Can Jeb Bush Use the Next Debate to Bounce Back?

Jeb Bush speaks at a town hall meeting at the Mary A. Fisk Elementary School in Salem, N.H., on Thursday. (Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post)
Jeb Bush speaks at a town hall meeting at the Mary A. Fisk Elementary School in Salem, N.H., on Thursday. (Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post)

In recent days, Jeb Bush has spent time in his comfort zones: Kennebunkport, Maine. New Hampshire. And Miami.

A four-day Labor Day break at his family compound was followed by a quick stop in North Carolina to unveil his tax reform plan before two days of campaigning in the Granite State — a state he needs to win and where he always seems to campaign with more ease. He attended a raucous rally in Miami on Saturday to open a new campaign field office — just miles from his national headquarters — to help him win Florida’s Republican primary in March.

Buoyed by the sight of family members and old friends, Bush used a visual aid in speaking about the current state of the Republican race.

“The party that I believe in…” he said as he unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a red “Reagan Bush ’84” T-shirt. Getting his point, the crowd drowned him out with cheers.

Since the start of the year, Bush has held political events in New Hampshire and Florida most often, according to a Washington Post review of his schedule. But winning the GOP nomination will require time spent in less familiar places, such as Iowa, where he earned just 3 percent support in a poll released Sunday. On Wednesday night, he will be in one of the most awkward positions of all, next to businessman Donald Trump at the second GOP presidential debate.

“Mr. Trump is the front-runner, so he’ll get a lot of attention in the debate, I’m sure,” Bush conceded last week while campaigning in Exeter, N.H.

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SOURCE: Ed O’Keefe
The Washington post

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