MIAMI (AP) – Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said Wednesday his relationship with former mentor Jeb Bush is "fine," even as tensions between their two campaigns ratcheted up.
Making the rounds on morning television talk shows a day after the GOP presidential debate, Rubio was asked about a moment during a commercial break in Tuesday night’s debate. A video of the moment left unclear whether Bush actually turned away from Rubio’s overture, but some commentators cast it as an apparent snub.
"It may have looked that way, but that’s not what happened," Rubio said on ABC’s "Good Morning America. "We’re fine."
Bush’s campaign has been more aggressive in attacking Rubio, his one-time protégé, while Rubio’s campaign has been working to counter that, in part by citing Bush’s praise of him over the years.
Also on Wednesday Donald Trump appeared in a lengthy interview on MSNBC and repeated his call for mass deportations of people here illegally. He said he would deport the estimated 11 million people living here illegally, touting President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s efforts in the 1950s as proof such a mass deportation can be done.
Rubio said the government must deal with those here illegally "responsibly but realistically."
Trump, Rubio and most of the other GOP presidential candidates on Wednesday are in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, all states with early contests.
Tuesday’s debate, the last for the GOP until mid-December, left the crowded GOP field jumbled with less than three months until primary voting gets underway.
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