Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will speak for the first time at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, a clear sign that he is mulling a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
The American Conservative Union, which sponsors the conference, announced Tuesday
that Bush will address the group, set for March 14-16 in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington. Bush has been invited by the group to speak at CPAC several times, but this will be his first appearance.
“We are pleased to announce that my friend Gov. Jeb Bush will be a featured speaker at CPAC 2013,” ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said in a statement.
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“We look forward to welcoming him to the CPAC stage for the first time in March.”
Bush served as Florida governor for two terms and since leaving office in 2006 has been vocal about the Republican Party’s need to reach out to minorities. He’s also been critical of the Republican Party’s failure to embrace comprehensive immigration reform and made education policy a key priority during his time leading Florida.
News that Bush will take the stage at the conference comes as The National Review reports that Bush this week is meeting in Washington with a number of cabinet members of his brother, former President George W. Bush. When asked to comment directly on the rumors the meeting was tied to a forthcoming run, Bush would only say the meeting was about education policy.
Bush was one of the nation’s first governors to push through comprehensive education reform. Florida’s plan has since been modeled by 36 states.
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