WOLFEBORO, N.H. -- Jeb Bush is promising his donors that he’ll get better at debating — and he's urging any “nervous Nellies” among his supporters to “chill out” as he embarks on a reboot of his campaign.
“I’m going to win New Hampshire, I just feel it,” Bush told donors on a conference call Wednesday, phoning in from his campaign bus in between stops in the Granite State.
“I know in my heart that we’re on the right track," he added, according to an audio recording of the call obtained by NBC News.
But Bush also acknowledged the drubbing he’s taken in the press after his performance in the last Republican debate, and he addressed concerns among his campaign’s financial backers.
"I promise you I’ll do better,” Bush said. "All the nervous nellies on the call, chill out. We’re going to do better, I promise you. And this is going to be a fun campaign."
And he suggested that much of the pessimism about his efforts is driven by the press.
“All of the disparagement of the campaign... makes people discomforted,” he added. “If you follow all that stuff, my suggestion is don’t follow it, stop reading Politico! Stop reading the clips!"
He continued: “It doesn’t matter. A week from now they’re going to be writing about something else."
Bush is making five stops in New Hampshire on Wednesday as part of a tour aimed at rebooting a campaign that's struggled to gain traction as outsiders like Donald Trump and Ben Carson have surged to the top of polls. It's a difficult place for a candidate who entered the race in June as the presumed frontrunner -- and with a huge financial advantage over the rest of the Republican field. Now, Bush is struggling to keep cash flowing while proving he has what it takes on the campaign trail to make a comeback.
Bush told financial backers Wednesday that after a series of fundraisers late this week, he would head home to Miami to prepare for the next debate, set for Nov. 10.
He added that he plans to grind it out — and keep his anger to himself.
“If you just grind and break through it, you get to the place where you want to be. you show your heart, you show your courage, you show your determination. You don’t get angry when people ask really amazing questions, like, are you getting out of the race next week?” Bush said.
On Wednesday, Bush did an interview with ABC’s Jon Karl, who asked if he planned to drop out of the race before the Iowa caucuses.
“If there was a day and time where I would have shouted an expletive...” Bush said. “But I do this now, in a way that shows that I can walk through hot coals. This is not nearly the hardest thing that the president’s going to do, running for president pales in comparison to being president."