Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is ready to go on the offensive in the GOP presidential race. The flailing candidate said he is confident that he will prevail over Donald Trump to win the nomination because the business mogul is “not a conservative.”
During a Jan. 17 interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Bush told host Chuck Todd that Trump is not a serious candidate.
“The guy’s entertaining, for sure," he said. "But … he’s not going to win the nomination. And I am.”
Bush has previously shown an inability to combat Trump’s constant charges that the Florida politician is “low energy.” Now Bush seems eager to strike back, pointing to the business mogul’s professional history as a weakness.
“He’s not a conservative,” Bush said of Trump. “Should the opportunity come up in the next debate to talk about [Trump’s] bankruptcies, I’ll do it. Four times bankrupt. He claims he was just using the law but a lot of people got wiped out because of that.”
Bush added that he understands why Trump has resonated with so many GOP voters.
“Well, there’s a lot of anxiety,” Bush said. “People are frustrated with Washington; they’re frustrated about their own lives. The big guy comes in and offers the moon and stars, and people have latched on to that. But the reality is he’s not offering anything to lift people up.”
Todd asked if Bush would refuse to endorse Trump if he were to become the GOP nominee. The former governor evaded the question.
“I’m going to win this nomination, that’s my focus, that’s what I’m trying to do, but anyone would be better than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders,” Bush said.
Bush doubled down on his charge that Trump is a false Republican on Jan. 22, defending the National Review after the conservative journal published an issue blasting the business mogul, TIME reports.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) swiftly banned the journal from partnering with them in an upcoming GOP debate. Bush said that move was a mistake.
“They’re just telling the truth,” Bush told Fox News, according to TIME. “Donald Trump needs to defend why he was supportive of Hillary Clinton … why he gave money to her foundation, why he gave money to her campaign.
"Not that long ago he was anti-Second Amendment, he was pro-choice in regards to abortion, he called for the highest tax increase in American history — all this within the last decade.”
Meanwhile, on Jan. 22, Trump retweeted a fan’s Twitter post slamming Bush, mocking how his impressive campaign fundraising hasn’t translated into actual support in the polls, according to Politico.
“After spending $89 million, @JebBush is a the bottom of the barrel in polls,” the tweet read. “He is ashamed to use the name ‘Bush’ in ads. Low energy guy!”
The problem? The tweet was originally written by a neo-Nazi supporter. The Twitter user's profile was full of hate speech and featured the image of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell. The user’s Twitter handle was @WhiteGenocideTM, making it unclear how Trump could have possibly not known that he was sharing the words of a white supremacist.
“Unreal,” Bush’s national press secretary, Sean Davis, tweeted. “Donald Trump just unironically retweeted a vile White Nationalist account.”