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Mitch Perry Report for 10.19.15 — Jeb pushes the nuclear option in trying to bring down Trump

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

It’s not surprising that Donald Trump has touched upon the third rail of 9/11 politics by mentioning the inconvenient fact that George W. Bush was president when America was hit by its worst terrorist attack in the lower 48. No, what’s surprising is that Trump didn’t go there when the occasion came up during the last GOP presidential debate.

You remember, the one where Jeb Bush said that his brother “kept America safe”?

After Trump brought up the issue with a Bloomberg reporter on Friday, Bush responded by saying it was “pathetic.”

So later on Friday night, Trump tweeted that he was “being nice” when he didn’t mention it at the Reagan Library debate. “At the debate you said your brother kept us safe– I wanted to be nice & did not mention the WTC came down during his watch, 9/11,” he tweeted.

Now, why is it so bad to acknowledge who was actually president that day? It’s not attributing blame, which if you remember, was tossed around equally to both Bush and Bill Clinton in the days, weeks, months and years after the 9/11 attacks.

But wait — is Trump going beyond acknowledging that W was president, and saying that he could have done more to prevent the attack from happening?

“I am extremely, extremely tough on illegal immigration,” Trump told Fox News Sunday. “I believe that if I were running things,  … I doubt that those people would have been in the country.”

So apparently Trump is now saying that if he were in power in 2001, his tough stance on immigration would have kept out the terrorists from Saudi Arabia who slipped into the United States and trained in the country to hijack the four commercial airliners and kill nearly 3,000 people on American soil.

Now that is getting into sensitive territory.

But does anybody really think the comments will hurt The Donald? Really? When virtually nothing else has so far in 2015?

We’ll wait and see if that happens. Meanwhile, the GOP Establishment in another month or so I believe is going to start going into serious crisis mode if Trump doesn’t start feeling the heat from some other presidential candidate. And I don’t mean Ben Carson.

On CNN’s State of the Union yesterday,  Mitt Romney said, “I would vote for the nominee of the Republican Party, and I don’t believe that’s going to be Donald Trump.”

He said that after being asked if he believed Trump could defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Meanwhile, Jeb Bush is literally going to the nuclear option to try to capture the attention of  Republican voters to figuratively ask them — do you know what you’re about to do?

I mean, check out this web ad by the Jeb Bush campaign questioning Donald Trump’s gravitas on the world stage. It’s funny, but the message behind it is — you can’t trust this guy with the nuclear codes.  It’s a theme that Bush is pushing hard on now, beginning last Friday morning on CBS, where he attacked Trump as not being ready for prime time.

This is getting more interesting by the day.

In other news…

Charlie Crist makes his “big announcement” tomorrow morning in St. Pete, and I think it’s fair to assume it has to do with his running for office again.

And Marco Rubio gave a speech on the environment on Friday, where he promises to “cripple” the regulatory power of every federal agency.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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