COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush declared his campaign ready for victory in the Palmetto State in a rally in Columbia Thursday night.
Even after his fourth place finish in the New Hampshire primary, Bush said the race is just getting started and he's hopeful for pulling out a win in the February 20th South Carolina Republican primary.
A cheering crowd welcomed the former Florida governor with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for his birthday. Bush's former opponent in the presidential race, South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, introduced him exclaiming, "Isn't it time to have somebody behind the oval office that knows what the hell they're doing? This guy's ready folks."
In his remarks, Bush declared his intention to strengthen America's military and recalled his own remarks to cadets at the Citadel.
"Yes, I will have their back," he said. "Yes, I will be a commander in chief that respects the military. Yes, we will eliminate the sequester and rebuild our military so it is the strongest by far, by far, in the world."
In remarks to WIS, the candidate insisted his campaign was in good shape and ready for victory.
"People ignore the fact that this is a long hall process," he said. "We are on every ballot. We have resources. The front-running candidate has 18 delegates. I have three, I think. So, I am down by 15 delegates. You've got to get over 1000 to win. From that perspective, there is a long way to go."
Bush also shot back at Republican rival, Senator Marco Rubio, who has questioned Bush's experience on foreign policy. In his speech, Bush said "I'm running for the presidency of the United States, not to be a backbencher in the United States Senate where you brag about filing an amendment and calling 'success.' We are running for the presidency of the United States. It's a serious job. We're living in dangerous times. I hope you want someone with a steady hand."
Before descending into the crowd to shake hands and take selfies in what he called "the mosh pit," Bush also revealed that his brother, former president George W. Bush will be joining him to campaign in South Carolina on Monday.
The former president is scheduled to appear in Charleston on Monday evening.