Hialeah, Florida (CNN)Perhaps emboldened by the colorful, hometown atmosphere, a feisty Jeb Bush walked into a room full of supporters Monday, greeted by much more excitement than he's used to on the campaign trail, where he's struggling to break past the low single digits in the polls.
Jeb Bush: Donald Trump gets foreign policy advice 'in his pajamas'
A diverse crowd was chanting his name as the smell of croquetas, a Cuban breakfast staple, filled the room and supporters sipped on café con leche.
The Republican presidential candidate held his first post-Christmas campaign event at a Cuban comfort food restaurant here called Chico's, where an amped-up crowd packed into the brick walls to cheer on their former governor.
Speaking in Spanish and English, Bush gave a brief speech of only 10 minutes — much of which was devoted to attacking his rivals in the presidential race.
"Donald Trump gets his foreign policy advice, congresswoman, from the shows," he said in English, turning to supporter Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. "He wakes up in his pajamas and watches the TV shows on Saturday and Sunday."
The crowd delivered a round of boos and other sounds of disgust when Bush mentioned Trump's name.
It was his first of three events Monday in his home state of Florida. He also traveled to West Palm Beach to speak at a luncheon and will hold a town hall in Ocala later Monday.
Before he arrived, the group was chanting Bush's name at 8:15 in the morning while holding up signs that read "¡Todos por Jeb!," as others held signs that said "Asian American for Jeb."
"Miami's always been kind to the Bush family," Bush said, noting that his daughter Noelle and son Jeb Jr. were also present.
The two have been aggressively sparring in recent weeks, and during the Christmas break, Trump took to Twitter to knock his opponents, including Bush.
"Poor @JebBush spent $50 million on his campaign, I spent almost nothing. He's bottom (and gone), I'm top (by a lot). That's what U.S. needs!" he tweeted.
Bush reiterated his line that Trump is not a "serious" man but a "chaos candidate." Yet when talking about the March 15 primary in Florida, he couldn't help but steal a line from the GOP front-runner.
"This primary is gonna be huge," he said, acknowledging that the word "huge" is a favorite of Trump's.
"We will win, and when we do, we will restore America's greatness again," he said.
After the event, Bush fought his way into a frenzied gaggle of cameras and reporters, urging the large scrum to calm down. "No violence," he said. (The South Florida press is unusually large due to its Spanish and English media markets.)
In both languages, he once again assailed his Republican rival.
"I'm saying he's a great politician, he sits at his apartment and just makes calls to people in the press and gets free publicity and fills the space with horrible things," he said in English.
"I'm the only candidate that has gone after him because everybody else seems to be intimidated by the bully," he added. "I'm not."