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Bush Shifts Barbs From GOP Rivals to Democrats Clinton and Sanders

LAS VEGAS — Jeb Bush shifted his attacks from fellow Republicans to Democratic rivals Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during a speech Thursday pitching his gubernatorial experience to Nevada voters.

"Hillary, she’s kind of drafting right behind Bernie,” he said. “Bernie Sanders has already promised $18 trillion in new spending programs — I know, it’s impossible to imagine.”

Bush said his plan of shrinking government and taxes is the “proper” way of growing the economy and pledged to spread that message with “a heart for people” as opposed to using a “loud voice,” a thinly-veiled attack against GOP front runner Trump.

The candidate’s resume as governor of Florida is a standard element to his campaign trail speeches, but in Las Vegas Thursday night, Bush crystallized that message by calling his a "Florida story."

"It’s a precursor, it’s a prelude to what could happen in Washington, D.C.,” Bush said of his record as governor. "I hope I will be so brilliant, so eloquent and so high energy that you sign up for the caucuses in February and get ten other people to do the same.”

Jeb Bush explains why he stood on tiptoe for GOP group photo 0:49

Bush made only brief reference to Wednesday night's Republican debate, calling the experience “crazy” and “different.” He said he hoped his Las Vegas audience had watched, to which the crowd yelled back “ever ready,” referring to a memorable debate moment.

The afternoon rally drew between 100 and 150 people, and the governor referenced the timing, saying, “Three o'clock in the afternoon, I realize there are other things going on,” while saying he appreciated those in attendance.

In touting his goal of four-percent economic growth, Bush hit Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for their views on taxes, government spending and business regulation.

On Friday, Bush takes his campaign east to South Carolina for the Heritage Action Candidate Forum that will attract nearly a dozen of the GOP presidential contenders.