No candidate may have more to lose tonight during the Fox Business News debate than Jeb Bush. While there is some polling that suggests he is slowing moving up in New Hampshire, his campaign still needs a moment to set fire-up voters. So far, that moment has been elusive.
Bush has not been a stellar debater and with the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary just weeks away, Bush is betting heavily on attacking Donald Trump and Marco Rubio in a series of new campaign ads.
Bush seems baffled by the 2016 race. He clearly blames most of his problems on Trump. Below is a revealing interview with the Associated Press that appeared Wednesday.
Bush tells AP that "he didn't know what to plan for," when he decided to run for president. Anyone remotely familiar with the very deep planning for his campaign that took more than a year, would be surprised to hear Bush's comment.
He also repeats the notion that he was "uncomfortable" being called the front runner early last year.
Bush calls this election year "dramatically different." People are showing their "anger and angst....very different than any time I can recall."
He says the "conservative cause" is "being hijacked by Donald Trump."
Bush's body language seems revealing. He appears uncomfortable and sounds a touch uncertain. At one point he says he believes he must fight to protect the conservative cause and "I don't know what the consequences politically for me are . . ." A comment that hardly sounds like someone confident of victory.
Bush notes that he has a "national campaign" and a Super Pac (Right to Rise) that "has a lot of resources." He also points out that he is on the ballot in every state.
Bush then says he hopes to "beat expectations" in the early states and "move in March as a candidate who that's viable. We'll be viable."
Viable? That's not where the folks who contributed over $100 million expected Jeb Bush to be in January 2016.