Jeb Bush has reportedly been boning up in "rigorous" practice sessions to respond to front-running Donald Trump's insults for Wednesday's GOP presidential candidates' debate.
The New York Times
reports the former Florida governor is practicing in "rigorous … sessions that have crisscrossed the country in the past few weeks" in preparation for the second of the GOP debates
, this one hosted by CNN.
He'll focus his offensive on Trump's past liberal positions and policy plans, The Times reports, quoting unnamed sources.
"He has to challenge Trump now," said Mac Stipanovich, an adviser to Bush during his 1994 gubernatorial campaign who helped prep him for debates at that time. "He has to stand toe to toe with him and call him out."
It will be no small task given Trump's oft-stated strategy to deliver fierce counterpunches
to anyone who attacks, and his frequent jibes at Bush
, including his "low energy," the Times reports.
"Jeb is a nice man. He likes people. He wants people to like him," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tells the Ties "He is up against a barroom brawler. And I think against barroom brawlers, if you are a nice man, you are better off keeping your distance."
The Times, citing interviews and reviews of video footage from gubernatorial debates, notes the serious-minded Bush is "almost unrivaled… mastery" of policy, but has deficits that include a rare show of humor, and some flashes of "peevishness."
"His style is substance," one of Bush's campaign advisers, Sally Bradshaw, tells the Times. "His candidacy,” she added, "is not based on theatrics."
Since the first debate, Bush has already mocked Trump's
immigration plan as "unrealistic," released an ad
taunting the real estate billionaire for past praise of Hillary Clinton, chided Trump for his "germaphobia,"
and accused Trump of trying to "insult his way to the presidency."
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