From Daily Mail
Jeb Bush sat down with former White House communications director Nicolle Wallace for a conversation on MSNBC tonight
Bush gave ‘kudos’ to Donald Trump – who he won’t endorse – for ‘manipulating the environment’ to become the GOP’s presumptive nominee
The son and brother of a president said he wouldn’t be voting for Trump nor Hilary Clinton in November this year
The former Florida governor worried that Trump’s election would lead to disappointment as the billionaire won’t get his campaign promises done
Former GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush shared some rather dismal predictions for a Donald Trump presidency, but didn’t discount that it could happen.
Bush sat down for his first conversation since Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee chatting with his brother’s former White House communications director Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC.
The former Florida governor, who dropped his bid for the White House in February, on the night of the South Carolina primary, said voters will ‘feel betrayed’ by Trump because some of his campaign promises – from building a Mexican border wall to banning non-American Muslims from the country – would never materialize.
He also told Wallace, who started her career as his press secretary, that he would feel ‘sad’ if Hillary Clinton won the White House, but ‘worried’ if Trump was triumphant.
‘That’s why I can’t vote for either candidate,’ Bush revealed.
‘I can’t vote for Donald Trump and I can’t vote for Hillary Clinton. It breaks my heart,’ he said. ‘This is my first time in my adult life I’m confronted with this dilemma.’
Looking back at what happened throughout the race, Bush threw a couple of backhanded compliments at Trump’s way.
‘Trump, you know, to his credit was very smart at exploiting these kinds of opportunities,’ Bush told Wallace as they sat down near his family’s compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.
‘He’s a master at understanding how the media works – more than anybody I’ve seen in politics,’ the former governor continued.
‘Kudos to him for, you know, kind of creating the environment and then manipulating the environment to his effect,’ Bush added.
Bush, who had a well-funded super PAC to do his bidding, was branded early on as a frontrunner, with many political prognosticators expecting a do-over from 1992, a Bush against a Clinton.
But the Republican electorate was not interested in voting for the old guard, with Trump and also Sen. Ted Cruz, who’s often broken ranks with his colleagues on Capitol Hill, pushing them rightward, as two of the last three candidates standing.
‘They wanted their voice heard. They still do,’ Bush said of Republican primary voters. ‘They’re angry for legitimate reasons. They latched onto the big horse. All of which is logical to me in retrospect.’
‘In the midst of it, it wasn’t very logical,’ he added, noting that ‘no wise person’ Bush knew had predicted the political rise of Donald Trump.
Before there was ‘Lyin’ Ted’ and ‘Little Marco,’ Trump branded Bush as ‘low energy,’ a moniker that plagued the wonkish and often soft-spoken ex-governor throughout his campaign.
Bush insisted that he was the Republican, in the very crowded field, who did push back against Trump’s insults.
‘if you look at the campaign I spent most time pushing back on all that nonsense,’ Bush said. ‘Everybody else was in the witness protection program for a while.’
After Bush dropped out the wounds still festered.
‘So, you know, kudos for the guy for his, you know, I think he just – he plays by his gut,’ Bush said.
‘He sensed an opening – this deep disaffection – and he played it like a Stradivarius violin,’ the politician added.
Moving forward, Bush won’t endorse Trump. He won’t come to the convention. And he articulated to Wallace why he plans to abstain from voting in November.
‘Yeah. I can’t do it. I can’t do it,’ Bush said, expressing surprise when Wallace admitted that she couldn’t vote for the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008 because she doubted the Alaska governor’s qualifications to be vice president, which was documented in the book and then movie ‘Game Change.’
Bush gave his ex-aide some grief for that decision saying that vice president and president are different and that McCain ‘got over that hurdle in flying colors.’
But Wallace countered and asked what would happen if nobody votes. ‘I mean that’s not what you want. You’re the son and brother of two commanders in chief. We live in extraordinary times,’ she argued.
‘I respect people going through the process and saying this is a binary decision. I’ve heard that term, fancy language,’ Bush replied, but stood his ground.
‘Yeah. I can’t do it. I can’t do it,’ he said, telling Wallace to ‘sort it out’ for herself. ‘I’ve reached my conclusion after deep thought and prayer about this,’ Bush said.
When asked who would be the better commander-in-chief, Bush couldn’t choose on that question either.
‘Neither for me. And you’re not going to get me to change that,’ he replied.
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