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Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Energy: Reporters barred from Day 2 of EPA summit | Dems blame Trump for gas price increases | Massachusetts to get new offshore wind farm Senate Democrats look for traction on gas prices GOP Senate primary heats up in Montana MORE (R-Ky.) defended former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) against conservative criticism over Bush’s comments that some illegal immigration is an “act of love.”

In an interview that aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Paul said that Bush "might have been more artful, maybe, in the way he presented this, but I don’t want to say, ‘Oh he’s terrible for saying this.’ ”

Bush faced backlash from conservatives after making his comments. On Saturday in New Hampshire, where Paul was conducting his own interview, billionaire Donald Trump’s mention of the governor and his comments at a conservative conference drew boos from the crowd.

Paul has been traveling the nation over the past six months trying to expand the GOP’s appeal, and frequently counsels the need for the party to be seen as more compassionate and welcoming.

On Sunday, he preached compassion toward illegal immigrants, but said such a message needs to include an emphasis on border control as well.

Paul said his message would be that “people who seek the American Dream are not bad people ... however, we can't invite the whole world."

“When you say they’re doing an act of love and you don’t follow it up with, ‘We have to control the border,’ people think, ‘Well, because they’re doing this for kind reasons, the whole world can come to our country,’ ” he added.