Bush on Trump: You can’t insult your way to the White House

Updated 10:32 PM EDT, Thu September 10, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 16: Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks to workers at Thumbtack on July 16, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush toured Thumbtack, a consumer service company for hiring local professionals. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 16: Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks to workers at Thumbtack on July 16, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush toured Thumbtack, a consumer service company for hiring local professionals. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:26
Bush: Trump thinks he can 'insult his way to the presidency'
Jeb Bush Jamie Gangel interview
CNN
Jeb Bush Jamie Gangel interview
Now playing
01:09
Jeb Bush to Trump: Stop making false statements
how jeb bush describes himself origwx bw_00000112.jpg
how jeb bush describes himself origwx bw_00000112.jpg
Now playing
01:02
Jeb Bush has a way with words
Now playing
01:51
Jeb Bush suspends campaign: What went wrong?
COLUMBIA, SC - FEBRUARY 20:  Jeb Bush reacts as he announces the suspension of his presidential campaign at an election night party at the Hilton Columbia Center in Columbia, SC on February 20, 2016.  Donald Trump won decisively in the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary, the "first in the south."  (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Mark Makela/Getty Images
COLUMBIA, SC - FEBRUARY 20: Jeb Bush reacts as he announces the suspension of his presidential campaign at an election night party at the Hilton Columbia Center in Columbia, SC on February 20, 2016. Donald Trump won decisively in the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary, the "first in the south." (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Now playing
06:43
Jeb Bush's emotional South Carolina speech
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 03:  Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition at Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center December 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 03: Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition at Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center December 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:10
Report pokes holes in Jeb Bush's NRA award story
NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 21:  Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks during the LIBRE Initiative Fourm at the College of Southern Nevada on October 21, 2015 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Bush said earlier in the day if elected president, he'd try to move the Interior Department's headquarters to the West, closer to the needs of the community.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Getty Images
NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 21: Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks during the LIBRE Initiative Fourm at the College of Southern Nevada on October 21, 2015 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Bush said earlier in the day if elected president, he'd try to move the Interior Department's headquarters to the West, closer to the needs of the community. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:42
Jeb Bush: Mr. Nice Guy?
Members of the Bush family
Members of the Bush family
Now playing
01:44
The Bush family and Iraq
Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at a town hall meeting at the Valley View Recreation Center on June 27, 2015 in Henderson, Nevada.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at a town hall meeting at the Valley View Recreation Center on June 27, 2015 in Henderson, Nevada.
Now playing
01:39
Jeb Bush's unpolished moments
jeb bush impersonates donald trump sot_00000709.jpg
jeb bush impersonates donald trump sot_00000709.jpg
Now playing
00:41
Jeb Bush impersonates Donald Trump
Now playing
02:27
28 years of Bushes announcing presidential campaigns

Story highlights

"I don't see how over the long haul that you can insult your way to the nomination," Jeb Bush told CNN's Jake Tapper

Earlier Thursday, Trump attempted to defend the remarks he made about Carly Fiorina

Watch the full interview with Jeb Bush on “The Lead” with Jake Tapper at 4 p.m. ET

(CNN) —  

Jeb Bush said Thursday that Donald Trump cannot insult his way to the presidency, a reference to controversial remarks Trump made about Carly Fiorina’s looks that were published in a recent magazine story.

“Look, I don’t get it. I don’t see how over the long haul that you can insult your way to the nomination or the president – certainly not the presidency – and not the nomination either,” Bush told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”

“This disparaging of women is deeply troubling. It just doesn’t make any sense to me,” Bush continued. “Carly Fiorina has made a good contribution already and will continue to make a contribution in this nomination process. She should be respected as a talented person and a viable candidate.”

Earlier Thursday, Trump attempted to defend the remarks he made about his fellow GOP presidential contender in a Rolling Stone profile published Wednesday.

“Look at that face!” Trump told a Rolling Stone reporter as Fiorina appeared on TV. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president.”

“I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” Trump said, according to the magazine.

Trump said Thursday that when he suggested Fiorina’s face would make her unelectable, he wasn’t talking about her looks.

“I’m not talking about looks. I’m talking about persona,” Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.”

Bush also criticized the Iran nuclear agreement, saying Iran has no incentive to honor it.

“I think you need to look at the full relationship we had with Iran by giving them over $100 billion of revenue where they’re going to be able to continue to be the largest sponsor of terrorism around the world,” he said. “There’s no evidence that they will comply with this agreement, because they’ve violated the agreements in the past.”

Bush also said the U.S. needs to be more aggressive in its plan to help Syrian refugees.

“We’ve had a rich noble tradition of supporting refugees from all across the world,” he said. “They’ve added vitality to our country. That’s undeniable. We have a tradition of doing this and I think we have an obligation to do this in support of the displaced people that are suffering.”

Asked about his newly unveiled tax plan, Bush said it would improve life for middle class Americans.

“We should have the lowest corporate tax rates in the industrial world, which I’m proposing. Eliminate the deductions and allow for investment to take place in our own country,” he said. “The middle class in my proposal – all of them – will get, on average, a 33% cut in taxes. We need to boost people’s spirits by giving them more money to be able to make decisions for themselves.”

Despite his current place in the polls – a new CNN/ORC poll has him in third place with 9% support among Republicans – Bush said he is “pretty confident” that he is going to be the Republican nominee.

“I think ultimately the three things that matter are you have to have a heart for people, you have to have ideas to lift them up and you have to have the leadership skills to make sure people know it’s actually possible,” he said. “I have those skills and I’m going to share them with passion and conviction.”

Bush continued to tweak Trump on the campaign trail in Exeter, New Hampshire, Thursday night, telling reporters Fiorina and Ben Carson, with whom Trump has recently feuded, “have to get in line.”

“I’m still the number one beneficiary of the Donald’s insults. Look, he is who he is. He likes to disparage people,” Bush said.

CNN’s Cassie Spodak contributed to this report.