Speaking from Miami Dade College, he made his first, nationally televised pitch to the American people as a candidate for president. And indeed, it was an inspiring speech that was met with thunderous, almost riotous applause.
“We’re 17 months from the time for choosing,” he began. “The stakes for America’s future are about as great as they come. Our prosperity and our security are in the balance. So is opportunity in this nation, where every life matters and everyone has the right to rise."
“Already the choice is taking shape,” he continued. “The party now in the White House is planning a no-suspense primary for a no-change election. To hold onto power, to slog on with the same agenda, under another name. That’s our opponents call to action this time around; that’s all they got left.”
As expected, he took a few jabs at President Obama specifically, and progressives in general, all of whom he believes have contributed to a culture in Washington that both hampers economic growth and stifles opportunity.
“I for one am not eager to see what another four years looks like under that kind of leadership,” he declared. “The presidency should not be passed on from one liberal to the next.”
“So here’s what it comes down to,” he added. “Our country’s on a very bad course and the question is what are we going to do about it? The question for me is, what am I going to do about it? And I’ve decided, I’m [going to be] a candidate for president of the United States.”
Most impressively, he also listed his accomplishments as the governor of Florida, which may, in fact, explain why he’s currently the nominal frontrunner.
“We made Florida number one in job creation and number one in small business creation,” he said. “1.3 million new jobs; 4.4 percent growth; higher family income; eight balanced budgets; and tax cuts eight years in a row to save our people and businesses 19 billion dollars.”
“All this, plus a bond upgrade to AAA, compared to the sorry downgrade of America’s credit in these years,” he continued. “That is the commitment — and that is the record — that turned this state around.”
Finally, he emphasized that he knows full well — and deep down — that he is not entitled to the 2016 Republican nomination. But by the same token, he said, nor is anyone else.
“Campaigns aren’t easy and they’re not supposed to be,” he intoned. “I know that there are a lot of good people running for president — quite a few, in fact.”
“[But none] of us deserves the job by right of resume, party, seniority, family, or family narrative,” he added. “It’s nobody’s turn, it’s everybody’s test, and it’s wide open — exactly as a contest for president should be.”