Following one of the 2016 presidential campaign’s more tumultuous rivalries, ousted establishment Republican favorite Jeb Bush returned from his own version of Hillary Clinton’s wooded walks to discuss Donald Trump, the candidate he ultimately chose not to support. In a television interview with WFOR-CBS 4 for the Miami-based affiliate’s Facing South Florida program, the former governor of Florida shared his two cents’ worth on the president’s first 60 days in office. Needless to say, there will probably be a Trump tweet about Sunday’s interview soon.
“The president has made some really good appointments. He’s acted decisively on some areas that I think are important, particularly on the regulatory side,” Bush began. Predictably, however, the 64-year-old ex-politician’s comments quickly turned to criticism. “He hasn’t shifted to being president in the way that people are used to, and I think that’s the problem.”
Curious about what Bush meant, host Jim DeFede asked for more details. The defeated presidential candidate obliged. “He’s a distraction, in and of himself,” he said. “Through Twitter, through other [means].” When asked if Trump should stop tweeting, Bush agreed somewhat by expanding on what the president should stop doing in particular: “He should stop saying things that aren’t true, that are distractions from the task at hand.”
“He’s got a lot of work to do, and some of these things — the wiretapping and all of this stuff — is a complete distraction that makes it harder to accomplish the things I know he wants to do,” Bush concluded, though not without praising his former rival in the end. “Reasoning, in this environment where people are angry, is hard, and I wasn’t capable of giving them a sense that there is a better path,” he said. “President Trump’s great skill was to understand that.”
As of this writing, Trump has yet to tweet or speak publicly about Bush’s interview. Then again, considering how much ire he had for Jeb (and Sen. Lindsey Graham) for not supporting his nomination, it’s only a matter of time before whatever insult the president concocts makes its way out of the woods, too.