president, we will take the power of choice away from the unions and bureaucrats and give it back to parents.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: We made sure of something else in Florida, that children with developmental challenges got schooling and caring attention, just like every other girl and boy.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: We didn't leave them last in line. We put them first in line because they're not a problem. They're a priority.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: That is always our first and best instinct in this nation filled with charitable hearts. Yet these have been rough years for religious charities and their right of conscience and the leading Democratic candidate recently hinted of more trouble to come.

Secretary Clinton insists that when the progressive agenda encounters religious beliefs to the contrary, those beliefs, quote, "have to be changed." That's what she said.

That's what she said. And I guess we should at least thank her for the warning.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: The most galling example is the shabby treatment of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Christian charity that dared to voice objections of conscience to ObamaCare.

BUSH: The next president needs to make it clear that great charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor need no federal instruction in doing the right thing.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: It comes down to a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother. And I'm going with the Sisters.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: It's still a mystery to me why, in these violent times, the president, a few months ago, thought it relevant at a prayer breakfast to bring up the Crusades. Americans don't need lectures on the Middle Ages when we're dealing abroad with modern horrors committed by fanatics.

(APPLAUSE)

From the beginning, our president and his foreign-policy team have been so eager to be the history-makers that they failed to be the peacemakers.

(APPLAUSE)

With their phone-it-in foreign policy, the Obama-Clinton-Kerry team is leading a legacy of crises uncontained, violence unopposed, enemies unnamed, friends undefended and alliances unraveling.

(APPLAUSE)

This supposedly risk-averse administration is also running us straight in the direction of the greatest risk of all: military inferiority. It will go on automatically until a president steps in to rebuild our armed forces and take care of our troops and our veterans.

(APPLAUSE)

And they have my word I will do it.

(APPLAUSE) We keep dependable friends in this world by being dependable ourselves. I will rebuild our vital friendships, and that starts by standing with the brave, democratic State of Israel.

(APPLAUSE)

American-led alliances need rebuilding, too, and better judgment is called for in relations far and near.

90 miles to our south, there's a talk about a state visit by our outgoing president. But we...

(BOOING)

But we don't need a glorified tourist to go to Havana in support of a failed Cuba.

(APPLAUSE)

We need -- need an American president to go to Havana in solidarity with a free Cuban people, and I'm ready to be that president.

(APPLAUSE)

Great things like that can really happen, and in this country of ours, the most improbable things can happen as well. Take that from a guy who met his first president on the day he was born...

(LAUGHTER)

... and his second on the day he was brought home from the hospital.

(APPLAUSE)

The person who handled both introductions is here today. She's watching what I say, and frankly, with all of these reporters around, I'm watching what she says too.

Please say hello to my mom, Barbara Bush.

(APPLAUSE)

By the way, just so that our friends know, the next President of the United States will pass meaningful immigration reform so that that will be solved, not by executive order.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: So back to my family, just for a second.

Look, I think -- I think I was talking about my mom. I kind of lost my train of thought here.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Long before the world knew my parents' names, I knew I was blessed to be their son. And they didn't mind it at all when I found my own path. It led from Texas to Miami by way of Mexico. In 1971, eight years before then-Ronald -- candidate Ronald Reagan said that we should stop thinking of our neighbors as foreigners, I was ahead of my time in cross-border outreach.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Across the plaza, I saw a girl. She spoke only a little English. My Spanish was OK, but really not that good.

With some intensive study we got that barrier out of the way in a hurry.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: In the short version, it's been a gracious walk through the years with the former Colomba Garnica de Gallo.

Whatever else -- whatever else I might or might not have going for me, I've got the quiet joy of a man who can say that the most wonderful friend he has in the whole world is his own wife.

Columba, I love you.

(APPLAUSE)

And together we've had the not-so-quiet joy of raising three children who have brought us nothing but happiness and pride, George, Noelle and Jeb.

The boys have also brought us more Bushes. Their wives, Mandy and Sandra, and our grandchildren, the near-perfect Georgia (ph), Prescott, Vivian (ph) and Jack.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: Campaigns aren't easy and they're not supposed to be. And I know that there are a lot of good people running for president -- quite a few, in fact. And not one of us deserves the job by right of resume, party, seniority, family or family narrative. It's nobody's turn. It's everybody's test. And it's wide open, exactly as the contest for president should be.

(APPLAUSE)

BUSH: The outcome -- the outcome is entirely up to you, the voters. It's entirely up to me to earn the nomination of my party and then to take our case all across this great and diverse nation. As a candidate, I intend to let everyone hear my message, including the many who can express their love of country in a different language.

BUSH: (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)

(APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go.

BUSH: In any language -- in any language, my message will be an optimistic one, because I am certain that we can make the decades just ahead the greatest time ever to be alive in this world. That chance, that hope requires the best that is in us, and I will give it my all.

(APPLAUSE)

I will campaign as I would serve. Going everywhere. Speaking to everyone. Keeping my word. Facing the issues without flinching. And staying true to what I believe.

I will take nothing and no one for granted. I will run with heart, and I will run to win.

(APPLAUSE)

It begins here and now, and I'm asking for your vote. Thank you and God bless you all. I love you.