WINTERSET, Iowa -- Distraught by last week's Supreme Court decision that upheld Affordable Care Act subsidies, Donald Trump said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is responsible for influencing his brother's appointment of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court.
"If you think about it, Jeb Bush gave us Justice Roberts. He's the one who pushed Justice Roberts," Trump, a contender for the 2016 Republican nomination, said to an audience of about 200 at a Madison County Republican dinner over the weekend.
In an appearance that seemed more like a celebrity book-signing than a political event, Trump held a meet and greet at the official John Wayne museum before his speech, posing for photos with voters in front of a Wayne statue.
"Obamacare was dead, totally dead, then Roberts, in order to be popular in the Beltway, who knows, came in with a shocking decision," Trump said.
Roberts, appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2005, has now ruled in favor of Obamacare twice, including in the majority opinion of King v. Burwell, which preserved Obamacare's tax subsidies.
In a Friday radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, Bush said he "didn't like" one of Roberts' rulings this session, but noted that the chief justice "is a person of unimpeachable integrity and great intelligence."
While his father served as vice president and president, Bush was active in recommending appointments. In February, a New York Times article highlighted several records of Bush's recommendations, including one in 1989 for the next Supreme Court opening. These recommendations are now kept in the Ronald Reagan and George Bush Presidential Libraries.
The Bush campaign did not comment on Trump's statements.
Trump has publicly condemned Roberts' Supreme Court appointment for months, although his campaign was unable to provide evidence showing a connection between the chief justice's appointment and the former Florida governor.
When asked by The Huffington Post to substantiate the claim, Trump's campaign only provided more criticism of Roberts.
"One of the many failings of both the Bush presidencies is their Supreme Court appointments," Trump adviser Sam Nunberg wrote in an email.
"Justice John Roberts' so-called jurisprudence has done tremendous damage to America," he continued. "Both of his ObamaCare decisions reflect his political agenda and show a disdain for the notion of judicial modesty. Roberts promised to call balls and strikes from the bench. When he got on the field, he became a player and stole the ball."
Other conservatives haven't gone as far as to blame Bush for Roberts' appointment, but last week's Supreme Court decisions are another reminder of Bush's family dynasty, as the former Florida governor and presidential candidate has been asked to weigh in on decisions made by both his father and brother.
Unsurprisingly, the Trump campaign stands by his statements, claiming the real estate mogul-turned-Republican presidential candidate's experience in business would help him appoint judges that would not disappoint Republicans.
"Mr. Trump's record in business shows that no one can fool him," Nunberg said. "He will apply those same unique skills when selecting judges for the Court."
Watch the video above.
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