Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks toward Jeb Bush, right, as Scott Walker watches during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena on Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP

Jeb, Trump start to unlace their gloves

Jeb Bush’s campaign operation had a pretty straightforward plan when dealing with the summer’s campaign drama: stay above it. Donald Trump may lead the polls and dominate the conversation, but the former governor and his team have consistently said they intend to stick to their own script.
It was just two weeks ago that the chief strategist for Bush’s super PAC said, “Trump is, frankly, other people’s problem.”
About a day later, Team Jeb threw out its gameplan and paid for a plane to fly above a Trump event in Alabama, telling onlookers the GOP frontrunner supports ‘higher taxes.’” Bush’s campaign manager soon after turned his attention to Trump’s sister.
This week, the showdown appears to be intensifying. Trump hit Jeb yesterday morning with an online video, attacking the Florida Republican on immigration. Bush hit back soon after with a memo, blasting Trump as being insufficiently conservative on crime and immigration.
Last night, Team Jeb took another swing.
On the same day that Donald Trump released a video blasting Jeb Bush on immigration, the former Florida governor published a web video highlighting Trump’s past statements supporting liberal policy ideas.
The video titled “The Real Donald Trump” strings together clips of Trump saying he is pro-choice, noting that single-payer health care has worked in other countries, and praising Hillary Clinton.
The video is available on YouTube here.
Brad Dayspring, a member of Scott Walker’s campaign team, is mocking team Jeb, reminding Bush aides of the “other people’s problem” quote from two weeks ago.
Bush aide Elliott Schwartz, in a not-so-subtle shot at the Walker campaign, said Jeb’s operation has decided to do the work of challenging Trump directly “as the rest of the Unintimidated field cowers.”
I’m sure the above-the-fray approach sounded like a good idea at the time, but actual campaigning tends to be quite a bit more difficult.