Jeb Bush Says 'No Question' He's More Experienced Than Marco Rubio

The candidate talks immigration and 2016 competition in exclusive ABC interview

"There's no question of that at all," Bush told ABC's David Muir when asked if he's more experienced than Rubio. "And that's not disparaging my good friend who I think is a real talent."

"I think I'm more experienced and qualified than anybody running. I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think that I have the skills to fix these things and to lead our country," Bush said.

The two often exchange public compliments, and Rubio is described as a onetime Bush protégé. But as the two vie as leading contenders in the 2016 race — and in the race for votes in delegate-rich Florida, from which they both hail — some public comments have been interpreted as subtle swipes. Rubio is running on a campaign theme of new leadership and moving on from the past, while Bush has made comments about executive experience — both of which could be construed the candidates taking aim at one another.

"The kids that were protesting, frankly, I think they oughtta have a path to citizenship," Bush told ABC's David Muir in their exclusive sit-down interview in Iowa on Wednesday.

Parents of DREAMers, named after the stalled DREAM Act legislation that would bestow the path Bush supports, would not enjoy the same benefit under Bush's favored policy. "They should get a path to earn legal status over an extended period of time by paying a fine, learning English, working, not receiving federal government assistance, and I think a great majority of the people here that are living in the shadows would take that deal in a heartbeat," Bush told ABC.