Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush acknowledged that he feels some awkwardness in running for president against his friend, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.
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"It's a little awkward when you have a good friend that's running for the same position. But that's just the way it is," Bush told Sean Hannity in an interview to be broadcast on Fox News Tuesday evening. And, he continued, "It doesn't bother me a bit."
Bush called Rubio "a great guy," and said, "I admire him a lot. He's got a great family."
The person whose name comes up most often in relation to his - outside his family - is Hillary Clinton. He said this of her candidacy so far: "[S]he's already starting the rhetoric of dividing the country rather than lifting our spirits. She doesn't talk about the kind of economic growth that would create meaningful income rises for the middle. She talks about more government programs."
A conservative, he told Hannity, "can win in 2016 if we're hopeful and optimistic rather than reactionary to how bad things are. If we offer a compelling alternative to the path that she proposes."
On the second official day of his presidential campaign, Bush has already grown weary of some topics. Asked about Iraq and whether he'd invade knowing what we know now - a question that he had trouble answering a few weeks ago when Fox News' Megyn Kelly asked, Bush said to Hannity, "Do we have to talk about that again?"
Bush was ready to play along with a little word association related to his opponents, though. Here's what came to mind for him when these candidates' names came up:
- Rand Paul: "Libertarian"
- Marco Rubio: "Good friend"
- Donald Trump: "Rich guy"
- Ted Cruz: "Very smart. Fiery"
- Carly Fiorina: "Really talented"
- Scott Walker: "Fighter"
- Rick Perry: "A real Texan"
- John Kasich: "Smart guy, too"
"Look," he told Hannity, "All these guys, they're my friends. It's hard to say anything bad about them."