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Sep 10, 2015 11:09 PM

Steinhauser: Jeb Bush touts tax plan, slams Trump in NH1 News interview - photo bombs me

NH1 Political Director -

EXETER – Jeb Bush says Donald Trump “can’t insult his way to the presidency.”

The former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate made that comment Thursday during a one-on-one interview with NH1 News.

Bush also pointed out that he’s reaching out to voters in New Hampshire and “not just sitting in Manhattan today. I’m campaigning out amongst people here who are going to make the difference on who the next president of the United States will be.”

Bush spoke with NH1 News minutes before he headed to RE Prescott Company, an engineering, distributing and manufacturing small business in Exeter, to tout his new tax plan that he unveiled earlier this week.

Asked about his tax proposals, Bush said “the simple fact is we’re simplifying the code, taking power away from Washington, lowering rates, we’re expanding the exclusions so that millions of people won’t be paying income taxes at all. And a lot of people will be getting money back in their pockets to spend on what they want. And we’re simplifying the code for corporations so that we create the lowest tax code in all but one or two countries. And I think we’re going to see a renaissance of investment back in this country that’s going to create high wage jobs.”

Bush’s plan calls for the curtailing of deductions and loopholes, something that Trump has been proposing as well. Asked about the similarities between the two plans, Bush told NH1 News “Donald Trump’s tax plan was supported by Elizabeth Warren. Wow. She’s thankfully critical of my plan. That makes me feel better. I would have lost my footing if Elizabeth Warren was saying good things about my plan. But she likes Trump’s. That’s the problem with Donald Trump. He says things off the cuff, he hasn’t thought them through. He’s not grounded in conservative philosophy.”

Bush went on to praise his proposal, saying “this is a well thought out plan that will focus on high sustained economic growth. When you combine that with other elements of our reform package, regulatory reform, embracing the energy revolution, dealing with our entitlement challenges so we can preserve and protect these programs but reform it going forward, all these things will create high growth. And people’s pockets will be full of money for the first time in a long while.

Asked about the deficit that his tax cuts could create, Bush said “that’s a good point. Because if you statically score this to use the D.C. bean counting terminology there’s a deficit, but that’s not how the world works. When you create the optimum tax cut climate it creates greater economic activity. If we can grow our economy at three and a half to four percent, which I know we can, we’ll deal with the budget shortfalls. We have to curb spending in Washington but that’s what I did when I was governor of Florida.”

“If we’re serious as conservatives about the power of government being too big and too corrupt and too inefficient, then we need to do something about it rather than just talk about it. People are tired of talk. They want action,” he added.

Trump ‘can’t insult his way’ to WH

Bush continues to wage a war of words with Trump, the man who succeeded him as the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination.

Bush said he’s pushing back because “you can’t let someone disparage you. You can’t let someone insult you to create a narrative of something you’re not. And so I’m going to fight back. Look I don’t have a grudge against Donald Trump. I just know that he can’t insult his way to the presidency. If he’s the front runner then he needs to be treated to the same level of scrutiny that I am.”

As he’s done repeatedly the past couple of weeks, Bush questioned Trump’s conservative credentials.

“This guy is not a Republican and this conversion is kind of odd and maybe he has converted and that’s wonderful. But the simple fact is I’ve been a conservative for a long while and I’m going to share my record and I think people will be satisfied with that.”

Bush’s return to the first-in-the-nation primary state came on the same day that his campaign began airing its first TV ads in New Hampshire. The spot highlights his conservative record during two-terms as Florida Governor. Bush said the spots cold help his poll position, adding that “we haven’t spent a penny on advertising. Today’s the first day”

Bush predicted that people, after watching the ads, might say “here’s a guy who’s got a proven record and the leadership skills to turn conservative principles into reality.”

Bush’s Granite State trip comes less than a week before the second Republican presidential primary debate. His performance at the first debate, last month in Cleveland, was panned by many critics.

Asked if he’s going to do anything different this time around, Bush told NH1 News “same way. And I’ve just got to share my vision for the future of the country. Use good humor. Be authentic. Be who I am. Look, we’ll have nine of these debates. There’s a long way to go. I’m totally comfortable with where we are. I’m going to continue to work hard and run with heart and run to win.”

Watch: Jeb Bush photo bombs my standup

Bush appeared in a playful mood at the event in Exeter, photo bombing this reporter’s standup, giving a hug to Fox News reporter Hillary Vaughn, and commenting that he enjoyed the question and answer session with reporters.

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