Jeb Bush has written off conservative ideology's grip on the GOP presidential race in the age of Donald Trump.
"Conservatism is temporarily dead," Bush declared in a Monday night MSNBC interview. "I mean, if you look at it, we have two candidates. Donald Trump is barely a Republican. He's certainly not a conservative." (Elsewhere in politics, Bush added, the conservative message "still resonates, and it's still important.")
Bush sounded much like he did during the GOP primary -- perhaps, he noted, because few people listened to him.
"People don't believe in anything anybody says anymore," he told political analyst Nicolle Wallace, who was once Bush's press secretary. "I mean, I don't know if they even heard what I said. That's the point. They didn't -- they want their voice heard. They still do. They're angry for legitimate reasons. They latched onto the big horse. All of which is logical to me in retrospect. In the midst of it, it wasn't very logical."
He didn't offer -- nor was he pressed to offer -- any other analysis on what his campaign might have done wrong.
There's "weird solace," Bush said, in feeling like he gave it all on the campaign trail: "I'm not taking therapy. I'm not seeing anybody."
But he's clearly still peeved at having to talk about Trump -- and at having to envision the party that elected his father and brother president be the party of Trump. He could've voted for John Kasich or Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz -- but not Trump, Bush said: "I can't do it. I can't do it." (He won't vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, either.)
Bush won't even ask his parents if they're going to cast ballots for president. "I don't want to ask," he said. "I don't want to know."
He did offer Trump some pointers for picking a running mate: "Someone that has some experience, that knows how to make a tough decision in the political realm."
This being Bush, he remained partisan to fellow governors. The two names he dropped: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.