Bush to explore presidential run . . . Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced Tuesday that he plans to “actively explore” a run for president, taking his most definitive step yet toward mounting a 2016 campaign. The former GOP governor also said he plans to launch a new political operation allowing him to raise money for like-minded politicians. Bush said he’s discussed his plans with his family.
“As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States,” Bush said. He added, “In the coming months, I hope to visit with many of you and have a conversation about restoring the promise of America.” Fox News
Money rushing in behind Bush . . . Jeb Bush’s announcement that he has “decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States” has sent center-right bundlers “rushing” in his direction, “draining” financial support for other candidates.” Newsmax
Jeb’s dismisses base at his peril . . . Republican voters aren’t looking for reforms. They want to cut the size of government. National Journal
Bush moves could knock out Romney . . . Jeb Bush’s announcement Tuesday that he would “actively explore” a White House run in 2016 could set up a competitive contest with Democrat Hillary Clinton, but what it really does is knock Mitt Romney out of the running as the Republican heir-apparent, political observers told Newsmax.
The Bushes and the Clintons, a love affair . . . George W. Bush has referred to Bill Clinton as “my brother from another mother” and to Hillary Clinton as his “sister-in-law.” On September 11, 2013, Jeb Bush, chair of the National Constitution Center, honored the former secretary of state with the organization’s Liberty Medal, marking Clinton’s “lifelong career in public service.” National Review
Obama takes most executive actions since Truman . . . President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history — using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders. When these two forms of directives are taken together, Obama is on track to take more high-level executive actions than any president since Harry Truman battled the “Do Nothing Congress” almost seven decades ago. USA Today
IRS blocks document release . . . An independent IRS monitor announced Monday it will block the release of roughly 400 more pages of documents related to unauthorized leaks of confidential taxpayer information to the White House. The IRS will be withholding nearly all of the 2,500 documents it located that were related to unauthorized IRS leaks to the White House. Washington Free Beacon
Ecuadorans win entry after donations to Dems . . . The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials. New York Times
Hillary rips torture, says, “Black lives matter” . . . Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she’s proud to have been part of an administration that “banned illegal renditions and brutal interrogations” and said the U.S. should never be involved in torture anywhere in the world. Fox News
Nearly 2.5 million select health plans . . . But many unknowns remain heading into pivotal weeks for the health care overhaul. Figures released by the Health and Human Services Department on Tuesday reflect customers from only 37 states that rely on the federal exchange. It is unclear how many more signed up in the final three days leading up to Monday’s midnight deadline. Washington Times
Rubio not backing down to Bush . . . Rubio’s supporters believe the challenge is surmountable, in part because the senator has cultivated his own profile as a national leader during his first four years in Washington and built a solid political and fundraising network that extends beyond Florida. Washington Examiner
Pataki considering a run . . . Former NY Gov. George Pataki said Monday he is “very seriously” considering a run for President, adding, “I have no doubt in my mind that I have the ability to run this country well.” New York Daily News
Cruz . . . apologizes?? . . . Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Tea Party firebrand who nearly provoked the second government shutdown in a little over a year, on Tuesday apologized to his fellow Republicans.The apology to Republican senators came at a closed-door lunch when Cruz, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, “was contrite and made an effort to explain to people he wished he hadn’t done it,” said a source familiar with the meeting. Reuters