"We are 17 months from the time for choosing," Bush told a cheering audience in Miami. "The stakes for America’s future are about as great as they come. Our prosperity and our security are in the balance. So is opportunity, in this nation where every life matters and everyone has the right to rise."
In attendance were members of his family, including wife, Columba, his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, his children and their spouses, and all of his grandchildren. His brothers, Neil and Marvin Bush and their wives also were in attendance. The two former presidents in the Bush family -- George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush -- were not on hand for the event though Bush tweeted a photo of himself calling his father before his speech:
"I will campaign as I would serve, going everywhere, speaking to everyone, keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching, and staying true to what I believe," Bush said. "I will take nothing and no one for granted. I will run with heart. I will run to win."
Bush’s entrance marks the official battle of two political dynasties; the Clintons vs. the Bushes, the two candidates with the most name recognition and likely the most money.
In his speech, he accused the Democrats planning a "no-suspense primary, for a no-change election." He also called out Hillary Clinton by name on the issue of religious liberty.
"Secretary Clinton insists that when the progressive agenda encounters religious beliefs to the contrary those beliefs, quote, 'have to be changed,'" Bush said. "That’s what she said, and I guess we should at least thank her for the warning."
While campaigning in New Hampshire today, Clinton declined to answer a question posed by a reporter about whether she had any advice for Bush, who has said his last name doesn't matter as he runs for president. Clinton laughed, but didn't bite.
"I would say this, I'm going to let Republicans decide who their nominee ends up being," she said.
In his speech, Bush also took a swipe at the senators running for president, including Bush’s own protégée, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
"If I am elected president, I’ll show Congress how that’s done,” Bush said referring to his own record of cutting spending in Florida. The crowd responded with chants of "Let’s Go Jeb."
"We made Florida number one in job creation and number one in small business creation," Bush said. "1.3 million new jobs, 4.4 percent growth, higher family income, eight balanced budgets, and tax cuts eight years in a row that saved our people and businesses 19 billion dollars."
But there was an unplanned moment when a group from the pro-immigration reform organization, The Dreamers, heckled Bush. Their shouts were soon drowned out by chants of “Jeb!” by the crowd and they were escorted out. In their hands, were signs advocating children of illegal immigrants to be able to stay in this country.
The Bush campaign team has actively used multimedia to highlight its messages. Today, the campaign partnered with Snapchat, to reach its 100 million daily active users. Snapchat promoted videos from the campaign that showed everything from excepts of the speech to the stage being set up. It is the first time Snapchat has partnered with a campaign in this way.
And this morning, Bush released a video titled, “The Greatest Century,” detailing what are likely to be his main campaign points. It ends on his newly unveiled campaign logo, “Jeb 2016”, which conspicuously lacks any mention of his famous last name, features a similar look to his gubernatorial logos.
A spokesperson for Bush said in a statement to ABC News, "We are fully complying with the law in all activities Governor Bush is engaging in on the political front, and will continue to do so."
Cuban-American singer Willy Chirino and his wife, Lissette, sang the National Anthem at today's event. Preceding the former Governor, was a diverse group of speakers including Pastor R.B. Holmes, Berthy De La Rosa-Aponte, an advocate for families with disabilities who’s been featured in campaign videos, and his son, George P. Bush, who was elected to Texas Land Commissioner last year.
Bush exited the state to "Homegrown" by the Zac Brown band and later served meatballs at a food truck outside the event.