Jeb Bush arrived ready to go head-to-head with Donald Trump during Tuesday’s Republican debate. It took less than 15 minutes for the former Florida governor to spar with the business mogul and assert his stance on the impossibility of a Trump presidency, something he’d reiterate throughout the night.
“Donald is great at the one-liners, but he’s a chaos candidate and he’d be a chaos president,” Bush said.
Bush later jabbed at Trump’s knowledge on foreign policy.
“Two months ago Donald Trump said that ISIS was not our fight. Just two months ago he said that Hillary Clinton would be a great negotiator with Iran. And he gets his foreign policy experience from the shows.
That is not a serious kind of candidate. We need someone that thinks this through. That can lead our country to safety and security. “
Then there was the most tweeted moment of the entire debate, when Bush directly addressed Trump: “You're not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency." (Watch the full exchange above.)
Bush's team sent out a news release on "Jeb!" letterhead following the debate that read, “Jeb took on Donald Trump and his irresponsible policies that would be detrimental to our national security.”
Bush is no stranger to wearing his fighting gear on debate night. In October, he targeted Sen. Marco Rubio, his fellow Floridian. But as Michael Memoli and Mark Barabak reported, Bush met a sharp counterattack.
“Someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you,” Rubio said that night. “My campaign is going to be about the future of America; it's not going to be about attacking anyone else on this stage.”
That wasn’t exactly the case during Tuesday's debate, as Trump’s retorts didn’t discourage Bush's battle. The next GOP debate is in January, so time will tell if Bush continues to face off with with the Republican front-runner.