TwentySixteen

Jeb Bush Inadvertently Says He’s Running for President

We’re rapidly approaching the time when all presidential campaigns are official presidential campaigns. Until then, we get this.

Republican U.S. presidential hopeful and former Florida governor Jeb Bush participates in a discussion with the Editor of the National Review, Rich Lowry, during the National Review Institute 2015 Ideas Summit on April 30, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
National Journal
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Matt Berman
May 13, 2015, 11:29 a.m.

Jeb Bush said Wednesday he is running for president. Wait, no. He said he is running for president if he is running for president.

When a reporter asked him how he would be different from his brother, Bush responded with a slight slip up. NBC News caught the moment:

“I’m running for president in 2016, and the focus is gonna be about how we—if I run—how do you create high, sustained economic growth, where more people have a chance at earned success? And I will apply my record and the ideas that are relevant going forward to all of this. Of course I have differences with every president, previous president.”

(RELATED: When It Pays to Pretend You’re Not Running for President

If you’ve been following the burgeoning 2016 presidential race over the past several months, it’s understandable if you’ve assumed that Bush is in the race. Officially, he’s not. In the full remarks from his comments to reporters Wednesday, he makes that plenty clear. Bush said he’ll make up his mind “soon, for sure” about a run after listening to people. He said that he’s been “encouraged” from what he’s heard.

Back in December, the former governor of Florida announced that he would “actively explore” a presidential run. Since then, Bush has spent months building out a political team for what will likely be his campaign, and bringing in copious sums of money. With that, along with Wednesday’s slip, you’ve got to imagine the time is nearly nigh for Bush’s active exploration to finally lead him out of the noncandidate wilderness.

You can catch the full video of Bush’s comments here:

This story has been updated with more context from Bush’s conversation with reporters.

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