The Bush campaign released a new 80-second Web video on Tuesday that strings together clips from interviews Trump has done over several decades that show him praising Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton and voicing support for abortion rights, tax increases on wealthy Americans and the 2009 economic stimulus program.
After a town hall meeting at a Presbyterian school here, Bush explained his decision to go on the offensive, using explanations he's voiced before in English. But in Spanish, in response to questions from Spanish-speaking reporters, his tone and choice of words was sharper.
"He attacks me every day. He attacks me every day with barbarities," Bush said in Spanish in response to a question. "They’re not true. What we did today was to put out in his words to show that he’s not conservative. He supports people like Nancy Pelosi. He’s given money to Hillary Clinton. He was a Democrat longer than Republican. He’s said that he’s more comfortable being a Democrat. He doesn’t have a record, because he hasn’t been a person who has served like me, who served for eight years as governor. He’s not a conservative. That’s my point."
"He’s not conservative. He doesn’t have a career that you could say is conservative," Bush said later in Spanish. "And beyond that, he personalizes everything. If you’re not totally in agreement with him, you’re an idiot, or stupid, or you don’t have energy or 'blah blah blah.' That’s what he does. That doesn’t work – there are millions of people who today are thinking that their future isn't the way it should be."
Trump has repeatedly mocked Bush at campaign rallies and on Twitter as a "low-energy" candidate.
When an English-speaking reporter asked Bush why the Trump-Bush feud has become more personal, he said: "It’s all personal for him, sure. Mischaracterizations of my long-standing views. I’ve written a book about it, if he was interested in actually knowing my views, he could read the book and he would know that I’m for border security in a practical way that won’t cost billions of dollars."
In English, Bush added: "What we put out was simply a simple statement in his own words. His own words. His own words. That the single-payer system is a great idea. Well, most conservatives find that to be perhaps the worst idea. That he has supported higher taxes. I cut taxes every year. That he’s pro-choice. I’ve been consistently, in a very loving way, pro-life. You look at his record of what he believes, he supports Democrats. While I was campaigning for Republicans in this state and all across the country – conservative and like-minded candidates, he was supporting Hillary Clinton and thinks Hillary Clinton would be a good negotiator as it relates to our deal with Iran. This is not a guy who is a conservative. Using his own words is not a mischaracterization, it came out of his own mouth."
Bush spoke with reporters after touring La Progresiva Presbyterian School, an institution that has benefited from the education reforms he enacted as governor and has championed as a private citizen. After touring the school, Bush met with about 200 students, ranging in age from 14 to 18 -- born just within the years that Bush was governor.
Ten students asked him a questions about the national debt; his favorite food ("Mexican," he said); gun violence (Americans should focus on helping the mentally ill who commit crimes); and student loan debt (He'll unveil a plan next month and urged reporters in attendance to "actually write about it.").
Two students asked about immigration reform. In Spanish, one senior asked him whether the children of undocumented immigrants should be able to receive financial aid and what might happen to them as the debate roils on.
"El clima politico es dificil en esto sentido," he said in Spanish -- the political climate is difficult on this issue. But he assured the students, "Yo tengo mi manera de ver las cosas" -- I have my way of seeing things, and he said he will stick to them.
When another student asked whether he supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, he replied: "I believe there ought to be a path to legal status.
"That to me seems to be the consensus approach that would get us to solve this problem," he added.
Finally, Bush was asked to take a "selfie" with the senior class. He -- and his aides -- eagerly obliged and he asked for a copy of the photo.
"Send me a copy," he told one of the students. "Send it to my e-mail: Jeb-at-jeb-dot-org."
Update: Trump responded Tuesday.