In a combined 36 minutes of remarks and answering questions, former Florida governor, and current presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, managed to avoid saying the name of you-know-who. Until the end.
Asked what he’d say if Republican front-runner, and part-time Palm Beach resident, Donald Trump, walked into the ballroom at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, Bush responded, “I’d say, ‘Donald, I’ll take you on one-on-one in a debate. Any time. Any place.’”
Cornered later by a reporter, and asked if he was serious and if he thought Trump would agree to it, Bush paused, then shrugged, then said, “I don’t know. Ask him.”
There was no immediate response from the Trump camp.
Bush, who trails Trump, and much of the rest of the GOP field, was both feisty and reasoned at Monday’s talk to the Forum of the Palm Beaches.
He subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, offered up sharp contrasts to the front-runner.
Repeating his dig at Trump at a recent debates that “you can’t insult your way to the presidency,” Bush said Monday, “I’m sick and tired of the politics of divide, the politics of destruction, the politics of anger.”
Repeating his stance that the government needs to control immigration but that it still can sympathize with immigrants’ motives, Bush praised America’s love of diversity by mentioning his new granddaughter is a “Mexican, Texan, Iraqi, Canadian, American,” but that when she reaches 21 and fills out a census form, “she’ll say, ‘not applicable.’ I’m an American.”
He also took on the incumbent, saying President Obama had no strategy to defeat the terrorist group ISIS or how to create a unified international force to establish a government when Syrian President Assad is gone, He said Obama had “gutted” the military, and described as “shameful” the fact that only three people were fired in the wake of the uncovering of massive problems at Veterans Affairs.
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