U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush waits to speak at a campaign event at the Greasewood Flats Ranch in Carroll, Iowa, Jan. 29, 2016.
Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

Jeb Bush sees insults and ‘backbenchers’ in Iowa, looks ahead to NH ‘reset’


MANCHESTER, New Hampshire—Jeb Bush didn’t exactly name names when he made his prediction for which of his fellow candidates would finish in the top three in Iowa, but it was clear who he was talking about.

“It’s all about him and insulting his way to the presidency is the organizing principle,” Bush said of Donald Trump. “The two other candidates that are likely to emerge in Iowa are two people that are backbenchers who have never done anything of consequence in their lives,” he added, seemingly of Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Related: Up-to-the-minute Iowa caucus results

Bush’s critique came just as Iowans headed to caucus Monday night and followed his own campaign’s decision to skip ahead to New Hampshire where they feel their chances are better. Bush said he is focused on resetting his campaign in New Hampshire ahead of next week’s first-in-the-nation primary.

“New Hampshire voters reset elections that’s what you all do and you do it in an extraordinary fashion because you make us walk on he hot coals don’t you?” he said. “And I know you will not let this country down because the reset has started as of tonight.”

For months, Bush’s campaign has focused its efforts on the Granite State where the former governor has made more than 100 stops in almost 50 days, according to an NECN count, compared to just 51 stops over 27 days in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register.

Going into next week’s New Hampshire contest, Bush is embracing the establishment lane of the Republican Party where his campaign hopes to outperform some of the other governors in the race.

“I’m part of the establishment,” he said definitively. “So I’ll accept whatever that’s supposed to be mean, I’m not quite sure what it means, but here’s the deal: I’ve lived my own life.”

Leading up to the Iowa caucuses, Bush spent six days traversing the state before leaving early Monday afternoon for New Hampshire where he will spend the next eight days.

This article was originally posted on NBCNews.com.

The presidential campaign: Jeb Bush
At the start of the Republican presidential primary race, former Florida governor Jeb Bush was widely viewed as the establishment candidate to beat.