Jeb Bush

5 memorable moments from Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush accompanied by his wife, Columba, moves to the stage at his South Carolina Republican presidential primary rally in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. New campaign finance reports show that Bush had limited funds left before he ended his campaign Saturday night.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush accompanied by his wife, Columba, moves to the stage at his South Carolina Republican presidential primary rally in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. New campaign finance reports show that Bush had limited funds left before he ended his campaign Saturday night. AP

A New Hampshire woman asked him about the “electromagnetic pulse” — and Jeb Bush knew what it was

 
This handout image provided by NASA, taken Sunday night, Jan. 22, 2012, shows a solar flare erupting on the Sun's northeastern hemisphere. NASA

The best justification — perhaps the only one — for making presidential candidates campaign first in small states unrepresentative of the rest of the country is that they give attention to voters’ particular issues, no matter how far out they seem. Candidates must be quick on their feet. And Bush showed he was even before he was a formal contender: “Oh, I know about this,” he told a woman who asked about the “electromagnetic pulse,” a theory about a meltdown in the nation’s power grid. Ever the wonk, he had read about it in The Wall Street Journal.

A South Beach waiter and semi-retired drag queen made him a Paleo-friendly burger

 
South Beach waiter Tommy Strangie made a Paleo-friendly burger for Jeb Bush

Tommy Strangie was called into Burger & Beer Joint on his day off to prepare the special menu item for Bush: a lettuce-wrapped bison burger with chipotle ketchup, sautéed onions and jalapeños (no bun, no cheese) and a side salad of chopped vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette. Strangie, a Hillary Clinton fan, called Bush a “great tipper” — he left 25 percent. Only in Miami.

His aides stuck around after the deadly Charleston shooting

 
Shelby Police escort suspected gunman Dylann Roof off the premises on Thursday, June 18, 2015 in Shelby, N.C. Roof was arrested on U.S. 74 near the intersection of Plato Lee Road during a traffic stop. BRITTANY RANDOLPH / TNS

Bush was supposed to be in Charleston three days after launching his candidacy in June, but he was forced to cancel after a gunman killed nine people at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The venue for his town hall became the site for emergency news conferences instead. And Bush’s South Carolina aides, led by Brett Doster, stuck around — because they had to undo their setup, but also to hand out refreshments they had already paid for to police officers, city leaders and reporters. It was a kind gesture on a day when politics suddenly didn’t seem so important.

He opened up about his daughter’s past drug addiction

 
Noelle Bush, left, daughter Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, smiles while talking with her attorney Peter Antonacci, right, during drug court on Friday, Nov. 8, 2002 in Orlando, Fla. BOBBY COKER / AP

As Florida governor, Bush chided reporters for asking about his daughter, Noelle, and her prescription-drug addiction. So it was surprising when he finally talked about it, candidly and emotionally, as a presidential candidate. It may have been politically savvy campaigning in New Hampshire, home to a heroin epidemic. But Bush appeared genuinely emotional — and resistant to show it. “She went through hell,” he said of Noelle, who is now drug-free.

He made an Iowa woman cry

 
Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, center, speaks during a campaign event at Dordt College in Sioux City, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. PATRICK T. FALLON / BLOOMBERG

Reporters interview so many voters at campaign events that most don’t ever make stories. Like Julie Streck Suhr, a 51-year-old accountant in Sioux City, Iowa, who had been leaning toward Bush before going to see him in person. Before the event, she said she was worried about his low poll numbers: “I don’t think he’s doing so well here,” she lamented. Then she listened to Bush talk about his “servant’s heart” — a corny line often mocked by reporters — and about caring for people with disabilities. Suhr didn’t ask a single question, or try to pose with Bush for a selfie. But when she clapped for him when he was done, she had tears in her eyes and had trouble getting words out.

“Everybody else talks about themselves,” she said. “He definitely does talk with his heart.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced the end of his campaign at what was supposed to be a primary night party in Columbia, South Carolina.

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