WASHINGTON -- Jeb Bush officially joined the Republican presidential primary field on Monday, becoming the most well-funded contender in the race. Bush, who waited months to officially join the race in order to spend the time fundraising for his super PAC, is the 11th candidate to officially declare on the Republican side.
Bush delivered an announcement speech at 3 p.m. ET at Miami Dade College in Miami. Watch the live stream of the announcement here.
"We will take command of our future once again in this country," Bush said in his announcement. "We will lift our sights again, make opportunity common again, get events in the world moving our way again."
Bush also took a dig at Washington -- which can be translated at his opponents who currently work there Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham. "We will take Washington – the static capital of this dynamic country – out of the business of causing problems. ...We will get back on the side of free enterprise and free people."
In December, Bush announced he was considering a run and launching a PAC called "Right To Rise" at the same time. He spent much of the intervening six months fundraising for the PAC, which will bankroll the cost of his campaign's television advertisements and ground operations.
The former Florida governor will spend the next month working to court Republican voters who have grown apprehensive about another Bush presidency. He remains below several competitors in the polls and is still struggling to make the case about why he is the most qualified. And much of his faltering can be blamed on a lack of voter excitement.
"Jeb's biggest challenge today won't be raising money, building an organization or increasing name ID -- like any experienced politician, he's nailed the nuts and bolts. Instead, the greatest task facing him is telling people why,” said Texas-based Republican strategist Joe Brettell. "He has to inspire the faithful and move them to action with a reason better than familial destiny or sheer ability to do the job."
And Bush comes into the race with lots of conservative opposition in his own party, including tea party-movement members who see him as too moderate on a number of issues like Common Core and immigration. “We’ve said it before and we say it again: Jeb Bush is unelectable,” said Brent Bozell, chairman of the conservative ForAmerica group. “He cannot run on his record. Jeb Bush has moved way to the left since he left office a decade ago, on some of the most important issues facing conservatives. In fact, he's championed nothing for conservatives since leaving office.”