Speed Reads

Bush vs. Trump

Jeb Bush is unhappily trapped in the Donald Trump reality show

Donald Trump really, really doesn't like Jeb Bush. He resents Bush's WASPy, old money roots. He says his first name with a mocking drawl. He constantly calls Bush "low energy," a sharp dig at Bush's inability to play the role of alpha dog. Trump may, in fact, be running for president solely to spite Bush, who Trump believes had a role in Univision canceling its contract to broadcast the Miss USA pageant. "If I'm going down, then Bush is going down with me," Trump reportedly told a confidant. "He's not going to be president of the United States."

All of this has made life miserable for Bush, whose poll numbers are swooning in the sweltering heat of the Summer of Trump. Bush has come under pressure to show donors and voters that he can throw punches as well as he can absorb them, which has only underscored his discomfort with Trump's brawling style of politics. As Jonathan Martin at The New York Times reports, the whole ordeal has turned Bush into a rather unhappy warrior:

[Bush], after a campaign event in Miami, seemed irked when reporters asked him about Mr. Trump.

"He attacks me every day with nonsense, with things that aren't true," Mr. Bush said in Spanish, before saying much the same in English: "He tries to personalize everything. If you are not totally in agreement with him, you're an idiot, or stupid, or you have no energy, or blah, blah, blah. That's what he does."

When a reporter proposed asking "a non-Trump question, if you don't mind," Mr. Bush replied, "I'd love it." [The New York Times]

Unfortunately for Bush, the Trump reality show continues apace, which means Bush will have to continue his reluctant role as The Donald's foil for the foreseeable future.