A day after his brother, the former President joined him on the campaign trail, Jeb Bush was again looking for a spark in the Republican race on Tuesday, training his fire both on Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.
“It was nice to be with my brother in South Carolina,” Bush told reporters after a town hall meeting at a firearms manufacturer on the outskirts of the state capital.
“I’m going to keep working hard,” Bush said before he boarded his campaign bus to get to another event, as he urged voters to ignore the conventional wisdom about the GOP race and get out to vote for him on Saturday.
“Ultimately you decide; that’s the great thing about our democracy,” Bush said. “I trust you much more than the pundits.”
But so far, there isn’t much polling evidence of a surge for Bush, who has spent by far the most money in this race, but has little to show for it – as Trump has repeatedly reminded him about that.
As for Trump, while Bush threw some elbows his way again, he also seemed to go out of his way to ding Marco Rubio, raising questions about Rubio’s foreign policy experience – or lack thereof.
“He claimed he has foreign policy experience because he goes to committee hearings,” Bush said.
It seemed to be an effort by Bush to target Rubio a bit more, knowing full well that if the Bush campaign cannot out do Rubio in South Carolina, that will not be the way to create long lasting momentum in this race.
South Carolina has been a good state for the Bush family; I was here in 1992 when George H.W. Bush turned back Pat Buchanan, and again in 2000, when George W. Bush played hardball and beat John McCain.
Jeb is like his father and brother – he did not win in New Hampshire – but few here really believe that he is in position to repeat their victory in the Palmetto State.
The Bush Family will need some magic in coming days to repeat those past victories
“You guys can change the course of history by participating in this on Saturday,” Bush told the crowd.