Jeb Bush has admitted he’s not the life of the party. But speaking to a crowd in Mason City, Iowa, Monday evening, it was clear that the self-described introvert is embracing it.
Asked by one attendee about his personality strengths, the former Florida governor pointed to his shyness.
“One of my personality strengths is that I’m an introvert, which puts me in the minority, apparently, amongst politicians. Normally people that run for office, they’re extroverts. I’ve overcome introversion, if you will, because I love people,” Bush said.
Bush has faced frequent criticism of his personality from Donald Trump, who calls him “low-energy.”
“I actually think that it’s a strength of leadership though, that it’s an advantage to be a little more introverted, though, because introverts I think have a greater ability to listen to people, they have a greater ability to try to understand the other side a little more,” Bush said. “It’s not all about me, and I think we need a little bit of leadership, particularly in Washington.”
He added that he’s had to overcome his ” wonkiness” in making his presidential run, calling that trait “a defect, not a strength” when campaigning.
It’s a marked shift from his previous comments: When Bush was entering the presidential race in early June, he acknowledged his introversion as a shortcoming when connecting with voters.
“It’s something that took a little getting used to for me personally, to be able to show my heart, because I’m kind of introverted, but it’s important to do,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash ahead of his announcement.
But beyond embracing his low-key self, Bush told reporters Monday he is on a “10-step plan to become a funny guy.”
“I’m actually very funny,” Bush deadpanned.