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Jeb: Marco, Others Don't Have My Experience

(Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 19 November 2015 03:00 PM

Jeb Bush showed his kinder, gentler side on Thursday when Newsmax TV gave him the opportunity to criticize Marco Rubio.

Appearing on "Newsmax Prime," the former Florida governor was asked Thursday by host J.D. Hayworth about the differences between himself and the junior senator from Florida, who is well ahead of him in recent Republican presidential polls.

But despite the fact the two longtime friends have been sniping at each other as the GOP race tightens, Bush quickly deflected the question to include every candidate.

"The main difference between me and the other candidates running for president is that I have a proven record. Thirty-two years in business and eight years as the conservative reform-minded governor that moved the needle for the benefit of all in Florida," Bush said.

"For eight years, I got to do it and learn how to make tough decisions. I have the experience and the ideas to fix what's broken in Washington, D.C.

"That's my story and that experience, while not in Washington — I don't have the practical government experience in Washington, thank goodness — but that experience is what sets me apart and the fact that I have a consistent view on things."

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Bush said one of his strengths is the ability not to flip-flop on the issues.

"I've thought it through, my compass points north, and when I make up my mind, I have the ability to stick with it. Other candidates feeling the pressure of the anger of the moment that changes each and every week sometimes veer off," he said.

"People are discerning about this. Ultimately they're going to decide who's going to be the nominee for our party for two things. Who can sit behind the big desk and have the fortitude to be able to make tough decisions and to keep us safe."

Bush also believes he is the best candidate to take on and beat Hillary Clinton in next year's general election.

"Who can beat Hillary Clinton? My advocacy is someone with a proven record is far better to go into battle against Hillary Clinton, who has no record of accomplishment. She has experience, but she has no record of accomplishment," Bush said.

"Three bills she sponsored became law during her eight years as senator and her record as secretary of state is abysmal. We're paying a heavy price for the Obama-Clinton foreign policy and my proven record and my experience makes me more qualified to win the nomination and to beat Hillary Clinton."

Bush's reluctance to specifically go after Rubio comes after several weeks of nasty back and forths between the two Floridians.

Last week, hours after a New York Times report that Bush would go on the attack against surging GOP presidential candidate Rubio, the Florida lawmaker launched a preemptive strike — using Bush's own words of praise for his one-time protege.

The Rubio ad came with the prelude: "Before Jeb Bush started the phony attack, he said this about Marco Rubio" — and then features instances of Bush's admiration for Rubio, including from a 2012 interview in which he gushes that Rubio had the intelligence "and fortitude to be a good president."

The super PAC Right to Rise, which has raised more than $100 million backing Bush, released a provocative video against his rival Rubio over his stance on abortion.

In a Real Clear Politics average of recent Republican presidential polls, Donald Trump leads with 24.6 percent, followed by Dr. Ben Carson with 21.8 percent, Rubio with 12.4 percent, Cruz with 11 percent and Bush with 5.4 percent.

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Jeb Bush showed his kinder, gentler side on Thursday when Newsmax TV gave him the opportunity to criticize Marco Rubio.
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Thursday, 19 November 2015 03:00 PM
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