Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) says that Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE is “a jerk” for his past remarks toward the disabled in a new online ad released Thursday.
“I’ve got to get this off my chest — Donald Trump is a jerk,” the GOP presidential candidate said in the spot titled “Enough."
“I believe life is precious,” Bush continued. "I believe life is truly a gift from God. We’re all equal under God’s watchful eye.
“When anybody — anybody — disparages people with disabilities, it sets me off. That’s why I called him a jerk.”
Bush also argues that Trump’s history of controversial remarks disqualifies the GOP presidential front-runner from the White House.
“What kind of person would you want to have in the presidency who does that?” he said of Trump’s rhetoric. "At what point do we say enough of this? Let’s start solving problems.”
Trump publicly feuded with The New York Times last year over whether he had mocked one of its reporters for a physical disability.
The outspoken billionaire flailed his arms while imitating journalist Serge Kovaleski during a rally in South Carolina on Nov. 20. The gesture was controversial given Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a chronic condition that impairs arm movement.
“[It is] outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,” the Times said in a statement on Nov. 25.
Trump has since repeatedly sworn he had never met Kovaleski in person and as such was unaware of his disability. The real estate tycoon claims he was merely pantomiming a reporter “groveling” when faced with a backlash to his reporting.
At issue is Kovaleski’s 2001 Washington Post article suggesting the possibility that some Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Trump has frequently cited the article as evidence that some Muslim Americans publicly cheered the massacre. Kovaleski has countered that such claims were debunked after the attacks.