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Trump and Bush go to war in New Hampshire

Trump and Bush go to war in New Hampshire
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The two Republican presidential candidates held town-hall events at the same time in the Granite State on Wednesday, separated by less than 13 miles. 
 
In Derry, Bush attacked Trump for having supported liberal causes like a single-payer healthcare system and higher taxes on the wealthy. 
 
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“Mr. Trump doesn’t have a conservative record,” Bush said. “He was a Democrat longer than he was a Republican. He’s given more money to Democrats than he’s given to Republicans.”
 
Meanwhile, in Merrimack, Trump went on a an extended tirade, first at a press conference with reporters and later at the town-hall, in which he described Bush as “low-energy,” ripped him over the Iraq War, Common Core and immigration, and mocked him over a misstatement about women’s health.
 
“Right down the road we have Jeb,” the billionaire businessman said. “Very small crowd. … You know what’s happening to Jeb’s crowd right down the street? They’re sleeping now.”
 
“I don’t see how he’s electable,” Trump concluded.
 
For Trump, it’s the latest in a series of broadsides against his rivals in the Republican presidential field. Over the weekend, he made fun of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for being short, warned former HP CEO Carly Fiorina against challenging him, criticized Scott Walker’s record as governor of Wisconsin, and called Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) weak on immigration.
 
But Wednesday, Trump’s focus was squarely on Bush.
 
“Jeb Bush is a low-energy person,” he said. “For him to get things done is hard. He’s very low-energy.”
 
“The reason I talk about Jeb is he’s supposed to do well in New Hampshire, but he’s gone down like a rock,” Trump added. “How in the hell does he do well?"
 
At a press conference with reporters before the town-hall, Trump began his criticism of Bush by focusing on Common Core education standards, which many conservatives believe could be the biggest hurdle for Bush with the base.
 
“I am not a Common Core person,” the real estate magnate said. “Jeb Bush wants Common Core. I want local education.”
 
While Bush supports Common Core, he also believes in local control of education, saying the federal government should play no role in creating or implementing education standards.
 
Trump then pivoted to recent comments Bush made about Iraq. Over the weekend, the former Florida governor said Iraqis must know that the U.S. is committed to seeing their nation succeed.
 
“They want to know that we have skin in the game, that we’re committed to this,” Bush said.
 
Trump responded Wednesday: “He said the other day one of the dumber things I’ve heard ever in politics in talking about Iraq. That we the United States, he said, have to show them we have skin in the game in order to go into Iraq. We have spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, wounded warriors who I love all over the place, and he’s talking about we have to show them we have skin in the game?”
 
“For him to say we have to show them we have skin in the game is one of the real dumb statements,” Trump added.
 
Trump then went into what he believed to be Bush’s “other dumb statement,” recalling the former governor's now infamous remark that some illegal immigrants come to the U.S. out of an “act of love.”
 
Many conservatives point to that remark as evidence Bush is soft on immigration, although like all of the candidates, Bush supports stronger border security and does not support a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally.
 
“I’d say his other dumb statement is that illegal immigrants come here for an act of love,” Trump said. “That they come here for an act of love. I’d say between Common Core, his ‘act of love’ on immigration, and ‘skin in the game’ with Iraq, that’s the third one that we’ve added — I don’t see how he’s electable.”
 
In Derry, Bush slammed Trump’s immigration plan, which some analysts have estimated would cost $166 billion to implement. Bush also swiped at Trump for having described illegal immigrants as criminals and rapists.
 
“Even on immigration, the language is pretty vitriolic, for sure, but hundreds of billions of dollars of cost to implement his plans is not a conservative plan,” Bush said.
 
—Bradford Richardson contributed.