After Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush met with employees at gunmaker FN Manufacturing today, he took some questions from the press.
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The usually bespectacled Bush was notably missing his glasses. Reporters, in addition to addressing the serious topics of the day, were determined to get the scoop.
As usual, this reporter, height-challenged as I am, positioned myself in the center of the gaggle. As Bush walked over, he looked at me through clear eyes and greeted me.
"Ashley, how are you doing?" he asked. My name is Candace.
Befuddled, thinking he had confused me for my counterpart at CNN, Ashley Killough, I was about to object when he quickly corrected himself.
"I’m not wearing my contacts-- so hey Candace, what’s happening?" he said. Reporters around me chuckled.
Bush has long said that he wasn’t going to take the advice of those advisers and counselors who told him to change his image.
While in Florida in November, he told an audience of all the advice he’s gotten. "Some is stylistic. Take off the suit coat. Ditch the glasses. Get rid of the purple striped tie," he said, adding, "I can't be something I'm not."
Lately, he’s taken to not wearing his glasses during remote interviews, telling this reporter before a "Good Morning America" interview that he does so when he doesn’t have to see.
But now, as the South Carolina primary nears, Bush has taken it a step further, telling reporters today that he’s done the unthinkable (at least in our minds) and gotten contacts.
"I’m wearing them, I got home yesterday for the first time in three weeks, two-and-a-half weeks, and went to uh, the eye doctor and got a haircut. Big news in the Bush campaign," he said, smiling.
After the gaggle was done -- he had announced that his mother would be joining him on the trail on Thursday -- he looked around.
"Hey Candace, you know ... I just thought that was a joke ... wherever you are," he said.
I was standing right in front of him.
“See!” he exclaimed. “I can’t see."