Rubio: I Have ‘Tremendous Personal Affection’ for Jeb Bush

‘I have tremendous admiration [for Jeb Bush]’

DICKERSON: “Was Jeb Bush your mentor?”
RUBIO: “He was a big part a -- I don't know about labels like that, he was most certainly a big part of my career. And I have tremendous admiration. I said that at the debate.”
DICKERSON: “Right.”
RUBIO: “You're never going to hear me bad-mouth him. He was a great governor of Florida. He's someone I have tremendous personal affection for. My issue is not with Jeb Bush. I'm running for president because I honestly believe that our party and our country needs to turn the page and allow people, a new generation of leadership that understands the issues before America now. I know there are people running that have more experience than I do on the issues we faced 17 years ago. But on the issues before America today, that's what we should be debating. And I just don't believe there's anyone else running who has better understanding of the issues before us now than I do.”
DICKERSON: “Are people wrong who say that the reason that was such a moment for you in the debate is because you're -- you have this relationship, this friendship with him and you could basically call him on his motives, and that that created this drama that everybody is talking about? People who support you say you put Jeb Bush in his place.”
RUBIO: “Well, I don't know. He said something. I had to respond. And I feel obviously what I said is something that I believe. I do believe that Jeb has been convinced by people around him that he needs to attack me in order to be more successful. I don't personally agree with it, but I'm not running his campaign. What I control is my campaign. My campaign is not going to be attacking him or any other Republican. If there are policy differences, we should debate those. That's a legitimate issue. But I'm not going to bad-mouth other Republicans. I want to be the nominee. But someone on that stage is going to be the Republican nominee. I don't want to do anything that makes it easier for Hillary Clinton or whoever the Democrat nominee is to defeat the Republican, because we truly, as a nation, cannot afford another four years like the last eight.”

 

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