Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that when it comes to criticizing Donald Trump, other Republican presidential candidates are nowhere to be found.
"You’ve got to take on the bully head on. That’s what I’m doing. Everybody else is in the witness protection program," Bush said.
Bush has stepped up his attacks against Trump since the last GOP debate, when he labelled Trump "the chaos candidate." Other Republican candidates, notably Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Tx.), have attempted to coexist with the frontrunner, hoping to pick off his supporters after the first few primary contests.
Trump, for his part, has continued his barrage of insults against Bush—a barrage that began months ago with the charge that Bush was "low energy."
Bush, who is positioning himself as an electable candidate with a conservative record, said that conservatives will lose in November if they do not start attacking Trump in earnest.
"That’s what I’m fighting for: to make sure the conservative cause is allowed to actually govern," Bush said.
MARK HALPERIN: You said it’s important to stop Donald Trump, you said you’re a lonely voice in speaking out against him and you said your brother is popular. Would you like the 43rd President of the United States to speak out against Donald Trump publicly, as you are?
JEB BUSH: I think that’s my job. I think that’s my job. You’ve got to take on the bully head on. That’s what I’m doing. Everybody else is in the witness protection program, I’ve noticed. You’ve got to stand up to a guy, when he says the things he says and guarantees that conservative is not going to be elected president, that’s wrong. I've been a conservative all my adult life. That’s what I’m fighting for: to make sure the conservative cause is allowed to actually govern. When we do, great things will happen for our country.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: By the way, that’s a Jeb I’ve known for 20 years. Everybody is in the witness protection program. Jeb, thank you for being with us.