February 3rd, 2016
06:13 PM ET

Bush on Trump's performance in Iowa: "Donald Trump lost. And he'd better get used to it."

the lead

Today on The Lead with Jake Tapper, former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL), GOP presidential candidate, joined the program, to discuss the New Hampshire Primary and his GOP presidential rivals.  Please see below for a full rushed transcript.


Visit http://www.cnn.com/shows/the-lead for additional information.

 

Please credit all usage to CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper

 

Text Highlights

 

Bush on Trump: “Well, what I first make of it is that Donald Trump lost.  And he'd better get used to it, because it may happen more often than once.  He lost.  He talks about how he's going to win everything.  He didn't win this one.  And Ted Cruz gets credit for winning the Iowa Caucuses. But now the reset button has been pushed.  We're in New Hampshire now.  And look, I just think it's more important to focus on what - what people in the Granite State care about right now. And what they care about is someone with detailed plans to fix the mess in Washington.”

 

 

Bush reacts to Christie’s claim that New Hampshire is a race between himself and Rubio: “I love Chris Christie.  He is a - he's a great campaigner, he's a good friend and he's been an effective governor.  But the race is wide open.  The idea that it's between he and Marco Rubio is a, you know, look, that's just the way politics works. We're - we're working hard and - and so is Chris.  You know, I admire that.  But I'm working really hard.  And my message of having a proven conservative record of accomplishment matches up pretty well against Senator Cruz and Senator Rubio, who have nothing in their background that would suggest they can make a tough decision.”

 

 

Bush on his new Trump attack ad: [TAPPER]: “I did find it kind of interesting that you didn't mention the one group, Muslims, that Trump has suggested should be barred from entering the United States. Why didn't you mention them?”

[BUSH]: “I do mention it on the stump all the time, that we should - we should be respectful of people of the Muslim faith.  Americans that are patriotic that are of the Muslim faith are just as American as I am.  And I do that all the time, Jake.  And I'm not sure why in that riff, it was not mentioned.  But it's - I bring it up all the time. And it's also - it makes it harder for us to have the appropriate foreign policy to destroy ISIS when you say you're going to ban Muslims, who you need to rely on to create a coalition to be able to defeat ISIS and bring about stability in Syria so that we can be kept safe.”

 

 

Bush defends his attacks on Rubio: “Look, you - you think it's tough right now, wait until Hillary Clinton's hit machine hits the party's nominee.  This is beanbag compared to what's going to likely happen when if she wins. She has no compelling positive message.  She's going to scrape the bark off the Republican nominee.  Everybody ought to be, you know, getting ready for it. And Marco's got an ad, his super PAC has an ad attacking me.  You're not seeing me crying crocodile tears about it.  That's just the way it is.”

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

 

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Let's say with our Politics Lead.

 

His logo has an exclamation mark, but the results in Iowa may - might make that more of a question mark.

 

Still, in the middle of placing sixth in the Iowa Caucus, the former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, made a Muhammad Ali like vow to surprise the world in New Hampshire.

 

So will Jeb Bush shake up the race?

 

Will New Hampshire revive his campaign?

 

Let's talk about it with the man himself, Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

 

Governor Bush, thanks for joining us.

 

GOV. JEB BUSH (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:   Great being with you, Jake.

 

I don't - I never thought I was Muhammad Ali, but I'll take it.

 

TAPPER:  So Senator Lindsey Graham endorsed you.  He's been stomping for you on the campaign trail.  He told "The New York Times" this.  Quote, "If Rubio beats Jeb badly in New Hampshire, Jeb is toast."

 

Is that right?

 

BUSH:  That's not going to happen.

 

TAPPER:  All right.

 

BUSH:  We're - we're doing best - you know, great.  Jennifer Horn, the chairman of the Republican Party here, said that we have the best operation here.  There was a poll that came out today that showed me in second place and there have been other polls that show that, as well.

 

I think we're moving forward.  The town hall meetings I'm having have good sizeable crowds, energized.  People are signing up to go get five other people to vote for me.  That's how you win it in New Hampshire.  You win it by working hard.  And - and I'm not taking it for granted, for sure.

 

TAPPER:  There's this establishment lane of candidates, pundits say, you, Governor Kasich, Marco Rubio, Governor Christie.  Now, Chris Christie, today, said that he has a lot of respect for you, but the New Hampshire race is between him "and Marco Rubio and everybody knows it," you know that.

 

Your response?

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

BUSH:  I love Chris Christie.  He is a - he's a great campaigner, he's a good friend and he's been an effective governor.  But the race is wide open.  The idea that it's between he and Marco Rubio is a, you know, look, that's just the way politics works.

 

We're - we're working hard and - and so is Chris.  You know, I admire that.  But I'm working really hard.  And my message of having a proven conservative record of accomplishment matches up pretty well against Senator Cruz and Senator Rubio, who have nothing in their background that would suggest they can make a tough decision.

 

They might be able to do it, but there's nothing in their past that would suggest they can lead.  They might be able to lead, but how do you know?

 

And we've had eight years now of Barack Obama, who was not experienced, either.  And he's created greater divides in our country and our country is languishing now.

 

TAPPER:  What's the toughest decision you - you've ever had to make?

 

BUSH:  Oh, I've made a ton of decisions that were tough, how to - how to deal with eight hurricanes and four tropical storms in 16 months.  Leading the state through what would have been an unmitigated crisis had - had I not responded.

 

Dealing with fighting the teachers union to create the first, the second and the third statewide voucher programs.  Taking on the public unions, where we eliminated career civil service protections, reduced the government workforce but did it in a way that wasn't punitive.  We just did it the right way and we created the environment here 1.3 million jobs were created.

 

I've got a record and it's a record of accomplishment and people in Florida respect it.

 

TAPPER:  Donald Trump Tweeted today that - that he thinks Ted Cruz, quote, "stole the Iowa Caucuses," that he cheated, that he committed fraud.  The references are apparently to those Cruz mailers that say voter violation on them, that the voter actually didn't commit any violation, as well as Cruz staffers...

 

BUSH:  Yes.

 

TAPPER:  - falsely suggesting that CNN and other media were reporting Ben Carson was dropping out, when no one was reporting Carson was dropping out.

 

Carson, on this show yesterday, demanded that Cruz fire staffers responsible.

 

What do you make of this all?

 

BUSH:  Well, what I first make of it is that Donald Trump lost.  And he'd better get used to it, because it may happen more often than once.  He lost.  He talks about how he's going to win everything.  He didn't win this one.  And Ted Cruz gets credit for winning the Iowa Caucuses.

 

But now the reset button has been pushed.  We're in New Hampshire now.  And look, I just think it's more important to focus on what - what people in the Granite State care about right now.

 

And what they care about is someone with detailed plans to fix the mess in Washington.  And it resonates when you give them detailed plans to fix it.  They don't care about the process that much, but they want their hopes lifted by conservative principles being applied the right way to fix the culture and fix how we tax and regulate and all the other issues that right now make - make people feel like the future is not going to be bright.

 

TAPPER:  Carson also said that how a person conducts his life or his campaign is an indication of who he is.  I understand that you - you're saying that you don't think vote - or this issue resonates much with voters about what Ted Cruz did, his campaign tactics.

 

But do you think that there are opponents of yours whose conduct in this campaign maybe says some not so flattering things about them?

 

BUSH:  Well, Donald Trump's, for starters, has insulted women, Hispanics, POWs, disabled people.  He certainly conducts himself in a way that isn't become of being president of the United States.  I - I would say that that's the case.

 

Look, politics is not beanbag.  There's give and take.  Our records will be scrutinized.

 

Marco Rubio has an - his PAC has an ad attacking me right now.  You don't see me boo-hooing.  It's - it's the way it works.  You've got to get out there and earn it.

 

TAPPER:  Let's talk about a - an ad that you have out now.  It's a two minute ad airing in New Hampshire that goes right at Donald Trump and how he's conducting himself.

 

Let's take a few seconds to watch a snippet.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?

 

BUSH:  I am sick and tired of politicians that find ways to disparage people to make themself look strong.  It is not strong to insult women.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

TAPPER:  The ad is - is long, obviously.  It talks about Donald Trump going after women, Donald Trump going after POWs, Donald Trump making fun of the disabled.  I did find it kind of interesting that you didn't mention the one group, Muslims, that Trump has suggested should be barred from entering the United States.

 

Why didn't you mention them?

 

BUSH:  I - I do mention it on the stump all the time, that we should - we should be respectful of people of the Muslim faith.  Americans that are patriotic that are of the Muslim faith are just as American as I am.  And I do that all the time, Jake.  And I'm not sure why in that riff, it was not mentioned.  But it's - I bring it up all the time.

 

And it's also - it makes it harder for us to have the appropriate foreign policy to destroy ISIS when you say you're going to ban Muslims, who you need to rely on to create a coalition to be able to defeat ISIS and bring about stability in Syria so that we can be kept safe.

 

TAPPER:  Between your - your campaign and your super PAC, your orbit is invested already almost $34 million in ads just in New Hampshire.  That's more than double any other candidate.

 

We haven't seen any huge result for that in the polls yet, although, as you say, some of them have you in second place.

 

Do you think that it's going to push you over the top or are you just hoping for a strong second place showing will be good enough?

 

BUSH:  I'm - I'm not in charge of what the expectations are.  That's you all's job.  I'm just going to work my tail off between now and Tuesday and make the case that we need someone with a steady hand, someone who can be commander-in-chief and have the backs of the armed forces, someone who has big ideas to change direction as it relates to the economy.

 

That's what I'm doing each and every day and I'm having a blast doing it.  I wish it was a little sunnier here, but that's - today's been a rainy day.  But it's been fantastic to be able to campaign amongst people who really take it seriously.

 

TAPPER:  Right To Rise is the super - the main super PAC backing your campaign.  They spent a lot of money attacking Marco Rubio, your former protege.

 

Do you worry that they're doing the work of the Democrats in some ways, bringing down someone in your party who pundits feel...

 

BUSH:  Oh (INAUDIBLE)...

 

TAPPER:  - could be competitive for the nomination?

 

BUSH:  No, not at all.  Look, you - you think it's tough right now, wait until Hillary Clinton's hit machine hits the party's nominee.  This is beanbag compared to what's going to likely happen when if she wins.

 

She has no compelling positive message.  She's going to scrape the bark off the Republican nominee.  Everybody ought to be, you know, getting ready for it.

 

And Marco's got an ad, his super PAC has an ad attacking me.  You're not seeing me crying crocodile tears about it.  That's just the way it is.

 

TAPPER:  I want to play something you said Monday night.

 

Let's roll that tape.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BUSH:  It's all been written.  We're all like actors in a play, the narrative, you know, of the play.  I'm part of the establishment because I'm Barbara Bush's son.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

TAPPER:  You are Barbara Bush's son.  We fact-checked that.  It's true.  We've heard all this cycle about how (INAUDIBLE)...

 

BUSH:  Finally, I got PolitiFacted correctly.

 

TAPPER:  We've heard all - all season about how angry Republicans are, how much they resent the cult - so-called establishment.

 

Is it possible - as you know, politics, so much of it is just about timing.

 

Is it possible that you're not the right candidate for this moment, for these angry voters this election cycle?

 

BUSH:  Here's what I know to be true.  I'm part of the establishment - if I'm part of the establishment because my dad was the president and my brother was the president and one of the most popular women in America, Barbara Bush, is my mom, yes, I am.

 

But I disrupted, when I had a chance to govern and serve, I disrupted the order in Tallahassee for the betterment of 18 million people.  And I can do it in Washington, DC.

 

I have a proven record.  And that's my message.  And that's what I'm going to keep fighting for.  And yes, my mom is coming to help me out.  That is fantastic.  It would be kind of weird if she didn't.

 

TAPPER:  "The Tampa Bay Times" interviewed one of your New Hampshire supporters who wants to vote for you, but added this caveat, quote, "I don't want to waste a vote if he's not going to win or has no chance."

 

What's your message to those voters out there in New Hampshire who like you, but they're worried that you can't go the distance and they don't want to waste their vote?

 

BUSH:  Well, I actually called that person up and - and asked for her vote and I got it.  So I'm just - you've got to just be - show dogged determination each and every day to campaign hard, to show your heart, to show your passion, to show that you're committed to help them up.

 

This is not about me.  It shouldn't be about any of the presidential candidates and their ambition.

 

It ought to be the fact that 63 percent of Americans can't pay for a car repair more than 500 bucks.  People are living paycheck to paycheck.  And when I share that passion that we can fix this, people seem to be moving toward my cause.  And I'm not going to be deterred by all of the punditry around all this, because most people don't care about that.

 

TAPPER:  Governor Bush, thank you.

 

Best of luck to you.

 

And we will see you on the campaign trail, I hope.

 

BUSH:  Well, you'll be welcomed by all Granite Staters, I'm sure, when you come up here soon.

 

TAPPER:  All right.

 

Thanks, Governor.

 

BUSH:  Thank you.

 

 

###END###

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