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Romney: I Warned Jeb Bush He’d Have ‘Very Hard’ Time In 2016 Race

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AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

In an interview published on Sunday, Romney described meeting with the former Florida governor back in January 2015 in Utah to discuss their respective odds for a presidential run. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, said he told Bush that he’d have a difficult time distinguishing himself from his older brother, George W. Bush, who involved the United States in two unpopular wars and left office while the economy was in shambles.

Romney said he told Bush that it would be “very hard for you to post up against Hillary Clinton and to separate yourself from the difficulty of the W. years and compare them with the Clinton years.”

A Bush spokesman told the Post that the campaign wouldn’t respond to comments about what they said was a confidential meeting. But according to Romney, Bush responded to his concerns by insisting he’d make his campaign “about the future, not about the past.”

The 2016 candidate has struggled with that strategy so far.

Though he insisted back in February 2015 that he was his “own man,” Bush has repeatedly found himself defending his brother's legacy on the campaign trail. He claimed that George W. Bush “kept us safe” after the 9/11 terror attacks and applauded his anti-terror efforts as a “case study of leadership.”

Jeb Bush also hired several members of his brother’s team to manage his 2016 run and told reporters that he looks to his brother for advice on foreign policy.

He is currently polling near the bottom of the GOP field, receiving just 3 percent of the vote in a national Monmouth University poll released in mid-December.