Can Jeb Deliver a Knockout Blow to Trump?

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.
Jeb Bush enters the ring with Trump—but can he win?

Jeb Bush enters the ring with Trump—but can he win?

Posted by 2016 Distilled on Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The boxing match is finally in full swing.

The billionaire businessman has been poking at the former Florida governor for weeks, if not months, but this time Bush is firing back. Bush’s camp released a video against Trump earlier this week, highlighting the GOP front-runner’s liberal standpoints over the years. And on Wednesday, Bush followed up with a more personal attack in the format of an online quiz, no less.

But adopting an offensive strategy can be dangerous for Bush. As my colleague Molly notes:

The other candidates who’ve gone after Trump aggressively (Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, Rand Paul) haven’t exactly soared in the polls. Trump is like an electric fence that the candidates keep running at, only to get zapped and fall back.

Then again, there’s no stopping Trump’s jabs. So, is it worth it for Bush to continue the attack? What does he have to lose? I explain in the video seen above.