- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 3, 2015

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said he laughed when he first heard 2016 GOP rival Donald Trump’s suggestion that Mr. Bush speak English when he’s in the United States.

“I laughed,” Mr. Bush said Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I mean, this is a joke.”

“I was in a press gaggle where people asked me a question in Spanish, and I answered it in Spanish,” Mr. Bush said. “I was in a classroom two days ago, La Progresiva High School, where these young, beautiful kids all speak English but they also speak Spanish, and one of them asked me a question in Spanish; I answered it.”

“That’s the reality of America, that’s the goodness of America, that’s the kind of America we want,” Mr. Bush said. “So part of it is [you] laugh because it’s so bizarre, but it’s hurtful for a lot of people and Mr. Trump knows this. He’s appealing to people’s angst and their fears, rather than their higher hopes.”

In an interview with Breitbart News Wednesday, Mr. Trump fired back at Mr. Bush’s claims that the real estate mogul is not conservative, pointing out that former President Ronald Reagan evolved to become a “great conservative.”

“I like Jeb,” Mr. Trump said. “He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”

“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,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Bush also said he thinks Mr. Trump is “trying to insult his way to the presidency” but that it won’t work.

“People want an uplifting, hopeful message,” Mr. Bush said. “People come to this country to pursue their dreams. Sometimes they start without speaking English, but they learn English and they add vitality to our country, and the fact that he would say you only can speak English is kind of ridiculous if you think about it.”

“Are we going to close all the foreign language classes? Why would he have a contract with Univision for his beauty pageant?” he said. “I mean, this is a diverse country. We should celebrate that diversity and embrace a set of shared values, and Mr. Trump doesn’t believe in those shared values.”

“He wants to tear us down. He doesn’t believe in tolerance. He doesn’t believe in the things that have created the greatness of this country,” Mr. Bush said.

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