Jeb Bush is a "nice person," GOP front-runner Donald Trump said Friday, but he isn't the tough leading competitor for the nomination that he had been expecting.
"If you look at the polls, he's not really in second," Trump told MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
show. "He's fourth and fifth in a lot of the polls. I've always assumed he was going to be a primary competitor, so I guess that's why I'm hitting him harder than others."
But Trump, telling the show that he likes Bush, still considers him a "low-energy person" and thinks "we need much more than a low-energy person right now to put this country back in shape ... we need a person with tremendous drive and tremendous smarts."
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Trump also addressed Wednesday morning's on-air shooting of Virginia reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman, Adam Ward, saying that he does not think further gun restrictions are needed in the country.
"Chicago has the single toughest gun laws in the United States and it's a disaster," he said. "You look at Baltimore, they have very strong gun laws. You look at these places that are going wild with killings all over and they have very, very powerful gun laws, laws that you would say, I mean, you should not have any killings whatsoever."
In the case of the Virginia shootings, the lack of mental health services was at fault, Trump said, pointing out that shooter Vester Flanagan was recognized as being a "sick guy" for years.
"Every place he worked he had problems, and very severe problems, and yet nobody comes out and reports him," said Trump.
Trump also on Friday complained about the economic influence Japan is having on the United States, "because they're killing us economically" by "selling millions of cars to us that we're not making here."
"I was in Los Angeles two weeks ago," he said. "I saw ships, the biggest ships I've ever seen with cars, thousands of cars pouring off those ships coming in tax free, which is fine but the problem is we send practically nothing to them."
He said he loves Japan, but the country's leaders "are much smarter than our leaders."
"When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in the middle of Tokyo?" he said. "How many Chevrolets are in Tokyo right now? Two?"
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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