Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on Tuesday announced the formation of a political action committee, called the Right to Rise PAC, which is largely seen as a major step toward an eventual run for the presidency.
Having a PAC will allow Bush to raise money for political activity, including donating money to other candidates and causes. It will also, almost certainly, serve as a staging mechanism for a larger campaign organization as Bush gathers advisors and other staff.
In an oddly amateurish a video posted to his Facebook page, Bush appeared in a winter coat with a bundle of documents under his arm, saying, “Hey everybody, today we’re setting up the Right to Rise PAC, which is a PAC to support candidates that believe in conservative principles to allow all Americans to rise up.”
Bush, who has not formally declared his candidacy, said via a message on the PAC’s website that the group’s aim will be to support upward social mobility through conservative principles.
“We believe passionately that the Right to Rise — to move up the income ladder based on merit, hard work and earned success — is the central moral promise of American economic life,” it said. “We are optimists who believe that America’s opportunities have never been greater than they are right now. But we know America is falling short of its promise.”
The message suggests the kind of tone Bush appears to want to strike in a future campaign: acknowledging inequality of both income and opportunity, while offering distinctly Republican proposals to counter them.
“We believe the income gap is real, but that only conservative principles can solve it by removing the barriers to upward mobility,” the site says.
However, in giving a nod to the real challenges facing middle and lower-income earners, the site implicitly criticizes, whether intentionally or not, Bush’s brother, the former President George W. Bush.
“While the last eight years have been pretty good ones for top earners, they’ve been a lost decade for the rest of America,” the site reads.
While the timing is unclear – is he talking about 8 years, or 10? – there is no escaping that in either case, Jeb Bush’s own brother was president for a significant portion of that so-called “lost decade.”
Maybe another reason for launching a PAC now is to work out some of the messaging kinks well in advance of Bush actually declaring his candidacy.
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