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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb Bush warns 'something is going to happen' and makes case for 'steady leader'

Jeb Bush greets a woman after a speech before The Rotary Club of Nashua on Feb. 8, 2016.

Alex Leary | Times

Jeb Bush greets a woman after a speech before The Rotary Club of Nashua on Feb. 8, 2016.



NASHUA, N.H. - Jeb Bush began his final appeal to New Hampshire voters on Monday, urging them to go with a "steady leader" over some of his less experienced, more combative rivals.

"I can promise you it will happen in the next presidency -- there will be a conflict, there will be an attack, there might be an outbreak of a disease. Something is going to happen. ...  9/11 is an example of that," Bush said before the Rotary Club of Nashua.

"All presidents have this opportunity and the question is, 'Who do you want to have to sit behind the big desk?' What kind of person do you want to have in this unforeseen, dynamic world where you don't know exactly how it all plays out. And I hope you want to have someone that actually has had some proven skills of leadership through life.

Bush spent the bulk of his speech talking about his record as governor, dwelling on Hurricanes in particular.

Referring to Donald Trump, Bush said: "It's not strong to insult women. It's not strong to castigate Hispanics. It's not strong to ridicule the disabled. ... I think we need a president that actually believes in the American people."

About 100 people from Florida have come to New Hampshire for the final push, said former House Speaker Will Weatherford, who was at the Rotary event.

"The debate was a pivotal moment," Weatherford said. "Jeb Bush continued to look like a commander in chief, some of the others on the stage not as much."

"On the ground -- I was here four weeks ago, -- the difference and the feel with voters now is stark. Just the excitement level, the crowd size, the engagement, people that are giving him a second look. Everybody seems to be bunched up in the polls. If Gov. Bush can punch through that crowd and make a really big statement, I think he goes into South Carolina with a lot of momentum."

[Last modified: Monday, February 8, 2016 4:07pm]


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