Donald Trump

Jeb Bush Calls Father ‘Stronger Than an Ox,' Talks Politics in RI

He said the former president, who he called the "greatest man alive," is out of intensive care and will be leaving a Houston hospital on Friday

What to Know

  • Former President George H.W. Bush, "stronger than an ox," his son Jeb Bush said
  • Speaking to a crowd of students who peppered him with questions about Trump, Bush said he did not think the president was a "role model"
  • Bush also called for undocumented immigrants to "have a pathway to citizenship"

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush talked family and politics on Wednesday at Brown University, calling his father, former President George H.W. Bush, "stronger than an ox," and saying that he does not think President Donald Trump is a good role model.

Bush mentioned the recent death of his mother, Barbara, and the hospitalization of his father in his opening remarks. He said the former president, who he called the "greatest man alive," is out of intensive care and will be leaving a Houston hospital on Friday. The elder Bush had contracted an infection that had spread to his blood.

Without naming Trump, Bush spoke of a "big dog" and improving political discourse during the university lecture.

"You're not a big dog if you disparage the disabled," he said. Trump mocked a disabled reporter while on the campaign trail in 2015.

Bush spoke candidly to the crowd of students, many of whom had Trump-related questions for the former Republican presidential candidate.

One student asked Bush if he thought Trump was qualified to be president. Bush repeated the question back and said that although Trump had won fair and square, "I don't think he's a role model for people."

Bush said that while he is not a Trump fan, he is willing to commend the president if he finds a way to deal with conflict on the Korean peninsula.

The former governor championed issues he is known for, including the expansion of charter schools and improvements on civic education.

On other issues, he appeared to waver. He admitted his views have changed toward gun policies since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

Bush said he is "supportive" of the ban on rapid-fire devices known as bump stocks in Florida that was signed into law in March by Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Bush began the lecture by commenting on a federal judge’s decision on Tuesday to reopen application to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, calling the debate, "like Groundhog's Day." He said undocumented immigrants should "have a pathway to citizenship."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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