Jeb Lights Menorah with NYU Hillel in NYC

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush took off some time competing for votes in the early primary states to hang out Wednesday evening with some Jewish students in NYC.

Jeb joined some 40 NYU-Hillel students at the NYU Bronfman Center in lower Manhattan for a menorah lighting ceremony on the 4th night of Hanukkah. Before watching on one of the students lighting the menorah, Jeb pulled out a few pairs of colored socks from his father’s collection. The reason for this unique gift was given by one of the students, Adina Lichtman, who started a student-run program named “knock knock give a sock” that collects socks for people experiencing homelessness in New York during the times of holidays.

In exchange, Bush was given a pen with Tefilat Haderech (travelers prayer) to keep him safe during his run for the White House. “As you go on this journey, may you go from strength to strength so that every step is a step up,” the head of the student group told the Republican presidential hopeful, who seemed moved by the gift. “And we want to bless you that not just in this trail that you embark on right now but if you do have a chance to be president to visit Israel, and we hope that you take this pen with you.”

In brief remarks, Jeb said, “Something about leadership that is hard to see if you’re looking at the big personalities on the stage these days is: first you have to listen, then you learn, and then you lead. In a time when we celebrate the light of Hanukkah, during a really dark time, when people are scared and concerned, I think it’s important to also recognize that we have a duty to help those that are struggling. And it’s part of leadership that makes that happen.”

In between posing for selfies with the excited students, Jeb demonstrated the deep frustration within the GOP on how to deal with the Trump problem. “The two things that can guarantee Hillary Clinton’s election is him winning the Republican nomination or him running as an independent – it’s the same person,” Jeb opined when asked by some students about the rocky election cycle. “He’s a disaster.” Adding that the only people Trump hasn’t offended yet is “white guys.” When pushed on what could be done to bring down his lead, Jeb said that the only way is “to show respect why people are supporting him and make people aware that he’s not a serious person. I think the national security challenge we face now is the opportunity. The more his national security position becomes clear, people will start asking, ‘What’s your plan, Donald?’ It’s gotta be done.

Referring to the most recent comments by the Republican presidential frontrunner, Jeb said that “[Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu is freaking out” from everything Trump has been saying post his proposed trip to Israel, since it “puts Israel in a very paralysis position.”

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.