Jeb Bush is scoring single-digit results in the national polls, but Tom Ridge, who served as Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush, said Thursday that the polls at this point matter very little.
"Everybody on the set knows this is not number one a national election, it's down to eight or 10 states," the former Pennsylvania governor told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
"I know what Jeb is doing in Iowa and right here in New Hampshire and Nevada and South Carolina, staffing up a good ground game," he continued. "I'm not too excited one way or the other about national polls. We're excited about the progress we're making. It may not show up on your radar, but we're feeling good about where we are."
But there are a "couple of reasons" that work isn't translating to more success on the ground, Ridge said.
"I just listened to your show for 20 minutes and everybody's talking about Donald Trump," he said. "Nobody's talking about what Donald Trump would do as president."
And instead, "personalities and points" are being compared "rather than the thoughtful approach these men and women would give to the extraordinary responsibilities of being president of the United States and commander in chief."
"I think part of it has to do with the oxygen that [Trump's] kind of sucked out of the political discussion, because he is a phenomenon," Ridge continued. "But I think as we closer and closer to Judgment Day in Iowa and right here in New Hampshire, people are going to pay a lot more attention. It's not who they are, but what they would do as commander in chief."
But Ridge does not believe Trump is qualified for the White House.
"I just don't think you want to put somebody in the White House who brings that mind set and use everything as a simple-minded solution," said Ridge. "You and I don't have a long enough time on this program to tell you why it's not an effective commander in chief."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.