Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said he didn’t see the 112-page campaign memo that called fellow Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio a “risky bet” until after it was leaked.
During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, Bush maintained that he never saw the memo that went into detail about why the Florida senator would be a dicey Republican nominee and hinted that he could have something negative hidden in his past.
“I didn’t see it,” Bush said. “Well, I read about it when it was leaked for sure. I didn’t know about the PowerPoint. It wasn’t presented to me.”
Bush told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd, who said the opposition memo didn’t have the markings of a “hopeful campaign tactic,” that he prefers his campaign to focus on winning Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
“I want to unify the party, and I’m focused on that,” Bush said. “You know that comparing and contrasting is part of this, but the basis of my campaign is that we can fix these problems and people can be lifted out of poverty and the great middle can get rising income again.”
While Bush said he hadn’t seen the memo, he did discuss his 2016 rival with Todd.
“The basic point with Marco isn’t that he’s not a good person or that he’s not a gifted politician — everybody can see that,” he said. “It’s that I have proven leadership skills, I got to be a governor of a state and accomplish big things, and in this era of gridlock, it’s really hard to break through, and I think he’s given up, and I think that’s the wrong thing to do,” Bush said. “This is about public service, about solving problems.”
Bush continued to slam Rubio as well as other 2016 hopefuls Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for not passing enough laws that they’ve sponsored while in Congress.
“All three of them have a combined two bills that became law that they’ve sponsored,” Bush said. “If you look at Hillary Clinton, in 10 years, three bills that she’s sponsored that became law. This is the gridlock that I’m running to try to break up. I can change the culture in Washington.”
Rubio addressed the memo Friday while speaking at Northwestern College in Iowa.
“It’s part of a strategic decision they have made and they have a right to make it,” Rubio said. “I just don’t think it is a smart thing for Republicans to do Hillary Clinton’s job for her.”