Posted on September 3, 2015

It’s On: Jeb Bush Embraces a Risky Fight with Donald Trump

Ed O'Keefe and Sean Sullivan, Washington Post, September 1, 2015

Jeb Bush went on the offensive Tuesday against GOP presidential front-runner and frequent antagonist Donald Trump, releasing an attack video portraying the mogul as a closet liberal and signaling that he will attempt to bring Trump down in coming weeks.

“He attacks me every day. He attacks me every day with barbarities,” Bush said in Spanish in response to questions from reporters at a Presbyterian school here. “They’re not true. What we did today was to put out in his words to show that he’s not conservative.”

But in fully embracing a fight against Trump, Bush is embarking on a risky strategy that could further fuel Trump’s unexpected rise and complicate his own path to the nomination. Allies of the former Florida governor insist that he had no choice but to adopt a more aggressive posture, elevating his feud with Trump to the marquee contest in the GOP primary contest.


Bush’s release of the Web video–amplified by his sharp attacks in English and Spanish after a town hall meeting here–marked a departure from weeks of reluctant, mostly tepid criticism of Trump, who has routinely assailed Bush for not having the “energy” to be president, among other taunts. The escalation came after Trump released an aggressive video Monday that flashed mug shots of men charged with or convicted of murder as Bush’s comments that undocumented immigrants enter the United States as “an act of love” played in the background.

The video Bush released Tuesday strings together clips from past interviews of Trump praising Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton and voicing support for abortion rights, tax increases for wealthy Americans and the 2009 economic stimulus program.

In the remarks he delivered in Spanish in Miami, Bush’s tone and word choices were sharper than what he has said on the topic in English.