Former First Lady Barbara Bush takes what sounds like a jab at 2016 Presidential candidate Donald Trump in a new ad supporting Jeb — the son she once wished wouldn’t run.
In the new ad Mrs. Bush says, “When push comes to shove people are going to realize, Jeb has real solutions rather than talking about how popular they are or how great they are. He’s doing it because he sees a huge need and it’s not being filled by anybody.”
This is a strange comment given her prior statements and the very large Republican bench of candidates vying for the GOP presidential nomination. Even the most recent debate kept two tiers of candidates, with the main stage hosting seven contenders from across the spectrum of the Republican Party. This is so after several more candidates have dropped out of contention over the past several months.
Mrs. Bush’s new comments appear to make reference to populist frontrunner Donald Trump in light of his “Make America Great Again” call — a phrase borrowed from popular former President Ronald Reagan — and the large swath of Americans supporting Trump’s candidacy.
Trump has drawn tens of thousands ato rallies across the country, displaying his popularity with the American public. At a Thursday rally in Las Vegas, Trump called his support “a phenomenon.” He remarked, “No matter where we go, it’s this. It’s people like this. We love our country.”
Governor Sarah Palin — the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate — called Trump’s following “a movement” when she endorsed him earlier this week. Trump responded to the new Jeb ad in a late Friday tweet:
Just watched Jeb’s ad where he desperately needed mommy to help him. Jeb — mom can’t help you with ISIS, the Chinese or with Putin.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2016
Back in 2014 Mrs. Bush told America, “I hope he won’t” and “There are other families” when asked about a potential 2016 Jeb Bush run for President.
“I refuse to accept that this great country isn’t raising other wonderful people” Mrs. Bush said in 2014 video commentary. Given that her husband George H.W. Bush and son George W. Bush have both served in the position, she repeatedly made comments pushing a non-Bush 2016 Presidential candidate. She did take a moment to praise her son Jeb before saying, “I hope he won’t” run.
Jeb’s mom did express support for her son’s campaign as he launched his bid. Last June she joined Jeb on stage as he began his official foray into the race for President.
In October, as the Jeb Bush campaign faced serious viability concerns, his father and brother — Presidents 41 and 43 — and mother Barbara huddled with Jeb in Houston to address the campaign trail troubles. Several fundraisers with big donors were included in the trip. In November Jeb Bush held a re-launch of his campaign, with the Trump-similar headline “Jeb Can Fix It.” The move has still left him trailing in the polls.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana