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Tags: Politico | Jeb Bush | Supporters | Comeback | New Hampshire

Politico: Jeb Bush Supporters Believe He Will Make Comeback in NH

Politico: Jeb Bush Supporters Believe He Will Make Comeback in NH
(Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 December 2015 10:25 AM EST

Jeb Bush supporters reportedly believe New Hampshire holds the key to a comeback for the former Florida governor's struggling campaign.

Politico
reports Bush drew respectable crowds in town hall events last weekend, is polling close to all his rivals except dominant front-runner Donald Trump — and now has won over Beverly Bruce, a respected and influential GOP veteran in New Hampshire, to his side as well.

"I was wearing my new Jeb sticker in a restaurant the other night and the waiter, a 25-year-old kid, asks me about him," the former New Hampshire financial chair for Mitt Romney in 2012 tells Politico. "He said, 'You know, I really like Jeb. When he speaks, he's the only one who makes me feel safe about living in this country.'"

"That told me that this is far from over up here," she said.

Battered by poor debate performances, verbal assaults from Trump, and a faltering campaign, Bush has nevertheless hung on and appears re-energized for the final sprint before the first voting contests in 2016, supporters tell Politico.

"He's had plenty of opposition from all sides, but he's kept his course and that's what I respect him for," said George Roberts Jr., a former New Hampshire statehouse speaker. "He's a real candidate that people respect, not a schoolyard bully without concrete plans."

Added Steve Duprey, the Republican National Committee's committeeman in New Hampshire: "What I notice at the town hall meetings is voters have gotten past the introductory phase and are drilling in with more detailed questions."

"You can't get through New Hampshire on generalities, particularly on foreign policy and defense because we have such a high percentage of retired military," he tells Politico.

Bush is taking particular aim at Trump — who in the last GOP called him a "total disaster" — releasing a video Monday featuring debate highlights bragging he's "the only one" willing to take on Trump and mocking Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for their deference to him.

But it may not be all about beating Trump, supporters argue.

"For all the stories about everything he's gone through, he's right there with Rubio," one Bush supporter in New Hampshire tells Politico. "If Christie and Rubio aren't able to break away from the pack, I think Bush has a fighting chance."

"Trump may win New Hampshire, but for Bush, Christie and Rubio, it's about where they are relative to other establishment contenders," the unnamed supporter added. "If Bush finishes second behind Rubio or Christie, that's bad. But if he can win the primary among everyone other than Trump, he fights on."

Bush plans to spend at least half of his time over the next seven weeks in New Hampshire, Politico reports.

"Where Bush has been weak in national media interviews and debates, he's really strong in these town hall meetings," the Bush supporter said. "For a guy who is clearly of the political aristocracy, he comes across as authentic and genuine in these smaller settings."

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Headline
Jeb Bush supporters reportedly believe New Hampshire holds the key to a comeback for the former Florida governor's struggling campaign.
Politico, Jeb Bush, Supporters, Comeback, New Hampshire
502
2015-25-22
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 10:25 AM
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