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SWEETWATER (CBSMiami) — Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush held a fundraiser in Sweetwater Monday night.
The potential presidential candidate visitws the Jorge Mas Canosa Youth Center in for a “Hometown Reception” for him and his wife, Columba. The facility is named after a the famous Cuban exile activist.
Though he has not officially announced his candidacy, he was acting like someone with his sights set on the White House.
He criticized the Obama Administration’s foreign policy on Iran and Cuba and also knocked the state of the economy under the current President.
“Many people are struggling and very few people are rising up,” he said. “Compare that to the 8 years when I was governor when we worked together to cut taxes and to cut regulations.”
He spoke in front of a giant American flag while wearing a guayabera with his wife and son by his side.
“The old guard is here. Not that old,” he joked in Spanish of the bevy of familiar local leaders with Hispanic roots in attendance at the event.
Former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart introduced the governor and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz were on hand to welcome him.
“I don’t know about you, but I know for a fact we need to start solving problems in Washington D.C.,” Bush said. “I hope you want presidents that realize that America is the greatest country on the face of this earth.”
Just last week, sources confirmed Bush’s super PAC group, The Right To Rise, is renting 30,000 square feet of office space at the Flagler Corporate Center at 9250 W. Flagler Street.
The space is located across the street from the Jorge Mas Canosa Youth Center.
The sprawling space would presumably serve as Bush’s national campaign headquarters after his expected announcement.
Last week, Bush also may have let his plans for 2016 slip while at a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada.
“I’m running for president in 2016 and the focus is going to be about how we, if I run, how do you create high sustained economic growth where more people will have a chance to earn success,” Bush told reporters.
During the same conversation he did say, several times, that he was still thinking about whether he would run.
On Monday, he told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana, “Look, it’s a long haul if I choose to move forward. So it’s always good to be home.”
Bush has faced criticism for the last week for his response to a question about the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
He avoided any references to Iraq while on stage Monday.
And while he spoke extensively of his wife, children and grandchildren, he didn’t mention his father or his brother.