WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jeb Bush is ready to launch a Republican presidential bid months in the making on Monday by asserting his commitment to the "most vulnerable in our society," an approach targeting the broader American electorate even as he faces questions about his policies from conservatives in his own party.
Six months after he got the 2016 campaign started by saying he was considering a bid, the 62-year-old former Florida governor will formally enter the race with an speech and rally near his south Florida home at Miami Dade University, an institution selected because it serves a large and diverse student body that symbolic of the nation he seeks to lead.
Bush joins the crowded Republican campaign in some ways in a commanding position. The brother of one president and son of another, Bush has likely raised a recording- breaking amount of money to support his candidacy and conceived of a new approach on how to structure his campaign, both aimed at allowing him to make a deep run into the Republican primaries.
But on other measures, early public opinion polls among them, he has yet to break out. While unquestionably one of the top-tier candidates in the Republican race, he is also only one of several in a capable Republican field that does not have a true front-runner.
Bush has made clear he will remain committed to his core beliefs in the campaign to come -- even if his positions on immigration and education standards are deeply unpopular among the conservative base of the party that plays an outsized role in the Republican primaries.
"I'm not going to change who I am," Bush said as he wrapped up a week-long European trip this weekend. "I respect people who may not agree with me, but I'm not going to change my views because today someone has a view that's different."
Bush is one of 11 major Republicans in the hunt for the nomination. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are among those still deciding whether to join a field that could end up just shy of 20.
Associated Press writers Thomas Beaumont in Tallinn, Estonia and Julie Bykowicz in Park City, Utah contributed to this report.
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