All of this deeply frustrates Bush, who has focused intensely on national security, foreign policy and questions of competence in the weeks since the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. On the trail and in interviews, he’s calling Trump “unserious” and ill-equipped for the Oval Office. He expresses confidence that early-state primary voters will reset the focus of the race by voting for someone other than the New York businessman. And last week, he complained about Trump-related questions from reporters.
At a town hall meeting in Hooksett, N.H., he recalled an earlier event with voters in Manchester, where people had asked “not a single process question. Donald Trump’s name wasn’t mentioned. Then I had a press gaggle. There wasn’t a single question that wasn’t about Donald Trump. That’s the world we’re in — the pundits are talking about this and obsessed about it, but people actually have real questions about real things and real concerns.”
People might have real questions and real concerns, but in New Hampshire, Bush hasn’t moved the needle: Trump had a 19-point edge over Bush in a WBUR poll of New Hampshire Republicans released last week.
Later in Milford, N.H., Bush told about 200 people that the presidencies of his father, George H.W. Bush, and brother, George W. Bush, give him a unique advantage. He told about 200 people that he’s the best-equipped Republican candidate to lead the country and deal with national security “based on my life experience and having a front row seat watching history unfold — perhaps it being a slight advantage.”