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UPDATED Jeb Bush: 'It's not known' if Marco Rubio has sufficient leadership skills


Jeb Bush has subtly changed his argument over the past two days about why he thinks he'd make a better president than Republican rival from Florida Marco Rubio.

Bush told MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday morning that he's a proven leader -- and Rubio is not.

"It's not known" if Rubio has the required skills, Bush said.

He also repeated a line he told CNN on Wednesday that Rubio "followed" Bush's lead when both served in Tallahassee.

Here's a transcript of the Morning Joe exchange:

JOHN HEILEMANN: Let me just ask you a question about Marco Rubio. You talked -- there was a quote attributed to you yesterday, I believe is accurate that said you compared him to President Obama.  You said, "Look we had a president who came in and said the same kind of thing -- new and improved, hope and change -- and he didn't have the leadership skills to fix things." I just want to be direct about this. Are you saying that Senator Rubio does not have the leadership skills to fix things?  

JEB BUSH: There were two thoughts in that sentence that I had. But yeah, I think I have the leadership skills to fix things and that's my strength and that's what I talk about, and Marco was a member of the House of Representatives when I was governor, and he followed my lead and I'm proud of that.

HEILEMANN: Right. But you don not think he has the leadership skills to fix things?  

BUSH: It's not known. Barack Obama didn't end up having them, and he won an election based on the belief that people had that he could, and he didn't even try.

The Bush campaign was clearly pleased with their candidate's performance on the show, disseminating a link to the video where the former Florida governor appeared at ease and spoke at length about foreign policy.

UPDATE: Here's the different line Bush had about Rubio's experience in 2012 on the Charlie Rose Show, when Rubio was considered a potential Mitt Romney running mate:

CHARLIE ROSE: Marco has enough preparation to be one heartbeat away from the presidency?

BUSH: I believe so. Look, he has more experience than Barack Obama had when he ran, more practical experience. And certainly got the intellectual acumen and the fortitude to be a good president. And I have a special place in my heart for him, it's hard to describe the pride I feel for his incredible success, and how well he has moved into the job of being United State Senator with humility, not trying to be an arrogant guy, to learn the trade if you will. He's got great people in Washington, I really admire him.

--with Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times