US real estate magnate-turned-politician Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized his rival in the race to win the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination, Jeb Bush, for speaking Spanish at his public appearances.
“I like Jeb,” Trump said in an interview with Breitbart News. “He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”
After eight years as president, people will say I’m a great conservative – far greater than Jeb would ever be”
On Tuesday Bush – the son and brother of former US presidents George and George W. Bush, respectively – had used his fluent Spanish to harshly criticize Trump, whose aggressive immigration stance and remarks about Latinos have caused outrage in the Hispanic community, during a meeting with students from La Progresiva Presbyterian school in Little Havana, Miami.
“He attacks me every day saying terrible things,” Bush said. “Things that are not true. That man is not a conservative. He has been a Democrat longer than he has been a Republican. He’s said that he’s more comfortable being a Democrat. […] I served for eight years as governor. He’s not a conservative.”
He continued: “If you’re not totally in agreement with him you’re an idiot, or stupid, or don’t have energy, or blah blah blah.”
Bush, whose wife Columba is Mexican-American, also criticized Trump’s proposals to solve the immigration crisis by building a huge wall along the US-Mexico border and deporting the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented migrants.
Trump defended himself from Bush’s accusations of not having a conservative record and of formerly aligning himself with the Democrats by comparing himself with former Republican president Ronald Reagan (1981-1989).
“Ronald Reagan wasn’t a conservative,” Trump said. “He became a great conservative. By the time I’m finished, people will say I’m a great conservative. By the time I’m finished with the presidency, after eight years of the presidency, people will say I’m a great conservative – far greater than Jeb would ever have the ability to be.”
All the latest polls place Trump way ahead of his rivals in the race to win the Republican Party nomination for next year’s US presidential elections. At the same time he is also closing the gap on the favorite to win the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, in a hypothetical face off. Meanwhile, Bush has sunk in the polls, with some placing him in third or fourth place among the other contenders.
English version by Nick Funnell.