Jeb Bush denies friction with Perry

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) sought to shut down speculation about a rift between Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and the Bush family on Tuesday night.

“I’ve never heard anybody in my family say anything but good things about Rick Perry,” Bush said on Fox News.

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Bush denied reports of friction between Perry and his family. “Not with my brother [former President George W. Bush], not with my dad [former President George H.W. Bush]…not with me at all. I admire him,” Bush said, adding that he wouldn't speak for former Bush adviser Karl Rove's feelings on Perry. “I think Texas has a great story and he can legitimately talk about that story as a candidate for president.”

Rove denied that he doesn't like Perry elsewhere Tuesday night on Fox News.

Bush also defended Perry for his comments regarding global warming that some have called anti-science. “Global warming may be real. Whether it’s man-made or not is the point on which Perry was opining,” Bush said.

He also granted that former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, another Republican presidential hopeful, had a right to disagree with Perry. “We need to be a broad party with divergent point of views, that’s fine,” Bush said of Huntsman. “Have a conversation, defend your views.”

Huntsman spoke out quickly following Perry’s comments expressing skepticism about whether humans are contributing to global warming.

“I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy,” tweeted Huntsman.

Bush prioritized energy, immigration, and tax simplification as the policies that the Republican nominee for president would need to tackle.

“If you’re a conservative, you have to persuade, you have to defend a position. You can’t just be against the president,” Bush said, brushing off the idea that a Republican nominee had to be more moderate in order to be electable. “Ronald Reagan was a conservative, and everybody said the exact same thing about him: that he couldn’t win.”

Bush also sought to end further speculation about his own presidential candidacy. “I’m not running,” he said. “I’m gonna support the Republican nominee. I might support someone before that. I believe the Republican can win and I’m looking forward to that.”

--This post was updated at 11:14 a.m.

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