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Jeb Bush on attacking Trump: 'That's what bullies need from time to time'

Jeb Bush defended a stinging tweet he sent to fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump, saying he was 'just giving him a little taste of what he gives.'
/ Source: TODAY

A day after firing off a tweet calling Donald Trump a loser, a liar and a whiner, Jeb Bush bashed the real estate mogul as a bully and said he was simply using his own tactics against him.

"Well, I'm just giving him a little taste of what he gives,'' Bush told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Tuesday. "That's what bullies need from time to time."

The former Florida governor also criticized his Republican opponent for comments he made about Sen. John McCain early in the campaign.

"He's gone bankrupt four times, he whines when it doesn't go perfectly for him, and he insults his way to the nomination,'' Bush said. "That's not going to work. I don't think people believe that."

Bush's mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, also entered the war of words between the two candidates.

Asked about Trump on CNN Friday, Bush said she was "sick of him."

That comment prompted a swift response from the candidate.

The former first lady added she thought Jeb has been "too nice" during the campaign.

Following his harsh remarks Monday, Bush told Guthrie, "After that last tweet I did, she probably doesn't necessarily think that any more."

Polls leading into Tuesday's primary listed Trump as the front-runner, but Bush planned on being in the race for the long haul.

"There's a long, long process ahead of us, and I intend to be there at the end,'' he said.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.