Jeb Bush is earning some cautious credit this week from politically influential evangelicals for backing contentious religious freedom laws.

They didn't flinch after the former Florida governor told donors in California that Indiana's Republican governor could have taken a better approach to the politics of his state's law.

A leading conservative in early-voting Iowa, Steve Scheffler, says he's "glad Gov. Bush did what he did in lending his support to religious liberty."

Most of the GOP's likely 2016 presidential candidates strongly backed the Indiana law, but it prompted a national backlash from those saying it would discriminate against gay people.

Bush faces conservative skepticism for his support of an immigration policy that would allow people in the country illegally to seek permanent lawful status and of Common Core education standards.