Jeb Bush, widely seen as a winner in Tuesday night’s GOP presidential debate, took a bit of a victory lap on Wednesday morning, underscoring jabs at rival Donald TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE during a round of media interviews.
"I did think the debate was great. We got to talk about substantive issues," the former Florida governor said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" amid interviews starting before 4 a.m. in Las Vegas.
"It was a commander-in-chief debate. ... I don't know if the front-runner candidate faired that well in that kind of context," Bush said.
Bush again went after Trump's proposal to temporarily bar Muslim foreign nationals from entering the United States, suggesting that it would damage national security and hurt Western efforts to engage Kurdish and Saudi allies in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
"It is nonsense, it is absolute nonsense," Bush said.
Bush, who trails Trump by almost 30 points in a RealClearPolitics average of polls, insisted Wednesday that "this is a wide open race."
The former Florida governor was viewed as having his strongest debate performance so far on Tuesday night, going hard after Trump and labeling him the "chaos candidate."
One exchange, in which Bush told Trump that he would never win by "insulting [his] way to the presidency," was the top social media moment on Facebook.
Bush leaned into that message Wednesday, saying during interviews on "Fox and Friends" and CNN's "New Day" that the celebrity businessman currently leading the GOP pack is "not a serious candidate."
"We need a change in direction," Bush said on Fox of stoked fears of terrorism and President Obama's foreign policy, turning to his own credentials and noting that he is supported by "scores of generals."
"I have a steady hand. I'm not going to be spouting off and scaring people," Bush said.
The debate Tuesday, the last GOP match-up before Christmas, comes fewer than 50 days before voting takes place in early voting states.