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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb Bush criticizes RNC for punishing National Review over anti-Trump issue



Jeb Bush criticized the RNC's punishment of The National Review, which has published an entire issue about Donald Trump being bad for the party. The RNC announced it was removing the conservative publication as a sponsor of the Feb. 25 debate in Houston.

"The National Review is a cherished conservative mouthpiece. It’s been in existence for two generations consistently conservative and I think the fact that they would have all of these distinguished journalists and thought leaders of the conservative cause joined together to say that Donald Trump is not a conservative is… they’re just telling the truth," Bush said Friday on Fox News. "And to punish them when – look, they’re a lot of other people who are critical of me and other candidates for specific things – that’s fine, that’s fair game, they’re not being kicked off the debate stage, I just think it was the wrong thing to do.”

On fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump:

“Donald Trump needs to defend why he was supportive of Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton – why he gave money to the foundation, why he gave money to her campaign, why he thought that Hillary Clinton would be a great negotiator as it relates to Iran. Well, not that long ago he was anti-second amendment, he was pro-choice in terms of abortion, he offered the highest tax increase in American history – all of this within the last decade.”

On when his brother former President George W. Bush would join him on the campaign trail:

“You know, I’m asked that a lot, which is good news. People seem to be interested and I’m hopeful he will. The details haven’t been worked out. He’s a popular Republican, that’s for sure. Most of the polls show he’s the most popular Republican in the country and I would love to have his support – he wants to help. I know I have to earn this as well and so there’s a balance here, and that’s what we’re all about right now."

On whether his brother will be with him before the South Carolina primary on Feb. 20th.

“I don’t know yet. There are people thinking about it and working on it – but my expectation is he’ll be out there with me and I’d love to have him.”

[Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2016 2:46pm]


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