DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Donald Trump and Jeb Bush traded barbs in new videos this week as the Republican presidential primary gets its first taste of the attack ads that have become commonplace on the campaign trail.
Trump is going after Bush with a new campaign video that attacks his stance on immigration. The former Florida governor is challenging the business magnate on his commitment to the Republican Party.
In Trump's video, Bush is shown saying in a 2014 interview that illegal immigration is "not a felony" but rather an "act of love." The video has pictures of three men who were in the country illegally and have been charged or convicted in killings.
The Trump campaign's short video, posted on Instagram, concludes with block letters on a black screen saying: "Forget love. It's time to get tough."
In 2014, Bush said illegal immigration is a crime for which people should pay a price. But he said no one should be surprised that people cross the border to seek a better life for families they love.
Trump has made a strict stand on immigration the cornerstone of his insurgent campaign, while Bush has said repeatedly that a path to permanent legal status for immigrants in the country illegally could ignite the slow-recovering economy.
The Bush campaign responded to the latest slap from Trump by calling attention to the billionaire's past political donations to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, New York Sen. Charles Schumer and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, now the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The former Florida governor's campaign team also released a video that features quick clips of Trump calling himself "very pro-choice," praising Hillary Clinton as a "terrific woman" and saying he identifies more as a Democrat.
"While Donald Trump was still supporting liberal, soft-on-crime politicians, Jeb Bush accumulated an eight-year record of cracking down on violent criminals as governor of Florida," Bush campaign spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said in a statement.