What happened to Jeb Bush in New Hampshire?  Nothing good, so the stakes just went up for Thursday's debate.

What happened to Jeb Bush in New Hampshire? Nothing good, so the stakes just went up for Thursday’s debate.

“Uh, my dad is quite possibly the most perfect man alive, so it’s very hard of me to be critical of him. In fact, I got a t-shirt that says, uh, at the Jeb swag store that says, I’m the uh, I’m the, uh, ‘My dad’s the greatest man alive. If you don’t like it, I’ll take you outside.’” – Jeb Bush

WHAT THE hell is up with Jeb Bush? You’d think he’d be able to respond to questions about his presidential brother and father by now, but he still looks like he’s being tortured when asked about them. At the New Hampshire forum on Monday he looked and sounded unsure and unready.

The format seemed ill suited to a number of candidates. Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, whose eight years out of office has left many wondering about his adroitness as a debater, delivered a low-key and sometimes halting performance — particularly on the subject of the Islamic State. He said America “needs to pick a strategy and stick with it,” but when asked about putting American forces on the ground to fight it, his answer seemed wobbly: “I’m not sure that’s necessary.”
[New York Times]

After his pitiful reaction to Hillary Clinton’s take down of his policies and his slogan, Jeb fans have to be wondering if they’ve backed the wrong man.

If you didn’t see him in the New Hampshire forum on Monday night, perhaps you saw the takedown of his responses on “Morning Joe.” Transcript from “Morning Joe” via Mediate

Host Joe Scarborough compared it to the criticism Mitt Romney received for not having an answer to Romneycare in 2012, even though everyone knew the question would come up. “We understand he loves his dad, we all love our dads,” he said. “We understand he loves his brother, we all love our brother. If you are running for President of the United States, you know this is a question that will keep coming up.”

“He was not sharp all night,” agreed Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin. “He seemed a little uncomfortable in the format. I think for those who believe that Jeb Bush is likely to be the eventual nominee, performances like that, if he shows up like that on Thursday, I think it will set him back in a big way.”

(Jeb on his brother and father appears at 1:18 in video below.)

photo via Jeb Bush on Instagram