Jeb Bush gets a brotherly hand from George W. in S. Carolina
Updated: 2016-02-16 09:54
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Former President George W. Bush came to the aid of his brother Jeb Bush's Republican presidential campaign in South Carolina on Monday with a rousing endorsement of his character and a call for voters to reject the angry bluster of Donald Trump.
The appearance of the elder Bush on the campaign trail may help Jeb Bush with South Carolina Republicans who hold the former president in high regard. But it also carries some risks, given his launching of the Iraq war in 2003, which ended up being unpopular with many Americans and which Republican front-runner Trump has seized on to criticize him.
George W. Bush, who has stayed out of politics for the most part since leaving office in early 2009, showed he remains an engaging speaker, generating cheers repeatedly over 20 minutes from the biggest crowd Jeb Bush has enjoyed in his campaign.
Without mentioning Trump by name, the 69-year-old George W. Bush left no doubt he was talking about the New York billionaire who uses incendiary rhetoric at his campaign events.
"These are tough times and I know that Americans are angry, but we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our anger and our frustrations," the former president said.
Real strength, he said, means facing challenges and prevailing.
Whether the elder Bush's presence will help his 63-year-old brother in the South Carolina Republican primary on Saturday remains to be seen. Jeb is running fourth in polls in South Carolina, behind Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
Trump, at a news conference in Charleston earlier in the day, continued a stream of insults directed at the Bush family, insisting that the former president bore responsibility for the Sept 11, 2001, attacks that took place on his watch.
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