Republican U.S. presidential candidate and former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Simi Valley, Calif. on Sept. 16, 2015.
Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Jeb Bush to Donald Trump: ‘Apologize to her’


Former Gov. Jeb Bush demanded that Donald Trump apologize to his wife Columba for suggesting her heritage guided his politics at the second top-tier GOP presidential debate on Wednesday night.

“She’s right here, I want you to apologize to her,” Bush told Trump, who stood just 20 inches to his right. In July, Trump said “if my wife were from Mexico, I think I would have a soft spot for people from Mexico.” Trump also posted, and later deleted, a tweet suggesting that Bush likes “Mexican illegals because of his wife.”

“I won’t apologize, I didn’t do anything wrong,” Trump responded. 

RELATED: Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, a study in contrasts on Latino outreach

“So here’s the deal. My wife is a Mexican-American. She’s an American by choice. She loves this country as much as anybody in this room. And she wants a secure border,” Bush said. “But she wants to embrace the traditional American values that make us special and make us unique.”

Bush is “weak on immigration,” Trump said. “He doesn’t get my vote.”

“You can love the Mexican culture, you can love your Mexican-American wife and also believe that we need to control the border,” Bush said back in July. “This is a bizarre kind of idea that somehow you can have an affection for people in a different country and not think the rule of law should apply. This is ludicrous.”

In the past, the former Florida governor has referred to Columba Bush as his “secret weapon.”

But Trump hasn’t backed down. Earlier this month, real estate mogul also chastised Bush for speaking Spanish on the campaign trail. 

“I like Jeb,” Trump told Breitbart News. “He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.” The topic came up again in the debate on Wednesday, with Trump reiterating that “this is a country where we speak English.”

A behind-the-scenes look at the CNN Republican debate
The pressure is on for the Republican candidates to perform in Wednesday's GOP primary debate in California.