To save his rather awkward campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Jeb Bush his bringing out the big guns: specifically his mother, Barbara.
The former first lady, who not so long ago said “we’ve had enough Bushes in the White House,” has come around and joined her son on the campaign trail in New Hampshire before next week’s primary.
In her characteristically blunt style, she said that she was supporting Jeb because she loved him, and because America needed him. “He’s honest, dependable, loyal, relatively funny! Good looking, but funny,” she told CBS News.
Barbara, 90, said Jeb was “almost too polite. “I don’t advise him, but if I gave him advice: I would say, ‘Why don’t you interrupt like the other people do?” Jabbing at other candidates in the race, she said that Bush does not brag, “like some other people we know.” When asked whom she was talking about, she coyly looked down and said “I can’t remember,” but added “I am not getting into a spitting match with him, he can spit further than I can”—presumably referring to Donald Trump.
She lashed out at Trump openly as well, referencing his sexist comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly: “I mean, unbelievable. I don’t know how women can vote for someone who said what he said about Megyn Kelly,” she said. “And we knew what he meant too!” And, for good measure: ”Putin endorsed him, for heaven sakes. Putin, the killer. Putin, the worst.”
For all of her winning bluntness, the Bush family matriarch has also said some pretty awful stuff. In 2005, after touring the Houston Astrodome, which temporarily housed refugees from Hurricane Katrina, she said: ”so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway,” so ”this is working very well for them.”