Of all of Jeb Bush’s frustrations in his disappointing presidential run, his inability to get a line over on Donald Trump has to rank near the top. In debate after debate, the real estate mogul has shut down the former Florida governor and derided him for being weak and boring. But in Thursday night’s debate, Bush finally got the better of Trump in his most successful put-down.
The subject was Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from coming to the US. “This policy is a policy that makes it impossible to build the coalition necessary to take out ISIS,” Bush said. “The Kurds are our strongest allies. They’re Muslim. You’re not going to even allow them to come to our country? The other Arab countries have a role to play in this.”
Bush suggested that instead of a blanket ban, there should be more stringent screening of refugees. “We don’t have to have refugees come to our country, but all Muslims?” he said. “Seriously?”
The exchange might not be enough to pull Bush out of the campaign doldrums, but it drew thunderous applause that the crowd had previously reserved for the likes of Trump and Ted Cruz. For Bush, that’s worth something.