The Bush family, a dynasty that defined Republicanism for decades, clashed on Monday with the new and irreverent face of the party, Donald J. Trump, in one of the most vivid and powerful confrontations in the presidential primary campaign so far.
Jeb Bush, facing increasing pressure in South Carolina after lackluster showings in early contests, brought his older brother, George W. Bush, and the former first lady, Laura Bush, to vouch for his decency and judgment here in a race that has been driven in recent weeks by coarse language, anger and personal insults.Mr. Bush also praised his younger brother's "deep and genuine faith" — "faith that reveals itself through good works, not loud words," he said — and argued for nominating a Republican who can win the general election in November.
"There seems to be a lot of name-calling going on, but I want to remind you what our good dad told me one time — labels are for soup cans," the former president told a crowd that the campaign estimated at 3,000 people at a civic center here. "The presidency is a serious job that requires sound judgment and good ideas, and there's no doubt in my mind that Jeb Bush has the experience and the character to be a great president."
Mr. Bush also praised his younger brother's "deep and genuine faith" — "faith that reveals itself through good works, not loud words," he said — and argued for nominating a Republican who can win the general election in November.
"All the sloganeering and all the talk doesn't matter if we don't win," he said. "These are tough times, and I understand that Americans are angry and frustrated, but we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our anger and frustration."
The former president spoke hours after Mr. Trump, who has been leading in polls here, held a news conference nearby in which he continued his assault on Mr. Bush, mocking his famous "Mission Accomplished" appearance during the Iraq war and pointedly saying the country was not "safe" during the president's tenure.