Donald Trump has come under sustained attack from other Republican presidential candidates during the US presidential debate as they united against his plan to bar Muslims from entering the United States.
The nine GOP presidential contenders met in Las Vegas, Nevada, for their fifth debate on Tuesday, the second debate to air on CNN.
Bush, the former Florida governor, criticized Trump’s bigoted remarks about Muslims and mosques in the weeks since the mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, California.
Bush led his rivals in portraying Trump as a fearmonger more interested in scaring voters than in planning an effective strategy against terrorism.
“Donald, you’re not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency — that’s not going to happen,” Mr. Bush said. “Leadership is not about attacking people and disparaging people. Leadership is about creating a serious strategy.”
“Banning all Muslims will make it harder for us to do exactly what we need to do, which is to destroy ISIL,” he said. “That’s not a serious proposal. We need a serious leader to deal with this, and I believe I’m that guy.”
Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who have been gaining in polls, also registered their opposition to Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric.
Senator Rand Paul, who has been struggling to revive his flailing presidential campaign, compared Trump to totalitarian rulers because he supports monitoring the Internet for suspicious activity.
Nearly every Republican leader has condemned Trump’s proposal to bar Muslims from entering the United States, though none has attacked him forcefully.
Trump, after six months on the campaign trail, has neither matured much as a candidate nor developed a sophisticated governing agenda.
Instead, the multi-billionaire continues to dismiss his rivals and to speak about policy in vague and unrealistic ways rather than specifics.