Barbara Bush Hits The Trail For Son Jeb Bush Embracing his family's famous name, the Republican presidential candidate makes a campaign stop in New Hampshire with his mother, the former first lady. "He's decent and honest," she says.
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Barbara Bush Hits The Trail For Son Jeb Bush

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Barbara Bush Hits The Trail For Son Jeb Bush

Barbara Bush Hits The Trail For Son Jeb Bush

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In a year where many Republican voters are angry at Washington, it can be tough to have two former presidents in the family. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has struggled with that dynamic. But last night, he leaned into the Bush dynasty, campaigning alongside his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush. NPR's Scott Detrow has more from Manchester, N.H.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: When things aren't going well - like when you finish in the low single digits in Iowa and are trailing in the polls behind a politician you used to mentor and voters just don't seem to be valuing government experience all that much - you know you can always turn to your mom for support. Barbara Bush told the Derry, N.H. crowd she hadn't planned on campaigning.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BARBARA BUSH: But Jeb is the nicest, wisest, most caring, loyal, disciplined...

(LAUGHTER)

B. BUSH: That's good. Not by me

DETROW: The former first lady only spoke for about a minute and a half, but she drew an overflow crowd.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

B. BUSH: His dad and I are very, very proud of him. Ladies and gentlemen, the next president of the United States, Jeb Bush.

(APPLAUSE)

JEB BUSH: Mom, my crowd sizes normally aren't this large. I wonder why.

DETROW: Establishment is a word you hear a lot in New Hampshire right now. Bill Manning says he's specifically looking for a nonestablishment candidate this year.

BILL MANNING: Listen, I'm 73 and I've been voting for a long time. I've listened to the promises for years and years.

DETROW: And yet, he says, most big problems aren't fixed. When Manning asked a question, Jeb invited him to come over and shake Barbara's hand. But Manning says...

MANNING: I've supported his father. I supported George twice. And, you know, it's probably just a name. I'm not going to support the Bushes, and I don't think I'm going to support the Bushes anymore.

DETROW: Here's what Bush says to voters like Manning.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

J. BUSH: I'm proud of my dad. I'm proud of my brother. I'm proud of being a Bush.

(APPLAUSE)

J. BUSH: But like all families, we're little different - each one of us. I don't think - I mean, if you have a sister or a brother, you're probably not the same, right? We're all a little different.

DETROW: Still, those differences aside, it looks like Bush is finally fully embracing his family and its 12 years in the White House. Shortly before the event with Barbara Bush began, word broke that George W. Bush will appear in a new ad for the superPAC supporting Jeb. Scott Detrow, NPR News, Manchester, N.H.

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