“Look, I have a lot of respect for Tony and his group. I talk to him, I have an open dialogue with him,” he said.

At another point in the conversation, Bush said he doesn’t even read The Times.

“I don’t read The New York Times, to be honest with you,” he said. (Some Times reporters were skeptical of that claim.)

The Family Research Council did not respond to a request for comment to confirm Bush’s assessment that he has an “open dialogue” with the group’s leader or for Perkins’ reaction to the article’s conclusion that conservatives were taking a pass on Bush.