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Sep 3, 2015 10:22 PM

Steinhauser: Bush-Trump verbal fistfight rages on as Trump pledges loyalty to GOP

NH1 Political Director -

HAMPTON – From New Hampshire to New York, there was more incoming fire Thursday in the war of words between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump.

And Bush, at a town hall at Foss Manufacturing, also took heat from a voter over his stance on immigration, which is Trump’s signature issue.

Trump was front and center in the political spotlight as he came before cameras at Trump Tower in New York City, to announce that he signed a loyalty pledge put out by the Republican National Committee, in which Trump promised to support the eventual GOP presidential nominee, even if it isn’t him.

The Republican presidential frontrunner signed the pledge as he met with RNC Chairman Reince Preibus. Minutes later, Trump told reporters “I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stand.”

“I have no intention of changing my mind,” Trump added.

Asked if he received anything for signing the pledge, Trump said “absolutely nothing other than the assurance that I would be treated fairly.”

Trump’s announcement puts to rest a month of doubt, following’s Trump’s refusal at the first GOP presidential debate in Cleveland on August 6th to pledging the back the eventual nominee and not run a third party campaign.

At his news conference, Trump also criticized Bush, the man he knocked from the top spot in polls of the Republican nomination race, saying “I think he’s a very low energy person and I don’t think that’s what the country needs.”

“He’s crashing in the polls,” he added.

Hours earlier, the former Florida governor continued to return fire, once again questioning Trump’s conservative credentials.

“Trump has proposed the largest tax increase in American history, and you can compare that to me cutting taxes on 19 billion dollars for Florida’s families and businesses. Or health care where he said that the single-payer system was a really good idea not that long ago. And I’m proposing repealing Obamacare and replacing it with patient centered, consumer centered system,” Bush said.

Bush also attacked Trump’s proposals to combat illegal immigration, saying “his plan is not practical, will violate civil liberties, will cost hundreds billions of dollars, does not embrace the America values, the American spirit that has really made us an extraordinary country. I have a concrete plan to secure the border in a practical way that won’t cost an arm and leg and respects the rule of law.”

Bush criticized Trump’s vision, saying “Donald Trump’s view is that the end is near. His pessimistic view is let’s close the borders, let’s create tariffs, let’s do this, let’s do that, all based on negativity.”

Later, talking questions from reporters at an event in Laconia, Bush said he was “just responding to the personal diatribe that was come my way.”

“I’m not going to sit back and have people call me things I’m not or misrepresent my views. I think that’s fair game. You can be joyful and be tough. And that’s what I am,” Bush added.

At the Hampton town hall, Bush touted that in the next week or so he’ll become the first presidential candidate to publish a list of all his bundlers. And Bush declared that even though he’s fundraising, he’s not beholden to anyone.

Trump fired back a few hours later. The billionaire real estate mogul pointing out that “this is a self-funded campaign. We have a heart in it. We have our soul in it. I don’t need money. I don’t want money. And this is going to be a campaign like no other. I’m not controlled by lobbyists. I’m not controlled by anybody.”

And Trump added that Bush is ”going to spend lobbyists money and special interest money. Remember this, they have total control over Jeb and Hillary and everybody else that takes that money.”

In Laconia, Bush responded, telling reporters that “I think he’s wrong about this. He just keeps repeating things over and over again. You all just accept it for the truth. It’s not.”

In Hampton, the bilingual Bush spoke a little Spanish, saying “that we should campaign brazos abiertos, with our arms wide open.”

In New York City, Trump responded, saying “when you get right down to it, we’re a nation that speaks English. And I think that while we’re in this nation we should be speaking English. And that’s how assimilation takes and that’s’ how, whether people like it or not, that’s how we assimilate.”

In the evening, Bush fired back, saying , “English is the language of our country. And people that come to this country need to learn English. But that doesn’t mean they stop speaking their native tongue. I think this is kind of bizarre to be honest with you.”

Bush was confronted over immigration at the Hampton town hall by Seacoast resident Dennis Lamare, who’s run unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House and the state Senate.

In a lengthy set up to his question about the border with Mexico, Lamare said that those who cross the border illegally are ”flat out criminals, because they’re breaking the law. There’s no doubt about that, there’s no question, and there’s no way of getting around it. We’re pissed off.”

During a follow up, Lamare accused Bush of being an appeaser on the issue of illegal immigration.

Bush responded, saying that undocumented immigrations who are criminals, “we ought to kick them out. There’s no disagreement about that. But to ascribe bad motives to people who are trying to provide for their families. I’m not going to change my views on that. I don’t view that as appeasement. Secure the border is what we need to do and be serious about it.”

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