Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush showed off his language skills on Tuesday in a pair of videos — one in English and another in Spanish — pitching a new political action committee thought to be yet another step towards a 2016 presidential bid.
“Today we’re setting up the Right to Rise PAC which is a PAC to support candidates that believe in conservative principles that allow all Americans to rise up. If you’re interested, go to RightToRisePAC.org,” Bush says in a video posted to Facebook.
Another take of Bush issuing the same message, but in Spanish, is titled “Hoy estamos lanzando el “Right to Rise” PAC!”
The new PAC paints itself as a more “positive” conservative alternative.
“We believe passionately that the Right to Rise — to move up the income ladder based on merit, hard work and earned success — is the central moral promise of American economic life,” the PAC’s website reads.
“While the last eight years have been pretty good ones for top earners, they’ve been a lost decade for the rest of America,” it continues, claiming that only “conservative principles” can remove barriers to upward mobility.
“We will celebrate success and risk-taking, protect liberty, cherish free enterprise, strengthen our national defense, embrace the energy revolution, fix our broken and obsolete immigration system, and give all children a better future by transforming our education system through choice, high standards and accountability.”
With the PAC, Bush further signals his likely intention to extend the Bush dynasty with a 2016 presidential run. The younger brother of George W. Bush recently resigned board positions at several corporations and organizations and released 250,000 emails from when he was governor of Florida in a move towards transparency.
By issuing one message in Spanish, Bush is likely to draw attention to an issue that could stifle his hopes of winning the GOP nomination.
As immigration has become more of a hot-button issue on the right — with President Obama’s executive actions and a spike of illegal immigration last summer — Bush’s soft stance on illegal immigration has become his Achilles Heel.
Bush caused a stir among conservatives last year when he said of illegal immigrants, “Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love.”
The origin of the name of Bush’s PAC also caused minor debate on Tuesday.
Ana Navarro, a Republican political operative and co-chair of John McCain’s Hispanic Advisory Council, appeared to attribute the slogan to Abraham Lincoln.
"Right to Rise" was cornerstone of Abraham Lincoln's philosophy. Historically significant. Name of @JebBush's newly launched Leadership PAC.
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) January 6, 2015
The “right to rise” served as the basis for Lincoln’s philosophy, according to Gabor Boritt, a professor of history at Gettysburg College and an expert on Lincoln.
But when Bush used the phrase in a 2011 op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, he attributed it to Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
National Journal reported on Tuesday that Bush asked Ryan’s permission to use the slogan as the name for his PAC.