By Jennifer Martinez | Staff Writer |
Presidential candidate Jeb Bush suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination on Feb. 20.
In South Carolina on Saturday, he suspended his presidential campaign, stating the reality that the U.S. wasn’t interested in a third President Bush.
“The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken and I really respect their decision, so tonight I am suspending my campaign,” stated Bush. His goal was to be the “joyful” candidate that Republicans thought they needed after Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss but Donald Trump stood in his way. Trump quickly started to gain traction, within weeks of Bush’s announcement he’d taken the lead. His surge revealed a republican candidate that was more angry than joyful, according to CNN.
Bush increasingly appeared to be a misfit and it didn’t help that he often seemed extremely uncomfortable on television and on the debate stage.
A particularly hurtful critique that stuck, Trump accused Bush of being a “low-energy” candidate lacking the stamina and demeanor needed to defeat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s campaign started as an unexpected sideshow in the eyes of many Republicans. He labeled undocumented immigrants as “rapists” in his announcement speech and boasted he didn’t care to be politically correct, according to CNN.
Bush wanted to be the experienced governor who could help expand the GOP base by appealing to Latinos and craft a narrative of a more compassionate GOP.
Bush’s older brother, former President George W. Bush campaigned for him in Greenville on Monday, stepping into the national political spotlight for the first time since leaving the White House in 2009, according to CNN.
“We do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our anger and frustration,” stated George W. Bush. “We need someone that can fix the problems that cause our anger and frustration, and that’s Jeb Bush.”
Bush’s campaign had rested on a set of assumptions that his intellectual and reserved style would be an asset, and that the country would evaluate Bush on his own merits instead of his family history, according to The New York Times.
These assumptions were incorrect because he failed to inspire Republican primary voters whose mood and needs had changed dramatically since he left government in 2007.
Bush adviser Sally Bradshaw reflected on the campaign Saturday, telling CNN that 2016 simply “was not his year.”
“Look, this was a year that was bigger than a lot of the candidates in this race,” stated Bradshaw. “Bush didn’t equivocate, and he took on Donald Trump and he showed us what is best about our party and what is best about our country.”