Jeb Bush Campaigns Big On Bush Family Nostalgia

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during a Faith and Family Presidential Forum at Bob Jones University, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, in Greenville, S.C.
AP/Paul Sancya

Do you like Jeb Bush? What about his mom, the former first lady Barabra Bush? What about his Dad former President H.W. Bush? What about his brother, former president George W. Bush, who was president on September 11?

That’s the message that the Bush campaign is honing in South Carolina as former President George W. Bush is scheduled to campaign today on his brother’s behalf.

Sen. Lindsey Graham explicitly reminded voters in South Carolina of the gravitas of Jeb’s family last week.

“Jeb is his own man who comes from one of the great families of America,” he said, according to the New York Times.

Jeb is not only leaning heavily on the Bush legacy, he is defending it, as was clear during the CBS debate on Saturday.

“My dad is the greatest man alive in my mind,” he said before expressing his frustration at Donald Trump for attacking his family.

“He has had the gall to go after my brother,” Bush reminded the audience about Trump. “He has had the gall to go after my mother.”

When Jeb’s brother George W. Bush was criticized in the debate, Jeb leapt to his defense rather than separating himself from his record.

“When a member on the stage’s brother gets attacked … the brother gets to respond,” CBS moderator even acknowledged to Jeb Bush during the debate.

During a forum at Bob Jones University, Bush explicitly argued that he had more experience with the presidency after growing up in the White House with his father and communicating closely with his brother, who was also president.

“I guess I’ve had a little front row seat watching history unfold just given the uniqueness of my family,” he said. “I can’t imagine my dad … my brother who always wore a suit into the Oval office, because he walked in there, he thought ‘this is hallowed ground, this is important.’”

He even explained during the forum that being president was in many ways being like “a king,” something he would take seriously if elected.

“The presidency is not just the prime minister right? You know the person that’s in charge of passing laws with Congress?” he said. “There’s also, you know, the king — in the sense of the symbolism of the job, where the public persona of the presidency has power.”

In New Hampshire, the 90-year-old Barbara Bush visited the state with Jeb, evoking the fiery independent streak of the former First Lady. In South Carolina, Jeb is bringing his brother to evoke patriotic memories of 9/11 and his leadership fighting the war on terror as commander-in-chief.

And on President’s Day, the brothers Bush finish their rally in South Carolina with an interview conducted by a familiar friend of the Bush administration — Fox News host Sean Hannity.