MEREDITH, N.H. — Republican Jeb Bush actually had something nice to say Wednesday about his political nemesis Donald Trump, but he stands by his comment that the billionaire GOP presidential front runner is a "jerk."
During a stop in New Hampshire, Bush was asked by voter Tom Emanuel why he thinks the billionaire deserved the slam, which Bush delivered at a campaign event in the state last month.
Bush paused and gathered himself, amid chuckles from the audience of about 250.
Trump is rightly proud of his financial success, Bush said. He added, "I like, to a limit, that he is politically incorrect, because we are way too uptight."
But Bush said Trump goes too far, and repeated his criticism of Dec. 19, when he called Trump a "jerk" for mimicking a disabled New York Times reporter.
"We're all equal under God's watchful eye," Bush went on. "And when anybody, anybody disparages people with disabilities, it sets me off."
"Do you want a president that disparages women? Muslims of all kinds? People with disabilities? Hispanics?" Bush went on. "I mean, we're getting down to about 90 per cent of all people here. At what point do we say enough of this?"
Emanuel later said he didn't know Trump had made the comment, and said he appreciated Bush's response as "direct," adding, "I didn't realize Trump was that ignorant."
Emanuel said he had been considering supporting Trump in the Feb. 9 primary, but he is now also considering supporting Bush.
Trump has long been mocking Bush, whose campaign has struggled to get traction since last fall. Bush recently has gone after Trump, painting him as not a serious candidate.
Thomas Beaumont, The Associated Press