FLASHBACK: Jeb said he'd win South Carolina — 'take it to the bank'
© Greg Nash

Jeb Bush was so confident of winning South Carolina that as recently as September he told people to take his victory in that state "to the bank."

“I’m going to win South Carolina, take it to the bank,” Bush told reporters in late September, according to The Charleston Post and Courier.


But on Saturday night, Bush not only failed to win but looks set to finish a distant fourth or fifth. The disappointing result will amplify the pressure on Bush to shut down his campaign and clear the way for Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTim Scott to deliver GOP response to Biden's speech to Congress GOP sees immigration as path to regain power Bipartisan group of senators holds immigration talks amid border surge MORE to be the GOP's establishment choice to take on Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: LeBron James's 'racist rants' are divisive, nasty North Carolina man accused of fraudulently obtaining .5M in PPP loans Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies MORE and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzEvery day should be Earth Day Hawley votes against anti-Asian hate crime bill Senate passes anti-Asian hate crimes bill MORE.

South Carolina was not supposed to turn out this way for the former Florida governor. Bush allies frequently refer to the Palmetto State as "Bush country" and remember the state fondly for delivering a decisive win in the 2000 primaries that helped George W. Bush overcome an insurgent John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain rejects idea of running for office: 'I've been there' Bush says he doesn't criticize other presidents to avoid risking friendship with Michelle Obama 'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party MORE.

Bush threw everything he had at South Carolina. His brother, who has not stumped for anyone since leaving the presidency, hit the campaign trail this week as did Bush's other family members, including his mother, Barbara.

The Bush campaign and his super-PAC also spent more money than any other candidate in South Carolina, won the endorsement of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamUS Chamber of Commerce comes out in support of bipartisan, bicameral immigration bill Joe Lieberman to push senators on DC statehood GOP sees immigration as path to regain power MORE and invested time and resources into courting the state's substantial veterans community.

But on Saturday night, Bush was swept away by Trump, Cruz and — most galling for the Bush forces — his former protégé in Florida, Rubio. With some 20 percent of the vote counted, Bush risks finishing in single digits.