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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Tuesday said it pains him that Mitt Romney isn't residing in the White House, but acknowledged that the 2012 Republican presidential nominee's campaign "wasn't the best."
Asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to offer a "post-mortem" of Romney's campaign shortcomings, Bush said up front that he'd be happier if the former Massachusetts governor had won in November.
"First of all, I wish Mitt Romney was president right now 'cause I think we'd have someone who would be in the midst of trying to forge consensus," Bush said. "It just breaks my heart that he's not there. He's a good man. He didn't run — his campaign wasn't the best. But he would have been a really fine president."
Earlier in the interview, the 2016 contender was asked about remarks made in the Miami Herald by an unnamed Romney adviser, who expressed anger that Bush had seemed to adopt some of Romney's positions on immigration.
"Where the hell was this Jeb Bush during the campaign?” the Romney adviser adviser was quoted as saying. "He spent all this time criticizing Romney and it turns out he has basically the same position. So he wants people to go back to their country and apply for citizenship? Well, that's self deportation. We got creamed for talking about that. And now Jeb is saying the same thing."
But Bush told MSNBC on Tuesday that neither Romney nor President Barack Obama had adopted his immigration proposals during last year's campaign. Bush made the television rounds on Tuesday morning, and his appearance on MSNBC was not the last time he addressed the Romney campaign.
"It was not an open message. It was one that — you know, for a guy as good as he could have been as president, I think he got off, in the primary, to the wrong start and never really recovered," Bush said.