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.
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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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