SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Republican candidate Jeb Bush on Friday cited his achievements as governor of Florida and lessons learned from his brother and father who served as presidents as reasons he should become president himself.
Speaking three days before the Iowa caucuses, Bush said he's "had a front-row seat watching history unfold," by observing his father George H.W. Bush and brother George W. Bush serve as presidents for a combined 12 years since 1989.
"I had a brother that was a president of the United States and I had a father that was president of the United States, and I am proud of their service," Bush said to applause from the crowd of 180 people at Bev's on the River.
Bush said he stood up to teachers unions to help reform education in Florida and used veto powers to wipe away bad legislation.
"They called me Veto Corleone ... I hope you want a President Veto Corleone," Bush said to chuckles.
Speaking again about his tenure as governor in Florida, Bush said, "I was a disrupter in Tallahassee. I want to be a disrupter in Washington, D.C."
Friday's event was his second to Siouxland in this election cycle, following a previous stop at Morningside College in Sioux City. That makes Bush among those Republican candidates with the least campaign stops in Sioux City, ahead of only John Kasich and Jim Gilmore.
Bush was seen as a front-runner with considerable fundraising resources and a strong political network when he launched his candidacy. However, he has languished in Iowa and national polls, placing well down in the 12-candidate Republican field with single-digit poll results.
Bush also cited the need to respond militarily to the Islamic State terrorist group that claimed responsibility for attacks in Paris that killed more than 100 people.
"This is a threat to Western Civilization. They have declared war on us; we need to declare war on them and be serious about it. I believe I have the steady hand and the right stuff to make it happen," Bush said.
Julie Nelson, of Sioux City, is a Republican who plans to participate in Monday's caucuses for the first time ever. Nelson said she knows she doesn't like Republican Donald Trump, given his controversial comments.
"I am really torn between (Ben) Carson and Bush and maybe (Marco) Rubio after that," Nelson said.
She said it was good to hear from Bush in person.
"I like that he's got a proven track record as governor," Nelson said.
Ken Berg, of Sioux City, is an independent who is considering which candidate to support, and said he is uncertain if he will caucus Monday. Berg likes Bush and Democrat Martin O'Malley, who also was in Sioux City on Friday.
Berg said the next president should be versed on health care and erasing the national debt. He also isn't a Trump fan.
"(Bush) is a little more prudent, he is more reflective. He doesn't say rash things," Berg said.