Live

Watch CBSN Live

Jeb Bush announces new leadership PAC

Former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush announced on Facebook Tuesday that he is launching a leadership PAC called "Right to Rise" as he explores the possibility of running for president.

"Hey everybody today we're setting up the Right to Rise PAC which is a PAC to support candidates that believe in conservative principals to allow all Americans to rise up. If you're interested, go to righttorisepac.org," Bush says in a video posted to Facebook. He also posted another version of the video in Spanish.

Bush was the first prominent Republican to candidly say he was considering a run for the White House, but he is the only potential 2016 candidate who did not yet have leadership PAC. Launching one allows him to raise money for other candidates, as well as for his own political travel and expenses.

"It's a real signal to everybody saying, 'I'm really seriously considering this and this is the next step,'" said CBS News Senior Political Editor Steve Chaggaris.

The phrase "right to rise" appears to have been coined by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, the 2012 vice presidential nominee. Bush quoted it in a 2011 Wall Street Journal op-ed, crediting Ryan, when he wrote about the importance of economic freedom.

"Congressman Paul Ryan recently coined a smart phrase to describe the core concept of economic freedom: 'The right to rise,'" he wrote. "Think about it. We talk about the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to assembly. The right to rise doesn't seem like something we should have to protect. But we do. We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise. We have to let them compete."

On the Right to Rise website, there is a note that says, "We believe passionately that the Right to Rise -- to move up the income ladder based on merit, hard work and earned success -- is the central moral promise of American economic life. We are optimists who believe that America's opportunities have never been greater than they are right now. But we know America is falling short of its promise." The PAC will back candidates "who want to restore the promise of America with a positive, conservative vision of reform and renewal," it says.

A source close to Bush said that the former governor will be making an effort to set himself apart as a different kind of Republican than the rest of the GOP field.

Politico reported Tuesday that Bush's allies are also preparing to set up a super PAC in the coming days that will help secure the support of major GOP donors and potentially give his rivals a reason to reconsider entering the race. He has a fundraiser planned for Wednesday in Greenwich, Connecticut, and will meet with some of the party's mega-donors.

A super PAC would allow donors to contribute to Bush without any legal limits, although the money cannot be used in coordination with a formal campaign.

Not long after Bush announced the formation of Right to Rise, his brother, former President George W. Bush, wrote on Facebook that he and his wife, Laura, had made a donation.

"Today, Jeb Bush is launching Right to Rise, a leadership PAC dedicated to making America a place of unlimited opportunity. Laura and I are proud to support my brother by making a contribution," he said.

The former president has said that he hopes his brother runs. He would be the third member of the Bush family to serve as president.

CBS News Senior Political Editor Steve Chaggaris and CBS News Associate Producer Donald Judd contributed to this post.

View CBS News In