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Aug 21, 2015 11:30 PM

Steinhauser: In language and tone, are we witnessing a new Jeb Bush?

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD – Call him Jeb Bush 2.0.

The mostly mild mannered Republican presidential candidate known for being a policy wonk may be gone. In his place, a feistier, more energetic and assertive Bush has appeared.

Thursday, speaking to reporters following a town hall in Keene, the former Florida governor let loose on Donald Trump and verbally tangled with reporters over his use of the term ‘anchor babies.’

His comments came less than 24 hours after Trump, who claimed the mantle of GOP presidential frontrunner from Bush, slammed him, saying "Jeb Bush was supposed to do well in New Hampshire. He's dropping like a rock,” adding “I don’t see how he’s electable.”

Trump went on to characterize Bush as “a low energy person. For him to get things done is hard. He's very low energy."

Bush was anything but low energy the next day, as he launched a counter attack

“There’s a big difference between Donald Trump and me. I’m a proven conservative with a record. He isn’t,” Bush said, adding that “he’s been a Democrat longer than he’s been a Republican. I’ve fought for Republican and conservative causes all of my adult life. And I just think when people get this narrative, the compare and contrast narrative, then they’re going to find that I’m going to be the guy who they’re going to vote for.”

Bush also got into a testy exchange over his use of the term “anchor babies,” which some Hispanics find offensive.

Asked if he regretted using the term on a radio program, Bush shot back, saying loudly that “I don’t regret it.”

Asked if he had a better term to use, Bush raised his voice again, saying “you give me a better term and I’ll use it.”

Longtime GOP consultant Steve Duprey, one of New Hampshire’s two committee members to the Republican National Committee, said he thinks Bush's new language and tone "will help his campaign.”

“He’s run a campaign where he talks about his ideas. He has not criticized the other candidates and he clearly has a love and understanding of policy that few candidates can match. But i think it is smart for him to show a little bit more of who he is and show a little bit more fire,” added Duprey, who was a top adviser on Sen. John McCain’s two presidential campaigns.


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