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Bob Dole joins Jeb Bush campaign

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Former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole is endorsing Jeb Bush for president and will serve as the 2016 GOP candidate’s chairman for veteran outreach.

“I consider nearly all the Republican candidates to be my friends, but I have determined that Jeb Bush is the most qualified,” Dole said in a statement issued out by the Bush campaign on Wednesday morning. “Jeb has the proven leadership skills and executive experience needed to fix the problems facing our country — from the anemic economy to America’s weakened standing among world leaders. Jeb’s conservative reform agenda and forward looking vision on issues including 4 percent economic growth, defeating ISIS and taking care of our veterans are in stark contrast to Hillary Clinton’s strategy to continue the failed policies of the present Administration. I will do all I can to be helpful to Jeb’s campaign.”

The 92-year-old Dole served in World War II, where he became a second Lieutenant in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

He began serving in Congress in the 1960s, and was named Gerald Ford‘s running mate in 1976. He ran twice unsuccessfully for president, losing out to Ronald Reagan in 1980 and to George H.W. Bush in the bid for the Republican nomination for president in 1988, but became the party’s nominee for president in 1996, where he lost by 8 percentage points to Bill Clinton.

“Bob Dole is an American hero,” Bush told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer on Wednesday morning. “I’m so honored to have his support.”

“Bob Dole is someone who is just an iconic political figure. I admire him so much,” Bush continued. “He reminds me of my dad. These are people from the Greatest Generation that have served selflessly this country in so many ways.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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