The Buzz

EXCLUSIVE: Former President Bush making SC campaign debut for brother next week

Former President George W. Bush will make his 2016 presidential campaign debut to stump for his brother Jeb Bush on Monday in North Charleston, The State has learned.

The Bush brothers will appear at a 6 p.m. rally at the North Charleston Coliseum, the Bush campaign confirmed.

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, is hoping his family’s pedigree in South Carolina will translate into a top-tier finish after spending much of the campaign behind the front-runners.

George W. Bush won the 2000 GOP presidential primary in South Carolina handily over U.S. Sen. John McCain en route to the White House.

Their father, George H.W. Bush, also won the Palmetto State primary in 1988 before becoming president.

Radio and TV ads featuring George W. Bush supporting his brother have started running in South Carolina.

“President Bush has been incredibly supportive of his brother’s campaign and Gov. Bush is excited to have him out on the trail,” Bush campaign Kristy Campbell said. “With the threats facing our nation and our allies, we need a steady hand. Few people understand that better than President Bush who knows that we need a tested, strong leader as our next commander-in-chief.”

Former President George W. Bush is not the only family member family to hit the trail for Jeb Bush during the campaign. His mother, Barbara Bush, stumped for him in New Hampshire.

Jeb Bush finished fourth in New Hampshire on Tuesday, ahead of establishment favorite, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Rubio is third in S.C. polls, while Bush is a close fourth. They both trail New York billionaire Donald Trump, who won the New Hampshire primary, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the winner of the Iowa caucus.

Bush will make a stand in South Carolina, where his campaign has been entrenched for months. The campaign has more than doubled its number of staff and consultants in the Palmetto State after New Hampshire.

Jeb Bush’s campaign is hopeful that his big brother can help win over skeptics in a race where insurgent candidates have grabbed the most attention.

He has picked up support from much of the S.C. Republican establishment since U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Seneca Republican dropped out of the presidential race. Graham endorsed Bush.

Bush has not raised the most money in the state, but he has collected the largest average contributions, showing he’s reaching deep-pocketed donors.

Still, contributions to Bush from S.C. supporters dwindled during 2015, and the pro-Bush super PAC Right to Rise did not collect any money in South Carolina in the last six months of the year after collecting more than $70,000 earlier in the year.