WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney opposed the government's rescue of U.S. automakers. So did Jeb Bush.
Both worked in finance and backed the Wall Street bailout. Both are advocates of tax cuts that Democrats contend only benefit the wealthy and big business.
While the first actual votes of the next presidential campaign may be a year away, Democrats already are drawing such comparisons between the former Florida governor and the GOP's 2012 White House nominee — and they don't consider them flattering.
Democrats are unwilling to let Bush define himself as a reformer who aims to close the gap between the rich and poor, so they are trying to paint him as this campaign's Romney. The ex-Massachusetts governor struggled in 2012 against criticism related to his work in private equity and his portrayal by President Barack Obama's allies as a cold-hearted plutocrat.
"We don't need to try to show that Jeb is like Romney. He pretty much is Romney," said Eddie Vale, vice president of American Bridge 21st Century, a liberal group set up to conduct opposition research on Republicans. "When it comes to any ideas or policies, he's the same as Romney."