Sept. 04– LACONIA, N.H. — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush vowed to keep speaking Spanish on the campaign trail and dismissed Donald Trump’s attacks on his -bilingualism as “bizarre” and “offensive” after a town hall event here last night.
“I’ll keep doing it,” Bush told reporters. “This is nothing unusual. Taking this to the logical conclusion, I guess no more French classes for people in public schools. German — no, we can’t have that. … This is kind of bizarre, to be honest with you. It sends a pretty ugly signal to people that somehow we’re creating a different standard for one group against the other.”
Trump has said Bush should “set the example” by “speaking English while in the United States.”
Bush also laid into Trump for recently retweeting another person’s comment that he “speaks Mexican.”
“Those are dog-whistle terms,” Bush said. “He knows what he’s doing. These are very divisive terms. If we’re going to win elections, we need to be much more open and hopeful and optimistic than sending signals to prey on people’s angst.”
The town hall event capped yet another wild day on the campaign trail that included more back-and-forth between Bush and Trump, who agreed to sign a Republican National Committee loyalty pledge, vowing to support the eventual nominee and abandon any ambitions of a third-party run.
Trump has slammed Bush for trailing him in the polls and for being “low-energy” — a jibe painfully underscored when a woman was seen nodding off at an earlier Bush town hall event in Hampton yesterday. The Bush campaign said the woman had been up since 4 a.m. to work a 12-hour shift.
Trump still holds a commanding lead in national polls with 30 percent support, according to a Monmouth University survey released yesterday. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson came in second with 18 percent. Bush placed a distant third — tied with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — at 8 percent.
But after some hesitance, Bush has been fighting back harder this week, and attacked Trump’s Republican street cred on taxes, health care and abortion, and painted him as short on substance during the Laconia campaign event.
“This guy’s not a conservative, and this guy does not believe in the greatness of our country,” Bush said. “Or if he did, he would start explaining how he would propose things that would make it possible for us to rise up again.”
(c)2015 the Boston Herald
Visit the Boston Herald at www.bostonherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.