Jeb Bush said in an interview aired Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he believes he’ll be in a better position to break away from the rest of the Republican field when he announces his presidential candidacy.
“I think this transition to a candidacy will allow me to be more direct about my advocacy of the leadership skills necessary for the next president to fix a few things,” Bush told CNN’s Dana Bash in Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday.
“And as a candidate, contrary to someone who has been listening and learning along the way, I’ll offer up alternatives to the path we’re on as well, so I’ll be more specific on policy,” he said.
Bush, who has long been viewed as a likely presidential contender, is expected to announce his candidacy on Monday. But he believes it could take some time for him to break out of a crowded Republican pack, which already boasts 10 candidates.
“People make up their minds in the last weeks of these primaries,” Bush said. “My expectation is we’ll have slow, steady progress. That’s been the expectation all along.”
Although Bush declined to go into specifics, he acknowledged that for him to be successful as a candidate, he’ll have to differentiate himself from his brother. He’s aided by the fact his “life story is different,” Bush said.
“I’ve had a life experience that’s full of warts, full of successes,” he said. “I think that’s something that’s been lacking in the presidency, someone who’s been tempered by life.”
Aside from his brother, of course, there’s another President Bush in the family, who celebrated his 91st birthday on Friday. Jeb Bush said his father’s influence will hang heavily on him when he makes his big announcement on Monday.
“It’s very emotional for me. I love my dad, and called him yesterday and wished him a happy birthday,” Bush said. “He’s just the greatest man alive, and I’ll be thinking of him when I’m announcing my decision.”