Bush asked if he’s ‘scared of Donald Trump’
© Getty Images

At a town hall in Columbia, S.C., Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush was asked whether he’s afraid of primary rival Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpClinton and Ocasio-Cortez joke about Kushner's alleged use of WhatsApp Missouri Gov. declares state of emergency amid severe flooding Swalwell on Hicks testimony: 'She's going to have to tell us who she lied for' in Trump admin MORE

ADVERTISEMENT

“Another issue I have, particularly with you, is, you know, you do Republican debates, and the first thing we see — you always attack Donald Trump,” the questioner at the town hall began.

“I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it, but, I mean, we all expect it, it’s going to happen,” he continued. “Why do you — are you scared of Donald Trump?”

“Scared of him?” Bush responded indignantly.

“I mean, something’s up, something’s up,” the questioner elaborated. “You always bring up him.”

“Yeah, he’s not a conservative,” Bush shot back. “He’s not a conservative. He’s the leading candidate in the conservative party.

"He’s hijacked our party," he added, drawing applause. "I’ve been a conservative all my life.”

Bush at the town hall also jokingly suggested Trump’s memoir, “The Art of the Deal,” is his favorite book.

“My favorite book? ‘Art of the Deal,’” Bush responded to a question, drawing laughter.

“No — that’s a Donald Trump book,” he added. “Although in one of those books, I forgot which one, Donald Trump said that I was the most gifted politician in the world, and, you know, I’ve got a great future, phenomenal governor.

“He must have forgotten he wrote that, because he and I don’t see eye to eye too much anymore.”

The former Florida governor also said the billionaire businessman will be “obliterated” in a general election if he's the party's nominee, pointing to his profanity and divisiveness. 

“Latching onto the strong horse isn’t going to solve their problems — their perceived strong horse,” he said of Trump supporters.

“I would view the strong horse being pretty weak myself based on how he behaves and the profanity and the divisiveness of his language," he added.

“That’s not strength, that’s insecurity and weakness."

Bush is trying to make inroads in South Carolina ahead of the Feb. 20 primary, where he currently sits in fourth place, according to a Real Clear Politics Average poll.