Looking to rebrand his campaign and resurrect flailing poll numbers, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush embarked on a four-day trip across three important nominating states Monday. On his first stop during a rally in Tampa, Florida, Bush sought to align his image with that of Abraham Lincoln.
But Bush isn’t the only candidate in recent memory to invoke Lincoln on the campaign trail. In 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama stood outside on a crisp day in Springfield, Illinois, and referenced the revered president’s legacy of uniting a fractured country after a bloody civil war. Bush, meanwhile, quoted Lincoln’s second inaugural address Monday – a message of hope and unity – before criticizing the media treatment he had been receiving.
“If Lincoln were alive today, imagine the foolishness he would have to suffer,” Bush said. “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 the age of 50.”
He said he was speaking from experience. “I have gotten a lot of advice lately myself…more than enough. Some is stylistic. 'Take off the suit coat; ditch the glasses. Get rid of the purple striped tie,'" Bush said. But he has no plans to follow that advice.
"Man, I like that tie," he said. "It only cost $20."