{{show_title_date || "Marco Rubio welcomes Jeb Bush to 2016 campaign trail, 6/15/15, 12:26 PM ET"}}

Florida Republicans welcome Jeb Bush to primary race


With Jeb Bush officially declaring his candidacy Monday afternoon, fellow Florida republicans are offering their welcome messages.

Former Florida Governor Bob Martinez spoke to msnbc’s Andrea Mitchell on Monday about Bush’s record as governor and expressed his support for the Republican candidate. “Jeb is an incredibly good administrator. He understands policy,” Martinez said. “He’s one great policy speaker.”

Along with Martinez, Sen. Marco Rubio, another Republican presidential hopeful, has also expressed his admiration for Bush. “In politics, people throw around the word ‘friend’ so much it often has little real meaning. This is not one of those times. When I call Jeb Bush my friend, I mean he is someone I like, care for and respect,” Rubio said in a statement Monday.

Bush, who has been criticized for distancing himself from his family name, unveiling his campaign logo over the weekend ahead of his official launch, which refers to him only as “Jeb!”

But Martinez pushed back on the suggestion that Bush’s omission of his last name in his campaign logo was strategic, saying that Bush has made a habit of campaigning in the past without his surname. “It’s his trademark. It’s worked for him in the past,” Martinez said.