Strategists interviewed by The Hill raised doubts about whether Bush could really avoid modifying at least his public statements in the rough-and-tumble GOP primary.

“Nobody gets a free pass in the Republican primary,” said Ryan Williams, a former Romney spokesman.

One strategist said “chastising conservatives for being too conservative in a conservative primary process” wouldn’t get him anywhere.

“History is littered with people who think rules of the primary don’t apply to them,” said Rick Wilson, a Florida-based GOP strategist.

Bush’s remarks underscored for some the view that he can’t stomach the political games a candidate has to play in the run-up to the general election.