Jeb Bush Donald Trump jerk_00001229.jpg
Jeb Bush Donald Trump jerk_00001229.jpg
Now playing
00:58
Jeb Bush: Donald Trump is a jerk
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 gotta get this off my chest -- Donald Trump is a jerk," Bush said at a town hall event in New Hampshire

The two candidates have been sparring all week after Bush started executing a new strategy of directly confronting Trump at the CNN debate

(CNN) —  

Although Jeb Bush had been railing against Donald Trump all week, he still had more to say on Saturday – a lot more.

The former Florida governor criss-crossed the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, where he repeatedly went after Trump in his stump speeches – unprompted – and in conversations with voters.

In his first of four town halls Saturday morning, he uttered perhaps his strongest comments yet about the Republican presidential front-runner.

“Just one other thing – I gotta get this off my chest – Donald Trump is a jerk,” Bush said to laughter and applause at his town hall Contoocook, New Hampshire.

The outburst came after a man who said he had Asperger’s Syndrome asked Bush how he would help people with disabilities as president.

Bush talked about the work he did in Florida with the state legislature to obtain more money for the state’s disability system. Just when it appeared he was done with his answer, Bush started his rant against his GOP rival.

“You cannot insult your way to the presidency,” he said, reiterating an attack line he’s been firing at Trump. “You can’t disparage women, Hispanics, disabled people. Who is he kidding?”

Trump took on widespread criticism when he appeared to mock a New York Times reporter with a disability last month, though Trump denied he was doing so.

Opinion: Finally, Bush fights back at Trump

The two candidates had been sparring all week after Bush started executing a new strategy of directly confronting Trump at the CNN debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday. They continued trading shots throughout the week, with Trump calling Bush “dumb as a rock” on Twitter Friday and getting in some fresh insults Saturday while campaigning in Iowa.

Continuing to dig in, Bush said in Contoocook that it’s “deeply discouraging” that Trump is “actually running for president and insulting people.”

“We should reject that out of hand. And I hope you’re going to reject it by voting for me,” he told the audience. “But a guy like that should not be the front-running candidate of our great party. That is not how we win.”

After more applause, Bush added: “I feel better now. I gave myself therapy there. Thank you for allowing me to do it.”

Voters at Bush’s town halls were largely receptive to his digs at Trump. At one point, in Exeter, a voter asked Bush how Trump could be defeated.

“First of all, do you want me to?” Bush asked, as the audience of a little more than 200 erupted in cheers and applause, with some people shouting “Yes!”

In Windham, a voter asked Bush if he thought Trump would lose the general election by a “landslide.”

“Beyond question, Trump loses to Hillary Clinton,” Bush said. “Beyond question.”

Along with calling him a “jerk,” Bush needled Trump over not knowing about the nuclear triad, quipping that Trump probably thought it was “like a tripod.” He thrice spotlighted Trump’s love-fest with Putin, found a way to work in a Trump critique in a point about the space program, and even questioned Trump’s “intellectual curiosity” on more than one occasion.

“I don’t think Donald Trump knows the Kurdish people are Muslim. That wouldn’t be one of those things that naturally comes to him,” Bush said, when talking about Trump’s proposal to ban non-U.S. Muslims from coming into the country. “He doesn’t have much intellectual curiosity. It means the Kurds we’re asking to fight the fight (against ISIS) wouldn’t be allowed to come into the country.”

Will Jeb Bush’s fight with Donald Trump pay off?

Bush’s jabs came the same day that the super PAC supporting his White House bid, Right to Rise, released a new TV ad hitting Trump.

The ad is almost identical to a web video released by the campaign earlier this week spotlighting Bush’s attacks in the debate against Trump over past statements that he’s made.

Later Saturday, Trump continued his attacks on Bush during a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, calling him “incompetent” and “terrible.”

“It was so sad to watch him (at Tuesday’s debate),” he said.

Trump later said he’s not looking for Bush’s approval.

“I don’t want Jeb Bush’s endorsement. It doesn’t mean anything. He’s not tough. He’s not smart,” he said. “I want endorsements from the absolute best.”

For Bush on Saturday, it all boiled down to one point that he wanted to get across. With Trump sitting comfortably at the top of the polls in New Hampshire, he urged voters to seriously consider the power of their vote, saying they can determine “the fate of Donald Trump” and expressed confidence that they’ll “do the right thing.”

Bonnie Sanders, a voter from Windham who attended Bush’s town hall, said a potential nomination for Trump is one of her biggest concerns. “What’s our best hope of Trump not being on the ticket?” she asked, adding that she liked that Bush went after the front-runner but wasn’t sure that he’d be the one to finally knock Trump out of the running.

Debbie Robinson, also from Windham, said Bush’s offensive against Trump at the debate was “good” and that Trump “had it coming,” but suggested he temper his attacks and not go after Trump “all the time.”

And if Trump becomes the nominee? Both women said they’d write somebody in. “Maybe Jeb,” Robinson said.

CNN’s Eugene Scott contributed to this report.