By Steve Holland
HUDSON, N.H. (Reuters) - Jeb Bush on Friday dismissed Democratic accusations that he used a personal email address as governor of Florida to avoid public scrutiny, rejecting attempts to tie him to a controversy involving Democrat Hillary Clinton.
"I'm not surprised that the Clinton operatives would suggest that. That's kind of standard operating procedure," said Bush, who visited New Hampshire for the first time in 15 years as part of his exploration of a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Democrats have attempted to divert the focus on Clinton's use of a personal email account to conduct work as U.S. secretary of state by saying that Bush used the same practice in Florida, where he was governor from 1999 to 2007.
Both Bush and Clinton are potential 2016 presidential contenders.
Clinton revealed this week that she deleted 30,000 personal emails but had turned over 55,000 work emails taken from her private server to the State Department for review and eventual release.
Bush has released a few hundred thousand emails from his time as governor, and his aides say the rest are accessible by the state of Florida through freedom of information requests. He did not release emails he deemed private.
Taking questions from reporters after a public roundtable at Integra Biosciences AG, a medical research equipment firm, Bush described himself as "totally transparent" and said he is pictured with a Blackberry smartphone in his official portrait.
"We complied with the law and we have now made my emails, long before Mrs. Clinton’s issues came up, we made them public for you to see," he said. "So it’s totally different."
At the roundtable, Bush also sharply criticized President Barack Obama's nuclear-arms negotiations with Iran, saying he feared it could lead to a bad deal that legitimizes the Iranian government.
He dodged a reporter's question over whether he would have signed a controversial letter that 47 senators sent to the Tehran government warning that any deal with Obama may not last, but did not criticize them for doing so.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)