Politics

Heilemann: Republican Elites Think Jeb Is ‘Pretty Close To Dead’ [VIDEO]

Steve Guest Media Reporter

Bloomberg Politics managing editor John Heilemann said Donald Trump has “not shown many weak spots” and that Republican elites have decided that Jeb Bush is “pretty close to dead.”

Appearing on “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday, Heilemann argued, “Trump attacks people who he thinks could get in his way. He lays off the people who he doesn’t think are ultimately threats for the nomination.” (RELATED: Trump: Jeb Bush Is ‘Wasting His Time’ And Should Drop Out)

“For a long time, he thought Jeb Bush was his main enemy, and he systematically attacked Bush, took him to pieces, needling over and over again about his mommy and daddy issues, about being low energy, sort of his way of saying low testosterone. … Now he’s going after Rubio for sweating too much and for being inexperienced and being a lightweight,” said Heilemann. (RELATED: Trump: Marco Rubio Is A ‘Lightweight’)

Trump “hones in on his enemy’s weak spot and just goes after them again and again and again until they get unnerved. And it’s also usually a weak spot that Republican elites and voters have some questions about,” explained Heilmann.

Host Charlie Rose then asked Heilmann what Trump’s weak spot is.

“Donald Trump has so far not shown very many weak spots at all,” Heilmann replied. He acknowledged, however, that Trump may have some issues in the general election in terms of his policy background.

Host Gayle King then pressed Heilemann on Trump’s strategy for going after Bush, and Heilemann explained, “Well, look you judge by the way that his months-long assault on Jeb Bush worked. That’s not the only reason why Jeb Bush is in to is up trouble right now. But there is no doubt watching the way Bush reacted, Trump got under Bush’s skin.”

Regarding Bush’s new campaign, Heilemann said Bush is “now having to have a comeback.” According to Heilmann, “Republican elites have decided he [Bush] is pretty close to dead.” Citing Bush’s Colorado debate performance, Heilemann said the big money endorsements are now moving “towards Rubio and away from Bush.” (RELATED: Rubio Snags Critical GOP Donor)

Heilmann explained that “the campaign is always a reflection of the candidate and Jeb Bush has been, his candidate skills have been very poor. His name is a huge problem, and if you go around the country and talk to Republican voters, you don’t find very many of them who are buying what he’s selling.”

Follow Steve on Twitter