Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File,” host Megyn Kelly pressed Republican presidential hopeful former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) on his lagging poll numbers, particularly compared to his opponent, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
Kelly asked Bush if he were to continue to struggle, would he forfeit his go at the nomination, to which Bush vowed he would stick with it.
Partial transcript as follows:
KELLY: Let’s talk about the latest in the polls. Because speaking of Donald Trump, he is number one, on top of leader board.
KELLY: According to the latest ABC News poll he’s at 32, you’re at seven, in seventh place. The Real Clear Politics average, he’s at 27, you’re at seven, in fifth place. He has said that if his poll numbers tank, he’ll get out of this race. But what would it take to make you get out?
BUSH: I’m not getting out. My — I believe that we have a plan to be very competitive in the early states. We have the resources to stay with this. I’m campaigning hard, I’m campaigning with heart. I’m campaigning in a way that will draw people toward our cost. Herman Cain was the winner at this time when he was running. Hillary Clinton was up by 26 points in October against Barack Obama. Rudy Giuliani was the frontrunner, you know, eight years ago. So this is the beginning of hard race. I never thought it would be easy and it certainly hasn’t been and I believe that I’m going to win the nomination.
KELLY: But no one’s ever had this kind of a lead for this long a time and then gone on onto lose the nomination.
BUSH: Well, let’s talk about it in March. We’ll see what happens.
KELLY: What if — how badly if you think your immigration policies are hurting you in this race? Because according to latest poll out of Iowa — this is Quinnipiac, 37 percent say they believe Trump can best handle illegal immigration. Just 5 percent, say you can.
BUSH: Well, when people know that I’ve written the book about the subject that calls for securing the border have attack of — a practical plan to do that. Have a practical plan to deal with the visa over-stayers, to deal with guest worker program to have a path to legalize status, not citizenship, a practical, conservative plan.
KELLY: They know all of that.
BUSH: Hundreds and billions of dollars.
KELLY: They know all that.
BUSH: No, they don’t. They don’t, Megyn.
KELLY: And they know that Trump is out there saying that Mexican —
BUSH: I disagree.
KELLY: Mexico is sending its rapists and so on. And they — they are behind him and not you on this issue from the polling.
BUSH: It is — once they get all of the facts, my guess is that you’re going to see that Donald Trump won’t be at whatever percentage he is today. And we’ll try. This is why we have a democracy, right? This is why — you know, I know you guys are consumed by the process, I’m concerned about the people that want to be lifted up, they’re stuck. Six million more people living in poverty, 23 hundred dollar reduction in disposal income for the middle class of this country. I’m talking about ideas to break the log jam in Washington, D.C. and fix it. And I don’t believe the front-running candidate for the Republican nomination cares about people like that.
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