Family

Jeb Goes After Trump with Perceived Dig About His Kids

The failed presidential candidate couldn't resist taking what appeared to be a personal swipe at the sitting chief executive

Using a speaking forum at Yale University as some sort of weird cathartic session, Jeb Bush told an audience with a grin earlier this week, “I’m still in therapy” — referring to his disappointing finish in the 2016 primary that led to his dropping out of the presidential race.

And then he took a hit at President Donald Trump, as several media outlets reported.

The former Florida governor said that he has kids who “actually love me” — a quip interpreted as a jab against the president, according to an article on Wednesday in the Yale Daily News, the student newspaper.

It didn’t take long, though, for two of Trump’s children to pounce on Bush for the perceived dig.

“Jeb! I love everything about my father,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote on social media, retweeting a Daily Caller report about it. “I love that he’s a fighter, I love that he has guts, I love that he’s President (all those things you’re not).”

The president’s eldest son also lauded his father’s political savvy: “Also love that he learned enough about politics in a few weeks to dismantle you piece by piece despite it being your life’s work.”

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Trump’s son Eric also weighed in on Twitter. “I actually love my father very much,” he wrote. “#PleaseClap.”

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Careful readers will recall that Jeb Bush uttered the phrase “please clap” to a paltry crowd of supporters in New Hampshire in February of 2016, during the final days of his failing presidential campaign.

When the audience did not respond appropriately to a line from his speech detailing what kind of president he would make, he urged them, “Please clap.”

Today, that same phrase is used to poke fun at him.

Related: Joy Behar Has Not Learned Her Lesson: Unfairly Goes After Melania Trump

The verbal lashing of Bush on Twitter actually forced the Yale publication to issue a correction.

“A previous version of this article stated that Bush’s comment that he ‘went home to my children that actually love me’ was meant as a jab at President Donald Trump. In fact, Bush did not directly refer to Trump — but he was speaking about his loss in the 2016 South Carolina Republican presidential primary, which Trump won. His comment was met with raucous laughter and applause from the crowd, and eight of nine audience members interviewed after the event told the News they interpreted Bush’s comment as a reference to Trump. The News regrets this error. The story has also been updated to include a direct criticism of Trump that Bush made later in his speech.”

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.

(photo credit, homepage image: Donald Trump at Aston, PA, CC BY 2.0, by Michael Vadon / Jeb Bush, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore; photo credit, article image: Donald Trump, Jeb BushCC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore)

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