During a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Monday, Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush told his competitors to “toughen up and stop complaining” about negative ads hurled in their direction.
Bush said in response to a question from the audience about how Ohio Governor John Kasich has condemned negative attacks, “If I find slime, I’ll renounce it.”
“Look, this is not bean bag here. I guess maybe I’ve been around the track a while. In political years I’m 800 years old, like dog years,” the former Florida Governor said.
“This campaign is not nearly as tough as two things: what’s happened in the past and what will happen the minute there’s a Republican nominee,” Bush added, asking, “You think the Hillary Clinton hit machine is going to be all lovey-dovey for the Republican nominee?”
“All of us will be scrutinized. All of our records will be scrutinized. It’s okay to give a little give and take. This is not bean bag. We are running for President of the United States,” he stated. “Hillary Clinton, or whoever it is on the left … will go after the nominee. We better toughen up and stop complaining about this stuff and man up, as this is war-time activities as it relates to politics.”
“I’m not going to back away from the comparing and contrasting of our records, and voters have the ability to discern the difference. They have a great filter,” Bush concluded.
Later, in an exchange with New Hampshire residents following his Q & A, Bush appeared to mock Kasich as a whiner.
“We’re getting negative attacks? Oh, it’s hurting my feelings. Oh, he’s so bad. It’s not fair. Why isn’t someone [inaudible],” Bush said in his impression of a whiny John Kasich.
Earlier, the Ohio Governor said he was “outraged” about super PACs that ran negative ads against him, urging establishment competitors Chris Christie and Jeb Bush to “take their negative nonsense off television.”