Former Florida Gov. Bush plans Detroit speech

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is making his first trip to Michigan since announcing he is seriously considering a run for president.

Bush will speak at the Detroit Economic Club on Feb. 4, but a club notice didn’t specify the topic of the Republican’s talk.

The event comes as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — a Detroit native and the 2012 GOP nominee for president — said he is considering another bid for the White House.

Michigan is an early state in the presidential primary season and an early bellwether of support among industrial states in the Midwest.

Bush was last in Michigan on Oct. 13 to campaign for Gov. Rick Snyder and other state Republicans, making stops in Troy, Grand Rapids and Lansing.

Other potential GOP presidential candidates made stops in the state during the 2014 election season.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as head of the Republican Governors Association, came to Michigan a few times last year to campaign for Snyder and other state Republicans. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., visited Michigan in October and spoke to the Economic Club in December 2013 while making a high-profile outreach trip to Detroiters.

Bush, the older brother of former President George W. Bush, said in October in Lansing that the “American dream” is “challenged by policies that are making it harder for people to rise up” under Democratic President Barack Obama and a then-Democratic U.S. Senate majority.

Politico reported that Bush met in Washington this week with high-powered lobbyists and heads of trade associations, including former Michigan Gov. John Engler — who heads the Business Roundtable — and Ziad Ojakli , who is Ford Motor Co.’s top lobbyist.

Snyder has been mentioned as a possible candidate, but hasn’t said if he is seriously considering a bid.