COLUMBIA, S.C.— A senior advisor to Jeb Bush seemed non-committal Friday when asked definitively if the former Florida governor’s presidential campaign will move forward after Saturday’s South Carolina primary.
“I can say we’re looking forward to a good result here in South Carolina and we’ll move on from there,” Michael Steele eventually said on CNN after first dodging the question.
Bush is publicly scheduled to attend two events in Nevada ahead of that state's caucus: a town hall Sunday evening in Las Vegas and another Monday evening in Reno and the campaign insists they will move on regardless of the outcome Saturday.
Just yesterday, Bush’s campaign manager Danny Diaz was focused well beyond both South Carolina and Nevada when he told reporters, “We want him to win the Republican Nomination, we intend to do so, that would mean we’ll see you in Cleveland and I look forward to it.”
The latest NBC/WSJ/Marist poll out this morning shows Bush at 13 percent and battling for third place in the Palmetto State with Marco Rubio who sits at 15 percent.
Asked this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe if he must finish ahead of Rubio on Saturday, Bush said he hoped to and said that result would be, “a heck of a victory given that he’s basically been coronated in this political process all the way through.”
Bush has spent the whole week campaigning in South Carolina – including his first joint appearance with his brother former President George W. Bush – and the candidate will once again be joined by his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, at three events Friday.
“I don’t understand this but people are still undecided, as a candidate it’s kind of unnerving,” Bush said this morning on MSNBC. “I think we’re doing well.”
Earlier this week the candidate himself remained defiant despite obituaries being written about his campaign, but Bush has not given a benchmark for what a ticket out of South Carolina and on to Nevada looks like for his campaign.
“I don’t know what I have to do, that’s not my say, I’m in charge of what I can be in charge with,” Bush said told the Morning Joe hosts. “The conventional wisdom and the expectations, that’s your all’s job.”