MERRIMACK, N.H. -- Jeb Bush says he's "absolutely" personally offended by Donald Trump's recent incendiary comments about Mexico and immigrants coming from the country.

Bush, the former Florida governor whose wife is from Mexico, made his comments about Trump to reporters at the end of two Independence Day parades in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

"I don’t think he represents the Republican Party, and his views are way out of the mainstream of what Republicans think," Bush said. "No one suggests that we shouldn’t control our borders – everybody has a belief that we should control our borders. But to make these extraordinarily ugly kind of comments is not reflective of the Republican Party. Trump is wrong on this."

"He’s doing this to inflame and to incite and to get to draw attention which just seems to be the organization principle of his campaign. It doesn’t represent the Republican Party or its values," Bush added.


Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush begins marching in an Independence Day parade in Amherst, N.H., on Saturday. (Ed O'Keefe/The Washington Post)

During his announcement speech nearly three weeks ago, Trump blamed Mexico for allowing immigrants to illegally cross into the United States.

“They’re bringing drugs,” Trump said in his campaign announcement speech. “They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

In the weeks since, several companies have cut ties to Trump and Democrats have seized on the remarks as further evidence of the GOP's difficulty in appealing to Latinos and other minority groups.

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Bush was asked whether he's personally offended by the comments, given that his wife, Columba, was born in Mexico.

"Yeah, of course. Absolutely. And a lot of other people as well," he said. "But politically -- we’re going to win when we’re hopeful and optimistic and big and broad rather than 'RRRR'" he said -- literally, growling -- "just angry all the time. This is an exaggerated form of that and there is no tolerance for it."

Bush made similar, but less expansive comments about Trump while campaigning in Nevada last weekend. His comments on Saturday were sharper and more personal and came just a few hours after former Republican Party presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that Trump's comments were hurting the GOP.

"I think he made a severe error in saying what he did about Mexican-Americans," Romney said, according to CNN.

Bush and Trump sit atop the most recent polls of New Hampshire Republican primary voters, with several other GOP opponents who once topped the surveys -- including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker -- sinking in those recent polls.

Bush spent more than four hours on Saturday marching with supporters and likely shaking thousands of hands. He has been spending the last few days at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Given the proximity to New Hampshire, his son, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and his daughter, Noelle, tagged along for the parades.

Bush marched first in tiny Amherst before coming here to Merrimack. Several other presidential candidates, including Democrat Lincoln Chaffee and Republicans Lindsey O. Graham and Rick Perry also marched in the Amherst parade. Chaffee also marched here in Merrimack.