Former Florida Governor and GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush is mad at GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and needs to get it off his chest. Although Trump has been insulting Bush for months, the former Florida governor reached his breaking point at the fifth Republican primary date on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 and now he is continuing his strategy of insulting the frontrunner hoping it will up his position in the polls. Speaking at a town hall in Contoocook, New Hampshire on Saturday morning, Dec. 19, Bush called Trump a jerk in what was his most vicious attack on Trump in the campaign.
Bush’s tirade came after a man with Asperger’s Syndrome asked Bush what he would do to help those with disabilities as president. Bush brought up his record as governor, “obtaining more money for the state’s disability system.” Finished with his response, Bush contrasted himself to Trump, who last month laughed and physically mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski that has a disability, arthrogryposis, which limits his arm movement. Trump referenced him and flayed his arms in the air during a speech that caused a momentary backlash, but not much lasting damage.
Bush began to rant about Trump, “Just one other thing – I gotta get this off my chest – Donald Trump is a jerk.” The remark got Bush applause and laughter according to CNN. Then Bush using his successful line from the debate, said, “You cannot insult your way to the presidency.” Continuing Bush expressed, “You can’t disparage women, Hispanics, disabled people. Who is he kidding?” Bush also said he found it “deeply discouraging” that Trump is “actually running for president and insulting people.”
Continuing Bush said, “We should reject that out of hand. And I hope you’re going to reject it by voting for me. But a guy like that should not be the front-running candidate of our great party. That is not how we win.” The audience applauded, and Bush thanked for allowing his “therapy session,” “I feel better now. I gave myself therapy there. Thank you for allowing me to do it.”
Bush’s comments after Trump took to Twitter on Friday, Dec. 18 and called Bush “dumb as a rock.” In a series of tweets Trump also said Bush’s “campaign is a disaster” and “incompetent,” accused him of being “ashamed” of the Bush name, calling him “weak and ineffective, called his ads “false advertising, saying he “embarrassed himself and his family.” Trump capped it all off with a tweet saying, “The last thing our country needs is another BUSH! Dumb as a rock!”
Trump also took aim at Bush on Saturday during a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Trump called Bush “incompetent” and “terrible,” saying, “It was so sad to watch him (at Tuesday’s debate).” Continuing his trail of insults Trump said, “I don’t want Jeb Bush’s endorsement. It doesn’t mean anything. He’s not tough. He’s not smart. I want endorsements from the absolute best.”
This was not Bush’s only insults aimed at Trump for the day later at another town hall in Exeter, New Hampshire, Bush said Trump “doesn’t have much intellectual curiosity.” Bush’s Super PAC released an ad on Saturday aiming at Trump with highlights from their debate confrontations. Bush’s campaign also a similar web ad this week showing Bush attacking Trump at the debate.
During the debate hosted by CNN in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Bush fired some zingers at Trump declaring, “Donald, you know, is great at the one-liners but he’s a chaos candidate and he’d be a chaos president, he would not be the commander-in-chief we need to keep our country safe.” Later Bush gave the line of the night, telling Trump, “You’re not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency.” The comebacks were as Bush said, “A little of your own medicine there, Donald.”
Bush’s “assertive” performance was a departure from his benign and lifeless performances at the previous debates, helping make Bush one of the big winners of the night. Still Bush’s performance and the new strategy has not helped him at the polls. In a Fox News poll taken after the debate, Trump leads by 38 percent while Bush only has 3 percent support.