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Jeb drops family name for White House bid

By Associated Press in Miami | China Daily | Updated: 2015-06-17 07:50

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush launched a White House bid months in the making with a vow to win the Republican presidential nomination on his own merits and stay true to his beliefs - easier said than done in a crowded primary contest, where his conservative credentials will be sharply challenged.

Bush is unquestionably among the top tier in a Republican field of 11 major candidates that lacks a true front-runner.

For Bush, the 2016 Republican contest will test both his vision of conservatism and his ability to distance himself from family.

"Not a one of us deserves the job by right of resume, party, seniority, family, or family narrative. It's nobody's turn," Bush said on Monday, confronting critics who suggest he simply seeks to inherit the office, which has already been held by his father and brother. "It's everybody's test, and it's wide open - exactly as a contest for president should be."

Neither his father, former president George H.W. Bush, nor his brother, former president George W. Bush, attended Monday's announcement. The family was represented instead by Jeb Bush's mother and former first lady, Barbara Bush, who once said that the country didn't need yet another Bush as president, and by his son George P. Bush, recently elected Texas land commissioner.

Before the event, the Bush campaign came out with a new logo - Jeb! - that conspicuously leaves out the Bush surname.

Bush sought to turn the prime argument against his candidacy on its head, casting himself as the true Washington outsider while lashing out at competitors in both parties as being part of the problem. He opened his campaign at a rally near his south Florida home at Miami Dade College.

Indirect swipe

Bush said: "We are not going to clean up the mess in Washington by electing the people who either helped create it or have proved incapable of fixing it."

That was an indirect but unmistakable swipe at Republican presidential rivals in the Senate.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton is the clear favorite in the Democratic contest, setting up the possibility of another Bush-Clinton race following her husband Bill Clinton's victory over president George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Bush got in a jab at Clinton, saying: "The presidency should not be passed on from one liberal to the next."

Jeb drops family name for White House bid

Jeb Bush formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a rally in Miami, Florida on Monday. Joe Skipper / Reuters

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