Jeb Bush calls out Donald Trump for 'preying on peoples' fears'

RTX1GMRNReuters/Carlo AllegriFormer Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R).

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is coming out much stronger against outspoken Republican presidential rival Donald Trump

At a Tuesday event in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Bush lashed out at Trump for alienating average Americans, attempting to draw parallels between the real-estate mogul and President Barack Obama for using divisive rhetoric.

“There are people that prey on peoples’ fears and angst as well,” Bush said in a video posted online by his campaign.

“Whether it’s Donald Trump or Barack Obama, their rhetoric of divisiveness is wrong. A Republican will never win by striking fear in people’s hearts,” Bush added. “A Republican can win and will win if we have an aspirational message that gives people hope that their lives will be better when we apply conservative principles the right way.”

During his appearance, Bush also told attendees to forget about issues that divide Americans such as “race, and ethnicity, and income.” 

With the speech in Iowa, Bush is indicating that he won’t heed the advice of some Republican strategists, who suggested in a piece published in The Hill that he handle Trump with kid gloves in order to not inflame tensions with the Republican primary voters who identify with Trump’s bombastic viewpoints.

It comes a few days after Bush signalled he was tired of talking about Trump. On Tuesday, Bush volunteered his comments. But in an interview with Fox News last week, Bush said, “I’ve already stated my views about Donald Trump.”

“I’m done. I’m through. I gave my views. I just think that we need to be much more hopeful and optimistic about our ideology,” Bush told Fox. “We should focus on that and not get into a food fight that only brings energy to someone who I doubt will be president and is not a constructive force for our party.”

Trump sparked a wave of criticism during his presidential announcement speech last month by labelling some Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and drug runners.

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