DANA POINT, Calif. — Jeb Bush has no apologies for spending much of the year helping his allied super PAC raise more than $103 million, telling a group of wealthy donors on Sunday, "You might as well front load it if you can."

"This is a long haul," Bush said during a question-and-answer session at a conference held by the Koch political network. "Are we supposed to just kind of warm up?… I’m not running to come in third. I’m not running to have it on my résumé that I ran for president. The purpose is to run with purpose, to run with heart, to run in a way that draws people to our cause, and money helps. Money helps.

"I’m playing the rules of the game, the way it’s laid out," he added. "And if people don’t like it, that’s just tough luck."

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Bush also dismissed a question from Politico's Mike Allen about how he can raise money from lobbyists while advocating for lobbying reform.

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"Maybe they see my leadership skills based on my record and my capabilities and they say, 'I want this guy to get elected, even if it might make my little world uncomfortable,' " he replied. "They know what my views are about lobbying."

Bush's appearance at the donor meeting was his time before the network, which industrialist Charles Koch helped start in 2003 in response to frustration with federal spending by then-President George W. Bush, Jeb Bush's brother.

He was received warmly by the audience of more than 450 wealthy conservatives, who frequently interrupted him with applause and laughter.

"I am truly honored to be here," Bush said. "I really appreciated the invitation."

He called his brother "extraordinary," but added, "I'm running for president based on my own record and my own life experience."

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