Bush Says Trump Presidency Would Be ‘Dangerous’

CHICAGO (Bloomberg News/TNS) —

With Donald Trump continuing to boost his standing in national polls, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sharply criticized the Republican frontrunner on Wednesday, saying his election as president would be a “dangerous thing” for the country.

During a 20-minute interview for an influential public affairs program in Iowa, Bush also denied suggestions that he might abandon his campaign efforts in the state that starts the nomination voting on Feb. 1.

The taping for the “Iowa Press” program came hours after the release of a national Quinnipiac University poll showing Trump holding strong in the lead at 27 percent as Bush remained in fifth place at 5 percent. In the interview, which airs this weekend, Bush said he’d be deeply worried about a nation run by Trump.

“This lack of seriousness is a serious problem for our country,” he said. “If a guy, as capable as he is as a politician, became president, has no clue what he’s doing, that’s a dangerous thing.”

Asked if the billionaire real-estate mogul should apologize for heated rhetoric involving Muslims in America, Bush said he wasn’t holding his breath.

“He’s not going to apologize for anything,” he said. “He’s not a serious person, and therefore, it’s hard to imagine him being the president of the United States.”

Bush said he’d support Trump, should Republicans pick him as their party’s candidate. “I’ve pledged to support the nominee, but I have total confidence that the Republican primary voters are not going to support Donald Trump as the nominee,” he said.

The former governor declined to predict where he’d finish in Iowa’s caucuses, saying such prognostications are as dangerous as “quicksand” and that he’s building support in the states that will hold the first four nomination contests. “I’m making great progress in those states and we have the best campaign in Nevada,” he said.

Bush said he doesn’t agree with a comment Hillary Clinton made in a 2012 email released this week where she characterized caucuses, like the ones held in Iowa, as being driven by the “parties’ extremes.” He finds it “amusing” that she had nicknames for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney and other GOP candidates, Bush said.

“Lot of spare time, apparently, when you are secretary of state to be able to focus on politics, and meanwhile back at the ranch we had big, pressing problems,” Bush said. “I think she is a little bitter because she lost every caucus that she ran against Barack Obama because she was out-organized.”

Bush turned a bit defensive when he was asked about a passage in a recently released book that suggests former President George W. Bush urged him earlier this year to say what he would have done in Iraq without concern for his brother’s feelings.

“That book is (garbage),” Bush shot back. “There’s no sources to any of this stuff.” He didn’t directly answer the question, instead saying that his brother has “given me really good advice.”

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