Jeb Bush is giving a strong indication that he'll join the ever-expanding Republican presidential campaign field later this month, announcing Thursday morning that his decision will come on June 15 in Miami.
The former Florida governor, widely expected to run for the Republican nomination, wrote "coming soon" on Twitter with a link to the website jebannouncement.com. On that page, the date 06.15.15 was listed, followed by the tease, "BE THE FIRST TO KNOW. RSVP NOW!" Bush also tweeted it in Spanish, "Próximamente 6.15.15."
"My expectation, my hope is I'll be a candidate," Bush said earlier in the week, while attending an economic forum in Florida with other 2016 GOP prospects.
Aides confirmed Bush had made a decision and that he'll announce it in Miami on June 15, on the heels of a European trip where he'll visit longtime allies Germany, Poland and Estonia.
The announcement will take place that afternoon at Miami Dade Community College.
"Governor Bush is thankful for the support and encouragement he has received from so many Americans during the last several months and looks forward to announcing his decision," spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said.
Bush would be entering a crowded primary field that includes Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, among others. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to announce his bid on Thursday. Meanwhile, Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Chris Christie of New Jersey have not yet formally announced their intentions, but have been hiring staff and visiting early-voting states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
The Bush news was first reported by The Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.
By promoting his announcement in this way, Bush is also trying to collect new data about potential supporters. To receive the announcement through the website, voters must provide their name, email address and zip code.
On Monday, The Christian Science Monitor reported on Bush's comments on retirement age for benefits.
Jeb Bush on Sunday said he’s in favor of raising the retirement age for Social Security as a way to ensure the program’s fiscal health.
Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” former Florida Governor Bush told newsman Bob Schieffer that the current basic retirement age of 65 needs to go to 68 or 70 as a way to sustain Social Security for those now under 40.
“I think it needs to be phased in over an extended period of time,” Bush told Mr. Schieffer, who retired himself following the broadcast.
By coming out for a retirement-age hike, Bush joins fellow GOP presidential hopefuls New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who have proposed similar increases as part of larger Social Security reform plans.