George P. Bush denies report Bush donors are getting nervous

Son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush defends his father's presidential campaign


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 7, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, it's one poll in one state, but it's getting a whole lot of attention, because who is in front?

It's not Donald Trump. It's Ted Cruz, and by about five points over Donald Trump. But look who is all the way back there in fifth place, the guy who was leading by a country mile when all of this race just started, what, last summer. It seems like just yesterday.

Anyway, with us right now is Jeb Bush's fine son, George P. Bush. He's the Texas land commissioner. In case you don't know, in Texas, that is a very, very big job, second only to being governor, which, of course, might be this young man's next step.

Commissioner, very good to have you. Thank you for joining us.


CAVUTO: You have seen these polls. I'm sure your dad sees these polls. I know you're trying not to get fixated on them.

But are you surprised your dad is having this tough a time?

BUSH: No, I think that there is just a natural disconnect between what the national story has been with respect to the campaign.

I mean, here you have a candidate that has tremendous financial resources, that has more endorsements from military officials, from elected officials in the early carve-out states, and has a game plan to win in the early carve-outs, not to mention the SEC primary states. So, there's a disconnect.

CAVUTO: Does he still have those financial connections and endorsements?  I mean, we're hearing that some donors are getting anxious. Is that true?

BUSH: That is not true.

When you look at the next quarter, you will find that he is in the top tier in terms of financial resources. But, as we know, Neil, it goes beyond just raising money. It comes down to also endorsements and a ground game.

And that's what he's doing right now with a voter engagement picture that is pretty astonishing. In Nevada, for example, we have touched three times the amount of voters as Governor Romney did before he won that caucus in the last election cycle.

CAVUTO: No, you're quite right, Commissioner. Things can change very, very quickly.

I want to get your thoughts to Donald Trump proposing an end to all Muslim immigration into the U.S. until we sort all of this out. Carly Fiorina thought it was a joke and that it he was -- it was a mistake.

What are you thoughts?

BUSH: Well, I'm not tracking that particular comment, but, thus far, we haven't seen a lot of serious thoughts.

I think when you look at the actions of San Bernardino, my dad has been pretty clear that, unlike the president, he has a specific plan to take on the asymmetric threats that ISIS presents to Americans and to Westerners and our way of life. And that's the real problem, the fact that liberals have lurched to try to create more gun control measures, rather than dealing with a fundamentalist jihadist viewpoint that has been taken advantage by -- by ISIS.

And so that's what my dad is going to be talking about on the trail.

CAVUTO: Well, would you father -- do you know, would he go slow on Muslim immigration? In Trump's case, he wants to stop it for the time being.

But what would your dad do on that?

BUSH: Well, he has advocated for hitting the pause button and reexamining the way that we scrutinize not only Muslims, but all Americans, and that's been part of his discussion as it relates to immigration, because during this uncertain time, we have to evaluate and scrutinize on a much better basis.

But he's been the only consistent conservative on this issue, whether it's metadata collection or making sure that we invest in human intelligence in problematic areas of the world, so that we can head off situations like San Bernardino, instead of an arbitrary measure like not allowing people to come into our country.

CAVUTO: You know, George, when I look at your dad, and I look at the emergence of someone like a Donald Trump, and for a while Ben Carson, you could even throw in Ted Cruz, because, though a senator, he's certainly not your petri dish establishment-type senator, that it's just not a good time for establishment politicians, for lack of a better word.

Despite your dad's very successful record, a two-term Florida governor -- no one would deny that, even those who don't flip over him. But successful governors with clear track records, whether it was Scott Walker or Rick Perry, are not galvanizing and didn't galvanize the attention. In those two persons' cases, they fell out of the race.

Chris Christie on life support. What is it about the establishment that voters are saying, we're done with you?

BUSH: Well, voters -- name me an election cycle where voters weren't upset with the establishment or Washington, D.C., this being no exception.

When you look at the data, it shows...

CAVUTO: But none of these alternatives are even remotely of that ilk. I mean, they're the total opposite.

And you could think of it as a fleeting love affair, or a fling, but there's nothing flingish about it.

BUSH: Well, the data -- for example, in New Hampshire, exit polling data showed in the last election cycle that the average voter made an assessment within the last week of a primary.

CAVUTO: Well, that's true.

BUSH: And we're talking about two -- two, three months away.

So, look, as conservatives, we like to shop, we like to test different ideas, this being no exception. And, ultimately, we're going to go for a candidate that has a proven track record as a successful executive.

CAVUTO: Do you think, in a weird way, though, that the terror incident has sort of reawakened Americans to something they had taken for granted, our safety, that it was OK, we didn't have to worry, then all of a sudden, we have these California attacks, and that is something your dad has been saying, but so far falling on deaf ears?

Do you think that's about to change?

BUSH: I do.

Regretfully, as a nation, we became complacent in terms of our national security. My dad laid out a vision in August at the Reagan Library not only dealing with the asymmetric threats of global jihadism, but also dealing with cyber-warfare and some of the new 21st century threats that we witnessed, the fact that our Department of Defense is deteriorating before our very eyes, our Navy is at its smallest point since World War II.

And he did that as a consistent conservative before the events of Paris or San Bernardino.

CAVUTO: All right.

BUSH: And so that's what he's presenting in this campaign, and I'm confident that, over time, more folks will get to know his vision as it relates to securing our country.

CAVUTO: To your point, it is still early. We obsess too much about these polls and everything, but you know journalists. They're annoying.

George P. Bush, thank you very much. Very good seeing you. The best to your family.

BUSH: It's a fine profession, fine profession.

CAVUTO: Indeed. Well, it depends.

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