Donald Trump says he understands why former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush doesn’t plan to vote for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
In a Sunday interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Trump admitted that he was “rough” on the former governor while the two jockeyed for the Republican presidential nomination. He suggested his attacks may have alienated Bush.
“I understand Jeb Bush. I was rough with Jeb Bush. And I think if I was Jeb Bush, I wouldn’t vote for me either, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said, though he later added Bush and others “should.”
Trump also struck a slightly different tone in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, noting that each of the Republican presidential candidates signed a pledge in September to back the eventual nominee.
“He signed a pledge. He pledged that he would support the nominee. And so did this lightweight, Lindsay Graham. He pledged that he would support the nominee. They ran. They lost,” Trump said, referring to Bush and Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Bush’s refusal to support Trump comes as a growing number of high-profile figures in the Republican Party have declined to get behind the controversial real-estate mogul. Among others, Graham, House Speaker Paul Ryan, former Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska have all said that they will not endorse Trump.
In a Facebook post Friday, the former Florida governor echoed his campaign-trail criticism of Trump, lamenting the real-estate magnate’s inflammatory statements and alleged lack of conservative credentials.
“Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character. He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy,” Bush wrote.