Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose name often comes up during talk of a possible brokered GOP convention, said Thursday he is troubled by what he's heard from the Republican candidates during the presidential debates.
"I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I'm wondering, I don't think I've changed, but it's a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people's fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that's kind of where we are," Bush said Thursday during a speech in Dallas, Fox News reported. "I think it changes when we get to the general election. I hope."
Asked later to clarify his comments, Bush told the Washington Post: “I am a conservative and I think we should be offering a compelling, optimistic vision and plan to deal with our structural problems as a nation.”
After the event, Bush told Dallas CBS affiliate KTVT-TV the GOP contenders need to take care not to campaign too far to the right.
“I think it’s important for the candidates to recognize though they have to appeal to primary voters, and not turn off independent voters that will be part of a winning coalition.”
And despite the speculation that he or another candidate could be recruited to join the race, Bush shot that down, telling KTVT: “Not going to happen. The party nominee will be amongst the candidates that are in the race now.”