Jeb Bush: 'I would be like a caged tiger'

Story highlights

  • Jeb Bush shuddered at the idea of working in the U.S. Senate
  • "I would be like a caged tiger. I'd go nuts," said the former Florida governor

Rock Hill, South Carolina (CNN)Jeb Bush on Tuesday shuddered at the idea of working in the U.S. Senate, making it clear that he wouldn't want the same position as two of his closest rivals in the presidential race.

"I would be like a caged tiger. I'd go nuts. All talk and no action, particularly now. It would drive me totally nuts. So changing the culture is the first step," the former Florida governor said, when a voter noted that Bush was running for the White House, not the Senate.
The voter went on to ask how Bush would work with the Democratic minority in Congress to advance his agenda.
    In his response, Bush made sure to draw a contrast with his opponents whose day jobs are on Capitol Hill. It was a not-so-subtle dig at rivals like Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who have begun to eclipse Bush in polling.
    "I want to reiterate the fact that I'm not a senator, in case anyone was worried about that," he said, drawing laughs from the audience, though he didn't mention any names. "I would never run for the legislative branch."
    Bush, who's tried to cast himself as an outsider despite his establishment roots, went on to stress that he's never been based in Washington, saying that he worked 32 years in the private sector before serving two terms as Florida's governor.
    As he's done in recent weeks, Bush also raised questions about the idea of electing a candidate who doesn't have much of a record in public office, bringing up President Barack Obama as an example.
    "We had this guy seven years ago, eight years ago that didn't have a record. He was a gifted speaker, he had no record," Bush said, adding that it can be a benefit for such candidates because they're less vulnerable to attacks during the campaign. "He ends up being the most divisive president of modern times."
    "This idea that you pick someone with no record, I think it's the wrong approach," he said.
    Bush said he would also apply the same measure to Supreme Court justices, adding he would pick justices that have a "proven conservative" history.