Jeb Bush returned to Tallahassee today to use the town where he spent eight years as governor as a backdrop for his 2016 presidential campaign. The Republican candidate suggested that Washington is place that badly needs his Sunshine State solutions.
It is a speech that is odd in the way it condemns Washington culture - one that has had a Bush in the White House as either Veep or President for 20 of the last years.
Here are his prepared remarks:
“Thank you very much. It’s good to be back in Tallahassee, and great to be back with so many old friends.
"We’re in the early days of a long campaign. I’m making my case to voters all across the country, and I’m happy to tell you the signs are good.
"People are ready to choose a new president. Among Republicans, they’ve got plenty of choices. They want to know, not just what we believe, but what we have accomplished – and for me that story begins right here in Tallahassee.
"In my eight years in office we didn’t just mark time, we filled those years with hard work and real reform.
"It wasn’t always a smooth path. In fact, we used to call this city ‘Mount Tallahassee’ because it was so remote from the people, so caught up in the settled ways of a comfortable establishment. I was a governor who refused to go along with that establishment. I wasn’t a member of the club, and that made all the difference.
"Should I win this election, you will not find me deferring to the settled ways of ‘Mount Washington,’ either. The overspending, the overreaching, the arrogance, and the sheer incompetence in that city – these problems have been with us so long that they are sometimes accepted as facts of life. But a president should never accept them, and I will not. We need a president willing to challenge the whole culture in our nation’s capital – and I mean to do it.