Bush rejects role of 'angry agitator' as he reboots White House bid
Jeb Bush vowed Monday not to adopt the incendiary rhetoric of other Republican White House contenders, as he sought to reboot his floundering presidential campaign, AFP reports.
"I will do everything in my power to win this race, but there are some things some I'm not willing to do," Bush said at an appearance in Tampa, Florida where he unveiled a new campaign slogan "Jeb Can Fix It."
"I will not compromise on my principles," the former Florida governor declared.
"I will not trade in an optimistic outlook, put on the cloak of an angry agitator, and I will not make anyone feel small so I can feel big."
Bush, brother and son of former presidents and ex-governor of Florida, was once considered the man to beat in the nomination race for the 2016 election.
But his campaign has failed to inspire, and last week he seemingly bombed out in the latest Republican debate among the crowded field of candidates.
Bush has acknowledged that his run for the Republican nomination is not going as well as he would like, but vowed to persevere.
"I am running this campaign on my own terms, and let me tell you something: When the dust clears and the delegates are counted, we are going to win this campaign," he told supporters in Florida.
He also dismissed advice he has received from those seeking to help him revive his campaign -- political counsel that he joked could never have worked in a bygone era.
"If (Abraham) Lincoln were alive today, imagine the foolishness he would have to suffer," Bush said about the 19th century political icon, one of America's most revered presidents.
"Think about it: Advisers telling him to shave his beard. Cable pundits telling him to lose the top hat. Opposition researchers calling him a five-time loser before he was 50," he said.
"I've got a lot of advice lately myself: "Mr. Bush... take off the suit coat. Ditch the glasses. Get rid of the purple striped tie," he said.
"And I like the tie," he said, adding, "I can't be something I'm not."
Bush made his Florida trip hoping to reassure supporters -- especially his deep-pocketed donors -- that his presidential bid remains on track.
He remains the campaign's fundraising champion so far, but is in the middle of the pack in public opinion polls, trailing real estate magnate Donald Trump, pediatric brain surgeon Ben Carson, Florida Senator Marco Rubio -- Bush's former protege -- and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, according to the latest polling average from RealClearPolitics.