NEW YORK —
Jeb Bush, whose campaign for the U.S. Republican presidential nomination is languishing, took a swipe at Donald Trump in the front-runner's hometown Tuesday, accusing him of being a "trash talker" and saying that if Trump was the eventual nominee he would be "wiped out" in the November general election.
Bush made the prediction in an address to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. The former Florida governor also said Trump’s proposals on tariffs, taxes and immigration would “wreak havoc on the United States economy.”
The son and brother of former U.S. presidents, Bush is running a poor fifth in nationwide polls among GOP presidential candidates. He trails Trump by nearly 30 percentage points in the latest surveys.
He used his hour - long speech to the CFR to offer views on a list of other national and international issues. His main theme was that the U.S. economy is weak and unless the nation develops a stronger economy, it will be looked at as weak to the rest of the world. He also called for a reinvigoration of alliances that have kept us safe, especially the U.S. alliance with Israel, and for improving our intelligence capabilities.
Domestically, Bush said he thought the United States needed a 4 percent annual growth rate, energy independence and a simplified tax system.
"With our current 2 percent growth rate, it is hard for the United States to lead the world,” he said.
Fight against IS
Terrorism also was an issue at the CFR meeting. Bush said the United States was not leading in the fight against Islamic State, which he called a threat to the American way of life. He said those leading the fight against IS on the ground should have “more authority, not having to go to the Pentagon to make every big decision.”
In his far-ranging presentation, Bush called for more engagement with China; he called on Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact with other Pacific and Asian countries; and he called for a no-fly zone over Syria.
At one point Bush called himself “wonky.” He said, “I love fixing things.”
From all recent polls, the Republican candidate has a lot of fixing to do with his own campaign.
The onetime favorite, Bush continues to target Trump's lack of experience. But the rise of Trump and a short-lived surge by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have shown Republicans' tendency to rally to outsider contenders in this election campaign.