Jeb Bush says he asks God for forgiveness 'regularly'

Jeb Bush tops off Iowa event with hugs and a peace prayer
Jeb Bush tops off Iowa event with hugs and a peace prayer

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Jeb Bush tops off Iowa event with hugs and a peace prayer 01:04

(CNN)Jeb Bush said Monday he "regularly" asks God for forgiveness, two days after his Republican presidential rival Donald Trump told an audience of conservative Christians that he doesn't do the same.

"Look I'm as imperfect under God's watchful eye as the next person," the former Florida governor told conservative radio host Michael Medved. "And if you start with that premise, then you're seeking his forgiveness to be better, to be more committed to taking care of people, to be more committed to being a loving husband, a good father."
"My relationship with my savior is one where I do seek forgiveness," he said.
    It was yet another point of contrast that Bush was drawing with Trump, who's competing with Bush along with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the top tier of the latest national poll, which showed Trump in the lead. Earlier Monday, Bush also made sure to speak up in defense of Sen. John McCain, calling him a "real hero" after Trump scrutinized the Arizona senator's military heroism over the weekend.
    And last week, Bush repeatedly blasted Trump for using "rhetoric of divisiveness" on immigration.
    At the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa -- a large event attended by many evangelical voters -- Trump also spoke candidly about his faith, saying some would be surprised to learn that he's Presbyterian.
    "And I go to church and I love God and I love my church," he said.
    But when pressed by moderator Frank Lutz if he has ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions, Trump said he doesn't often go to God when he does something wrong.
    "I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don't think so," he said. "I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture. I don't."
    It was an atypical answer at a forum where several other candidates spoke in biblical tones about their faith. Evangelical voters play a crucial role in the Iowa caucuses and take a keen interest in what candidates have to say about their own beliefs.
    Bush, who joined his wife as a Catholic after losing his 1994 bid for governor, was not at the summit but speaks often about his faith on the campaign trail.
    The former governor said Monday he didn't see Trump's comments but added that he and his wife went to church this past Sunday and sought forgiveness together.
    "We do it every Sunday morning," he said.