Let’s face it: When it comes to covering the 2016 election, we are all a little tired of dueling soundbites. Which is why we’re introducing this biweekly podcast, “Masters in Politics.” Hosted by veteran network television political producers Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin, the podcast will feature extended conversations with candidates, campaign strategists, and journalists.
In this premiere episode, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush calls in from the campaign trail in Iowa to take on front-runners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
When asked about British Parliament members debating whether to prevent Trump from visiting the United Kingdom, Bush laughed and said, “I hope they don’t do that.” The former Florida governor continued, “My hope is that Trump goes into rehab here ... rehab in terms of the language that he uses and makes his case based on his ideas and his experience and gets serious about running for president.”
But that doesn't mean Bush thinks the billionaire can win.
“I didn't know that you could insult people with disabilities, insult them, and insult POWs, call them ‘losers’ because they got caught, Hispanics, Muslims. I didn't anticipate that, to be honest with you … the phenomenon of disparagement, of insulting your way through the nomination, I did not anticipate.”
Bush called Cruz, a Texas senator and Iowa’s leading GOP candidate, a gifted orator—and a “backbencher.” “He’s a great debater, but what has he done in Washington, D.C., to give anybody confidence so he could bring people together, fix our tax system, regulatory system, or how we embrace the energy revolution or entitlement challenges or secure the homeland? He has passed one bill that has become law that he sponsored, and I just don't think we can afford another backbencher as president of the United States.”
When asked about the education plan he recently released, spanning “pre-K to life,” Bush made an argument for a more flexible definition of success, and described his plan as “a pretty radical departure from the status quo that's been in existence for close to half a century ... It's not just a traditional four-year school or an AA degree.”
Bush vowed to stay in the race, and said that his brother, former President George W. Bush, will likely campaign on his behalf at some point, saying, “He's been helpful and he may be more helpful. I think people are trying to work all that out.”
You can hear the entire interview, along with an in-depth conversation with J. Ann Selzer, the Bloomberg Politics pollster, below.
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