Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush opens new campaign office in Coral Gables

South Florida Republican congressional leaders among those welcoming Bush


CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Republican congressional leaders Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ross-Lehtinen were among those who gave presidential hopeful Jeb Bush a warm welcome at his new digs in Coral Gables.

"All in for Jeb" is what one crowd chanted while stuffed inside a small, sweltering campaign office, but the lack of air conditioning on this sizzling day did not drain their energy.

"We are opening this office to guarantee that the next president of the United States will be Jeb Bush," Diaz-Balart said.

On the walls are photos of Jeb Bush's time as Florida governor and of his famous family.

"When we're strong, we're secure. Let me show you something -- the party that I believe in. That's the party I believe in," Jeb Bush said, showing his T-shirt that reads "Reagan and Bush."

The shirt is an ode to his father, George H.W. Bush, who served as Ronald Reagan's vice president.

"That team took out the Soviet Union because we were strong and consistent," Jeb Bush said. "The sad reality is America is no longer respected in the world. When I'm elected president of the United States, we will be respected again."

And in his campaign speech, Jeb Bush took shots at Democrats.

"Under President Obama and Hillary Clinton, we now have the American flag flying over an embassy in Havana with nothing in return," Jeb Bush said.

He also hit his most talked about Republican rival.

"You can't do it the way Donald Trump wants to do it. You can't do it the way Barack Obama wants to do it. You have to do it in a democracy where you bring people together," Jeb Bush said.

The eager crowd absorbed every word in stride.

"We don't need someone who is going to be learning on the job. We need someone who has the experience and that is definitely Jeb Bush," said Ana Guevara.

"We're still weighing our decision of what we're going to do," Bernard Jennings said. "It's too early to make a decision but he's got a lot of energy in the campaign, so we'll check him out and everyone else out and see what's going on."

Follow Terrell Forney on Twitter @TVTerrell

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