CLEVELAND, Ohio — Carly Fiorina, the winner of the undercard GOP primary debate early on Thursday evening, told Breitbart News in the spin room after her performance that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush can’t be an effective GOP nominee based on the way he’s behaving at this time.
“So far not,” Fiorina said, when asked by Breitbart News if Bush is someone who could “throw punches” effectively at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she wins the nomination on the Democratic side. Fiorina has frequently said that the next GOP nominee needs to be able to “throw punches” effectively at the Democrats to win in 2016 and prevent GOP failures like 2008 and 2012.
“And he’s not the only one who’s not effectively thrown punches at Hillary Clinton,” Fiorina continued. “I think I have. It’s what most of you would observe I’ve done. The point is, we need a nominee to throw the punches, because this is a fight.”
Most of the other GOP candidates who appeared on the undercard had harsh words for Bush as well. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who attacked Bush in the debate and multiple times in the spin room, told Breitbart News that Bush isn’t a winner.
Jindal said when Breitbart News asked him to differentiate himself from Bush in the spin room:
Just last week he doubled down on amnesty. I don’t agree with that. I think we need to secure the border. I outlined aggressive policies on sanctuary cities to go after local leaders to hold them criminally as well as civilly liable so that they should be considered accomplices to crimes committed by the same folks they allow to break the law. I think the most important difference is I believe we need to run as conservatives. Too many in the establishment think we need to be less conservative and get the left and the liberal media to like us. That never works. Whenever we do that, we’ve lost and we deserve to lose. This is an important election—it’s about the future of our country. Do we turn the American dream back into one about growth and opportunity or do we allow it to be turned into the European nightmare? We need to get off the path to socialism. We need to make big changes in D.C.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Breitbart News that he’ll support whoever the Republican nominee is, even if it’s businessman Donald Trump. But he had harsh words for Bush on national security, too. Graham said when asked for his thoughts on Bush and Trump in the spin room:
I’m going to support the nominee—if it’s Donald Trump, she [Clinton] will beat him like a drum. I like President—excuse me, Jeb—Bush very much. I think he’d be a good president. But here’s what Jeb needs to understand: If we don’t listen to commanders who have been successful in the region, and if we don’t send more troops back to Iraq, we’re going to fail. Thirty-five hundred is not enough. We need 10,000. And to everyone, if we don’t fix Syria soon, it’s going to be a launching pad for an attack on our nation. And if we keep doing nothing in Syria, we’re going to lose Lebanon and Jordan. We spent $500 million to train 60 people. To everybody running, particularly Jeb, there is no way to destroy ISIL in Syria where their headquarters exist without a ground component from the region and we must be part of that ground force or they will fail.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, probably the strongest candidate in the field when it comes to the issue of immigration, lit into Bush too when asked by Breitbart News in the spin room about the differences between himself and Bush:
I talked a lot about immigration tonight because that’s probably the area that everyone says — well what makes you different from everybody else — and the reason I closed on immigration and spent so much time on immigration is because I’m pretty much different from everybody else on immigration. Everybody else talks about how tough the border is, but nobody’s really doing anything or saying anything different. They’re saying everything everybody who has said they’re going to secure the border has said for the last 20 years. We have presidents go in there and then don’t do it. The reason is if you look at the rest of their policies, they’re not policies that focus enough on the central problem, if you’re bringing millions and millions of people in here who are undermining workers’ ability to be able to rise in America. They’re not solving the fundamental problem and the border is just one aspect of that problem. If I’m someone who’s seriously concerned about immigration in this country, seriously concerned about the border, I want to look at all the other aspects of their policy. When their immigration policy is ‘we’re going to let everybody in as much as they want, and if you’re here you can stay’ well then you have to sort of question how seriously they view the border as a problem if they don’t see the rest of immigration in this country as a problem.