Jeb Bush spoke to Angela Merkel while in Germany

Jeb Bush Germany Chancellor Merkel Election 2016 AR OrigWX_00001913
Jeb Bush Germany Chancellor Merkel Election 2016 AR OrigWX_00001913


    Jeb Bush in Germany, met with Chancellor Merkel


Jeb Bush in Germany, met with Chancellor Merkel 01:15

(CNN)While abroad, 2016 presidential hopeful Jeb Bush is meeting with world leaders and that includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

During a Berlin press conference Wednesday morning, Bush said he'd held meetings with both the German Finance Minister and Chancellor Merkel. Bush declined to detail the substance of his conversation, describing the meetings as "private" and "brief, cordial, quick."
Bush's press conference bounced around on topics from repeating his criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country's recent aggression in Eastern Europe, to speculation about his would-be presidential campaign leadership.
Bush called Putin a "bully" on Wednesday, and in a thinly veiled shot at the Obama administration's Russia policy, he said "you enable bad behavior when you're nuanced with a guy like that."
    Asked if he thought the U.S. and Europe were on the brink of another Cold War, the former Florida governor said "I hope not," but struck a forceful tone, saying "let's be clear -- Russia invaded a neighboring country, occupies a sizable chunk of that country. It's violated the Minsk accords ... and I think the United States and our friends and allies in Europe need to be resolute."
    In addition to his comments on foreign policy, Bush addressed speculation surrounding the recent shakeup of his campaign management. He explained that the reorganization of his leadership team was an "adjustment based on the skills of people that I got to know over the last three months," and due to a desire to "kind of split up" the "overwhelming challenge" of organizing, messaging, and scheduling. Bush praised newly promoted campaign manager Danny Diaz as "a grinder," while complimenting chief strategist David Kochel for his "great success in early states, particularly Iowa," and his "great strategic mind."
    And addressing questions about his concern over his middling polling numbers and intraparty criticism, the 2016 hopeful was nonchalant. He said his job was to "develop a message that's hopeful and optimistic about the future of this country" rather than worry about polling, and protested hand-wringing over the state of his campaign, noting the "long haul" is the better approach. Bush added, however, that "he'd compete everywhere," and that "there's no fifth place mentality in my mind."
    "If I'm a candidate," he quickly added. Bush is expected to formally announce his presidential campaign next Monday.