Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told Newsmax TV
on Tuesday that Donald Trump "was morphing into Michael Moore" under his blistering attacks on the front-runner during Saturday's debate in South Carolina.
"When it doesn't go his way, Donald gets angry," the former Florida governor told "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth. "He was a little unhinged — and he kind of lost it a little bit.
"We're running for the presidency of the United States," Bush added. "You've got to have someone with a steady hand — and, honestly, he didn't handle the attacks very well.
"The conversation, it wasn't really attacking. I was just telling him the truth."
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Bush told Hayworth that his attacks on former President George W. Bush over the 9/11 assaults smacked of a "border-line conspiracy theory" that would backfire with South Carolina voters.
"In South Carolina, a conservative state, I found it remarkable," that Trump attacked his brother — "and he's doubled down on this after the debate.
"I don't think it'll be a successful political gambit for him," he said. "But most importantly, he's just wrong.
"He's totally wrong — and people in South Carolina, and a lot of people around the country, are offended by this."
In other remarks in his exclusive Newsmax interview, Bush told Hayworth that:
- South Carolina voters consider Trump's use of profanity on the stump "repugnant" and that "those aren't South Carolina values."
- President Barack Obama should not nominate a successor to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. "This should not be decided in an election year. This should be an election-year issue. There's a lot riding on it."
- Attack ads by a super PAC supporting rival Marco Rubio are "kind of a kitchen-sink thing" and that the Florida senator lacks the credential to be commander-in-chief. "That's an indication that maybe things aren't going so well in Rubio-land."
- One of the biggest challenges facing the next president is terrorism and the Islamic State. "ISIS is organized to attack us."
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