Bush: Palin wrong to call Trump a conservative

Story highlights

  • Jeb Bush says Sarah Palin was wrong 'to say that Donald Trump is a conservative'
  • Palin endorsed Trump on the campaign trail Tuesday and appeared with him Wednesday

Washington (CNN)Sarah Palin is wrong to call Donald Trump a conservative, Jeb Bush said Wednesday.

The former Florida governor said he respects Palin -- particularly her opposition to abortion and support for the disabled -- in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."
But he criticized her characterization of Trump's politics as the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee endorsed Trump this week.
"For her to say that Donald Trump is a conservative when he was pro-abortion in the recent past, he believed in higher taxes, he thought Hillary Clinton would be a great negotiator in Iran, he's been all over the map in foreign policy -- certainly not a conservative," Bush said.
"Rush Limbaugh and others are now questioning his conservative credentials, and I think they're right," he said.
Bush also said Trump "will be flailing away," changing his policy stances, if he's the Republican nominee.
"He attacks women, Hispanics, the disabled," Bush said. "Across the board, he finds ways to tear people down and make himself the strongman, and that's a sign of weakness. It's not a sign of strength."
Trump had mocked Bush during a campaign stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, earlier Wednesday.
Bush, who has climbed into a tie with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for third place in New Hampshire, behind Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll, said Trump's attacks come because he knows Bush is a threat.
"He's scared of me. He's insecure. He doesn't believe that he can take me on," Bush said.
He added: "Why would he spend his time tearing down someone who's so low compared to him? This is because we're moving up. And I believe that he believes we're a real challenge to the nomination."