OCALA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Hoping to energize his political base, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was welcomed by a roaring crowd during a campaign stop in Ocala on Monday. Several people attended the town hall meeting; many held signs which read, "All in 4 Jeb."
Hosting the gathering at Circle Square Cultural Center, Bush thanked his supporters. He got down to brass tacks and spoke candidly about the war in Iraq, events in Syria, Russia, the fight against the Islamic State, and healthcare -- namely Obamacare. Bush said, “I would repeal it and replace it with state exchanges. The fed should have nothing to do with this."
Katy Doyle and Marci Hutto had prime real estate at the meeting. "I think he's wonderful. I mean, I couldn't appreciate him more [even] if he was a relative," Doyle said. Hutto said, "I was very impressed with some of the things that he said. It made me reexamine some of the issues through his eyes."
Earlier, during a stop in stop in South Florida, Bush said Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton "has no clue" about leading the country and GOP front-runner Donald Trump is "not serious about being a candidate." Supporters cheered the former Florida governor's remarks on Monday at a Cuban restaurant near Miami.
The latest national and statewide poll shows Bush trailing Trump and several other GOP candidates. FoxNews.com data shows Bush at 3 percent. Still, Alfred Bingham liked what he heard, adding, "He is a leader when he was governor. He's like his mother. He's got the spine to go all the way."
Bush travels to New Hampshire and South Carolina before returning to his home in Miami for New Year's Day. According an aide, Bus is scheduled to be back in Central Florida very early in January.