Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, take the stage for the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Jeb Bush responded Thursday morning to Republican presidential rival Donald Trump's criticism of him speaking Spanish on the campaign trail, saying in a television interview that he "laughed" when he learned about Trump's remarks.

"People come to this country to pursue their dreams," Bush said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "Sometimes they start without speaking English, but they learn English and they add vitality to our country. And the fact that he would say that you only can speak English is kind of ridiculous if you think about it. Are we going to close all the foreign language classes? Why would he have a contract with Univision for his beauty pageant?"

Bush added: "He wants to tear us down. He doesn't believe in tolerance."

The former Florida governor's comments marked the latest broadside in a quickly escalating war of words with the real estate mogul who has risen to the top of the GOP polls.

“I like Jeb,” Trump said in an interview with Breitbart News published Wednesday. “He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”

While Bush said he "laughed" at Trump's comment, he added that the remarks are "hurtful for a lot of people."

Bush's wife Columba was born in Mexico. They mostly speak Spanish at home. Bush responded to questions from Spanish-speaking reporters in Spanish earlier this week.

Bush, who has argued that Trump is "liberal" by pointing to his past positions, said he believes Trump "is trying to insult his way to the presidency," but "people want an uplifting hopeful message."

When asked whether he would support Trump if he wins the Republican nomination, Bush said, "of course."