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Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHouse passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Senators call for answers from US firm over reported use of forced Uyghur labor in China Republicans would need a promotion to be 'paper tigers' MORE’s (R-Fl.) spokesman said Tuesday that Jeb Bush's decision to "actively explore" running for president in 2016 will not factor into the senator's own deliberations about a White House bid.

“Marco has a lot of respect for Governor Bush, and believes he would be a formidable candidate,” spokesman Alex Conant said. “However, Marco’s decision on whether to run for president or re-election will be based on where he can best achieve his agenda to restore the American dream — not on who else might be running.”

There is some concern that the Floridians would compete for the same in-state supporters should they both run. But Rubio has long said that the plans of Bush, his political mentor, would not factor into his decision.


“As I've said before, my decision will be based on my own criteria and I'm sure [Bush would] give you the same answer about his,” Rubio said in October.

Rubio said in November he was nearing a decision on whether to run. If he does, he would likely be a more conservative candidate than Bush.

Both are supporters of immigration reform, however — a position that has hurt Rubio more than Bush. The Florida senator was a major backer of comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate. But the Senate bill didn’t get through the GOP-led House and Rubio's support angered the conservative base.