A ‘pretty confident’ Jeb on Trump and political correctness

October 16, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush downplayed suggestions his campaign was stalling on Friday after a  lackluster fundraising quarter and headlines still dominated by flamboyant rival Donald Trump.

The son and brother of former presidents, Bush began his quest for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination as a presumed front-runner who was amassing a war chest even before announcing his candidacy.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush tours Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics in Manchester

The $13.4 million he drew in the latest quarter on Thursday pales in comparison to the early days of his campaign. “Well I wasn’t one of those who thought that I was a front-runner,” Bush, the former Florida governor, said in an interview with CBS “This Morning.”

“I know I have to go tell the Jeb story. People know me as George’s boy and George’s brother – they don’t know that I was an effective, conservative governor that disrupted the old order in Florida, and made big changes.”

Asked why his campaign has not resonated more with voters, Bush said, “It’s not a problem – we’re just starting.” Bush said his team was focused on the early voting states in the primary race for next year’s November election: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. “I feel pretty confident where we are right now,” he said.

Bush’s fundraising for the third quarter is only moderately more than Bush raised in the 16 days after he launched his campaign in July, when he pulled in $11.4 million. The large Republican field of 2016 candidates faced a curve ball called Donald Trump, the television personality and businessman who is largely financing his own campaign – and leading the race. Bush has criticized the front-runner, who has aroused controversy with his provocative comments on women and illegal immigrants. Bush has called immigration an act of love.

On Friday, he gave Trump a little love too. “I admire the fact that he’s politically incorrect,” Bush said on CBS. “I think we’re a little too uptight as a nation.”

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